Gloucester Rugby: Beaten up by Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm
'BEATEN-UP' Gloucester must solve their scrummaging and tight-game troubles as a unit, believes frustrated boss Nigel Davies.
The Gloucester rugby director admitted his side were comprehensively outgunned by robust Exeter Chiefs in yesterday's 29-12 Kingsholm defeat.
The Cherry and Whites just could not handle Exeter's set-piece and tight-game supremacy.
Gloucester might have matched the visitors in the try department, claiming scores from Martyn Thomas and Jonny May.
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But Rob Baxter's side were dominant in every other area, Gareth Steenson landing five penalties to add to tries for Ben White and captain Dean Mumm.
Davies' side have now lost three of their five opening Premiership encounters and entertain French Top 14 powers Perpignan in the Heineken Cup on Saturday (6pm).
Davies was quick to admit Gloucester's lengthy list of shortcomings in Exeter defeat, but also claimed his squad can solve their growing problems.
He said: "You don't go back at the rate of knots that we did in the scrum today purely because of individual players, it's a unit thing.
"As a unit we got it wrong today.
"And we have to make sure we don't do that again, it's hugely disappointing and we can't hide from it, because we were beaten up.
"Technically we've got to be far more accurate, but also you've got to bring a level of commitment, focus and passion to it – and we did neither against Exeter.
"Exeter were the better team. They executed their game very well and we weren't able to influence it.
"There are two ways to do that, one is to hold on to the ball yourself, and we were turned over far too easily and often, and the other thing is to put pressure on them and their game, and we failed to do that.
"They got front-foot ball very quickly, which meant we had to re-set as a team and were constantly chasing them."
If Gloucester's sluggish 22-16 home defeat to Sale was a slap in the face to start the new campaign, this result will send shockwaves around Kingsholm.
After seeing off Northampton and Newcastle, Gloucester were desperate to cement their resurgence.
But the Cherry and Whites pack were bested in every department by a more regimented, higher-quality Exeter eight.
Respite is in short supply for the battered and bruised Gloucester men, facing Perpignan and Munster in a severely-testing Heineken Cup fortnight.
And Davies has vowed his men will face up to their deficiencies and confront them head-on.
He continued: "It's the nature of the job, momentum is huge. When you've got it, the job is easy.
"But when you don't have it then it's hard to claim a foothold.
"Getting this group of players in the right place in the next couple of weeks will be hugely important.
"Our league form has been sketchy so far, to say the least, and we've got to bounce back from that.
"We were well-beaten in every facet in fairness.
"And if you're not going to deal with that side of the game then you're not going to win.
"We have to front-up, man-up with this group we've got, there's no hiding places.
"We've got to be careful to say everything is not good, because that's not the case.
"We are all hurting and we are all upset, but we do have things to be positive about in our game overall – but not from this game in particular.
"And we've got to hold on to those and take them forward now."