Gloucester Rugby: Dan Robson on play-off potential
THE longer Gloucester stay in the Premiership's top four, the tougher their play-off battle becomes, believes Dan Robson.
The Cherry and Whites started life under Nigel Davies keen not to make any big pronouncements about their immediate potential.
Scrum-half Robson reckons that low-key start has already paid healthy dividend – but admits Gloucester cannot fly under the radar any longer.
Now the Kingsholm men have forced their way into the top four, Robson believes several opponents will expect more and more from them.
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Despite their strong start though, Robson is confident Gloucester are not about to over-hype their end-of-season play-off credentials.
The 20-year-old explained: "We're there or thereabouts now, at the point where people realise we're a tough side to go up against in – hopefully – any situation.
"And I think that does make things more difficult for us in some respects.
"But at the same time everyone knows that not many teams come to Kingsholm and win, so we're used to that at home and are trying to build on that away from home too.
"We're looking to make Kingsholm a fortress again certainly, we want teams to know they're going to be in a scrap.
"We've had a good start with that, but we just need to keep it going.
"As a group we've always thought we're capable of top four, we know the talent in the group and the coaching staff.
"We always knew we could go and win games and be there and thereabouts.
"But we've just got on with our business quietly, taken it one step at a time and not been shouting loudly about what we're going to do this season.
"We're really pleased with where we are halfway through though."
World Cup-winning half-back Jimmy Cowan has quickly established himself at Kingsholm as expected after his October arrival.
Stoke-born Robson had the edge over Dave Lewis before Cowan's arrival, and now both men are battling for time on the field around the All Black new recruit.
Now England Under-20s graduate Robson believes he just has to keep plugging away and taking whatever chances come his way.
He continued: "In the nicest possible way I've just got to keep snapping at Jimmy's heels.
"I've just got to keep working, and take the chances when they come, no matter how short or otherwise.
"You've just got to do little things, and do them well.
"I'm quite happy at the minute, I'm behind Jimmy which is fine, but I know I've got to add as much as I possibly can when my chances come.
"I want to add something a bit different whenever those chances present themselves.
"Davey's right there training really well, battling hard and playing well too.
"I've learned a great deal from him and I'm still learning from him all the time.
"Brad's come in and done really well in the A team as well, and I think we're all looking forward to seeing what he can do when chances come."
Hailing good friend Ryan Mills' return to fitness after knee surgery, Robson backed the versatile playmaker to make a big impact in the second half of the season.
He added: "He's pretty happy at the moment, and I'm really happy for him.
"He could have been out for a bit longer, but typically of Millsy he wanted to be back as soon as possible, right at the early end of the scale of the injury.
"And he's done exactly that.
"Everyone's chuffed for him really, and just looking forward to getting him back on the pitch."