Gloucester Rugby: Jonny May is world-class finisher
"WORLD-CLASS" finishing will propel Gloucester forward in the Heineken Cup, believes boss Nigel Davies.
Kingsholm chief Davies hailed Jonny May's finishing power as among the best around in the wake of his match-winning score in the 27-22 Perpignan victory.
Lightning-fast wing May raced in for the decisive try on Saturday night, securing a first-up win in Heineken Cup pool six.
Edinburgh's 29-23 home victory over Munster blows the pool wide open.
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But now Gloucester must travel to Limerick to take on the Munstermen at Thomond Park, where the fervent atmosphere renders the hosts an imposing proposition.
Rugby director Davies hailed flying wing May's cool finish for his try that was – and also for his try that wasn't.
May had a score ruled out by the television match official after a Mike Tindall forward pass in the build-up.
Jimmy Cowan had a first-half finish chalked off too – and like May he hit back to claim a try that was never in doubt.
After the ignominy of performance and defeat in the previous week's 29-12 Exeter loss, Davies hailed his pack for hitting back with grit and mettle.
Davies explained: "Jonny's very important, he's going to be crucial in the next few weeks.
"The modern game of rugby is a big arm wrestle these days, and when you create half- chances you need players who can take them, and Jonny is certainly one.
"Both tries he finished he did exceptionally well to pull them off. It's great to have players of that ability, and you need world-class finishers at this level, and that's what he is.
"And then there's Sinbad, who is just ever-dangerous, always in the right place at the right time, he understands and reads the game, and he's got some of the best footwork I've ever seen."
Freddie Burns' sickness bug forced a midfield reshuffle ahead of kick-off, with Billy Twelvetrees moving to fly-half and Ryan Mills making his first start of the season at 12.
Davies hailed the 21-year-old's calm assurance to step in at the last minute, and excel on his Heineken Cup debut.
An early blow to the head for prop Shaun Knight meant Yann Thomas swapped from loosehead to tight.
But Gloucester's scrummaging effort was vastly improved from their Exeter shaming.
Hailing that rediscovered resolve, Davies targeted consistency from here on in, after three defeats in five Premiership matches to date this term.
He continued: "We would have been hugely frustrated to go on to lose after those two scores were ruled out.
"We're still not getting the rub of the green, but you create your own luck.
"We kept knocking on the door, we've got a lot of quality, and when we create things we are capable of finishing them off well.
"That's Ryan's first senior game this season.
"He's a really fine playmaker, and he showed his qualities in setting up that last try.
"He's definitely a 12, he's very comfortable there, and he's got a left boot that he's cultured over the last two years as well as being able to kick off his right.
"It was great to see him perform.
"There were a couple of things that happened before kick-off where we had to make personnel changes, and then we had our tighthead go off and we put across Yann.
"He's a recognised loosehead and he's developing into a tighthead and I thought he was excellent.
"We've looked at this as a break from the league, but it's a fantastic opportunity for the boys to show what they're capable of.
"These performances are in this group, it's just about building consistency as a group.
"The difference between when we play well and when we play poorly is just too much at the moment, and that gap's something we have to address."