Gloucester Rugby: Huia Edmonds determined to restore scrum pride
WITH every backward step, Gloucester's pride took a pounding.
Smashed into reverse gear in the scrum of all things: and by Bath of all people.
Seething Huia Edmonds ground his teeth and endured a chastening experience – one he never wants to repeat.
Despite Darren Dawidiuk's red card with 30 minutes to play, boss Nigel Davies admitted Friday's 31-25 defeat at Bath began and ended with Gloucester's scrum shortcomings.
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Dejected 31-year-old hooker Edmonds cannot disagree.
The four-cap Wallaby joined the fray after Dawidiuk's departure, Gloucester sacrificing Akapusi Qera to fulfil their front-row requirements.
He spent the next 25 minutes going backwards – and has challenged the Cherry and Whites to make sure it never happens again.
Edmonds explained: "It's a touchy subject being right in the middle of it all.
"I take a lot of pride in our scrum, and for us to go backwards like that, it hurts.
"I don't care if we had 14 men, I don't care that we were one light in the scrum – we hate going backwards.
"It hurts when you are smashed around like that, it's absolutely a pride thing.
"We pride ourselves on our scrum, we've had a decent season at the set-piece for the most part, but we've run into some problems recently.
"Obviously the first task will be to get everyone back on their feet, we've been struggling for tightheads and that's probably contributed.
"But we don't feel as though there's any excuse, and we know we've got to sort it all out."
Lamenting a loss that not only affects Gloucester's top-four play-off challenge, but also surrenders West Country bragging rights, Edmonds said the Kingsholm men know what is coming next.
After a week's break, Gloucester will shape up for an intensive five-day training blow-out.
Davies' men host London Welsh at Kingsholm on Saturday, March 23 (kick-off 3pm), and with two free weekends there is time for both rest and then some serious graft.
Edmonds said that build-up to hosting Welsh will prove pivotal to Gloucester's five-game Premiership run-in.
He continued: "We were up against a solid team, and with 14 men for half an hour, we did reasonably well, especially to battle back into things.
"We have a lot of fight in us that's for sure.
"We didn't want to lose that game let me tell you, it hurts a lot, but we'll take it on the chin and react.
"We've said all year out set-piece needs to be spot-on every time we go out there.
"We knew Bath were going to be strong up front and we knew we'd need to match it.
"Our scrum was very strong against Northampton a few weeks back.
"But they had us in the last 30 minutes, and all credit to them.
"We've got time for a break and then a five-day slog-out session before the week when we build up to Welsh.
"So we'll be able to go really hard at things then, and that will get us ready for a massive game to start our run towards the back end of the league."