Gloucester Rugby: Jimmy Cowan is seeking perfect show
GRAFTING Gloucester are just one comprehensive performance away from igniting a season of glory, believes Jimmy Cowan.
The All Blacks scrum-half reckons the Cherry and Whites only need to tie their game together once to be able to storm to success.
And the former Southland and Highlanders half-back is confident Nigel Davies' side can do just that – maybe even during the festive fixture run.
Refreshed after boss Davies handed him a short break last weekend, Cowan is keen to see Gloucester negotiate this afternoon's return Amlin Challenge Cup clash with London Irish at Kingsholm (kick-off 3pm).
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Cowan followed Gloucester's 29-22 comeback victory over the Exiles in Reading on twitter last weekend, while visiting younger brother Scott in Italy.
But now he wants to help complete a quickfire double over Brian Smith's men.
The 30-year-old explained: "We haven't played the perfect game, and the majority of the time no side is going to do that.
"But we've been good for 20 minutes or half an hour, and then on Saturday we were poor for the first half.
"At other times we've started well and tailed off.
"So it would be nice to go out there and really put a team away, play a great brand of footie everyone's happy with.
"The majority of games we've come off and everyone's still been disappointed with ourselves overall.
"Because we know we've got a lot more to offer as a group, but we haven't left it out on the field yet.
"That's what everyone's striving for.
"And I don't think it's too far away.
"Hopefully it can be this weekend that we get it all together.
"Teams I've been in before, you work hard, work hard and keep grinding, then boom, everything clicks and you go up and up and up off the back of that.
"So let's hope the same can happen with Gloucester now.
"It would be reward for the amount of work the boys have put in.
"Everyone is working so hard here, it would be great to see that pay off.
"It's early days, we're certainly not the finished product, but if we can concentrate from week to week on improving hopefully it will come.
"The season's broken down into small blocks, and we've still got to keep pushing to get the right foundations in place in our game."
Cowan admitted he did not feel in need of a break last week – but rugby director Davies insisted, to help ensure he does not hit the wall after continuous rugby since January.
Cowan and his brother Scott both represented home province Southland in New Zealand.
While World Cup winner Cowan had long since planned his overseas stint, younger brother Scott finds himself in Europe in more last-minute manner.
Relishing the chance to catch up with his brother in his new surroundings, Cowan said shopping while Gloucester saw off Irish last week was an alien experience.
He continued: "I didn't really want a break at this point to be honest, but I think when I look back later in the season I'm sure I'll be glad of it.
"To be fair it was only four days, so it wasn't too long.
"I trained Thursday last week, so I missed two training sessions.
"Mentally the break was more important I think, just to get a change of scene.
"And it's done wonders, I came back feeling great on Monday.
"I was on the phone on twitter on Saturday keeping up to date with the score, and that was hard – it felt a bit unnatural.
"But I'm just delighted the boys managed to get the win.
"When you're wearing that Cherry and White jersey you're representing the team, the club and the people of the city.
"But when you're not playing for whatever reason it always feels a bit surreal when there's a game going on.
"You're still barracking for the boys though, and it was great to see them get the result.
"It's going to be another tough game, with Irish keen on revenge this time around, but the boys have got the ability to get the job done and hopefully that's what will happen.
"I flew out to Milan, my brother's out in Viadana now, he came out three weeks before I did, he's on a nine-month contract.
"It was good to catch up with him, have a look around Parma, Milan and Modena.
"It was a great experience.
"Scott's enjoying himself, it was a shock at first with the language barrier and everything.
"But he's settled now, the club seem to be happy with him and that's good.
"He was playing in Southland, so he was there for three or four years.
"It never really kicked on for him for whatever reason in terms of Super Rugby really.
"So when this opportunity came up I think he just felt he had to grab it.
"Tyson Keats moved on to London Welsh, so there was a spot to fill.
"Who knows, he might kick on and get another year with them, but it's a good experience for him."