Gloucester Rugby: Barracking from Shed helped me, says Luke Narraway
A DROPPED pass in front of the Shed helped Luke Narraway enjoy his big Kingsholm return.
The former Gloucester captain always wanted to be a one-club man, but then found himself surplus to requirements under Bryan Redpath.
Now in his second Perpignan year after a Cherry and Whites decade, the 30-year-old loose-forward was desperate to impress on his former stamping ground.
Narraway expected to relish every moment of being back at Gloucester, but admitted the build-up to Saturday's Heineken Cup clash was off-putting.
Until, that is, he dropped a ball in the warm-up. The customary Gloucester reaction calmed him down, and everything flowed after that.
Despite Gloucester's 27-22 victory, the Perpignan back-rower believes his French club can still thrive in pool six.
"It was great, weird, bizarre, everything," he said.
"I really enjoyed the match once it started, it was just great to play at Kingsholm again.
"Before the game I didn't enjoy it at all, I thought I would.
"But coming in and seeing all the familiar faces, it was bizarre.
"One great thing though, I dropped the ball in the warm-up, and the Shed went absolutely mad, they gave me the biggest 'eeyore' shout, and I looked around and all the boys were laughing at me.
"That broke the ice really.
"It was amazing to play here again, the memories become distant, and it was great to sign off potentially playing at Kingsholm in better fashion than last time.
"It's a shame we didn't get the win, but the bonus point is a reasonable next-best, and we'll move onto the next game.
"Look at what happened with Edinburgh beating Munster, it might be the team that gets one away win that tops the pool.
"It could be quite an open pool now, and may well go down to the last game."
Alasdair Strokosch was another flanker making his first Gloucester return.
And like Narraway, the Scotland back-rower admitted it was an odd sensation running out at Kingsholm and not wearing home colours.
Relishing his entire experience at Perpignan, Strokosch said: "It was really nice being back, it was strange to play for the other team at Kingsholm.
"But it was great to be back and I was relieved and touched by the reception from the fans, they were brilliant. We got a bonus point so that's a good start where obviously a win would have been better.
"It's not a total loss so we can take this forward. Every- thing's different about playing and living in France, the whole lifestyle is a real culture change. But I'm loving it, it's a great change.
"There's a lot of talented boys, we're still in a transition, this is the second year of a rebuilding phase for the club.
"But we're going in the right direction and hopefully that can continue to improve."