Gloucester Rugby: Mike Tindall seeking lift-off in race for the top four
FAILURE to launch is blighting Gloucester's season – and the Cherry and Whites cannot wait any longer for lift-off, admits Mike Tindall.
The World Cup-winning centre believes Gloucester must find new ways to jump start their attacking engine – and fast.
Gloucester were humbled 32-5 in Saturday's LV=Cup West Country derby drubbing at Kingsholm.
From the wreckage of their heaviest home loss to Bath in the professional era, Gloucester must now return to Franklin's Gardens for the second time in three weeks.
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Nigel Davies' men lost 26-7 at Northampton in LV=Cup action on January 26 – and head back for a crucial Premiership showdown on Saturday (kick-off 12.30pm).
Tindall knows Gloucester can ill afford to lose any more ground in the play-off race, so must finally get their stuttering attacking game in order.
The Kingsholm player-backs coach explained: "Our biggest challenge really is to get back to being able to launch our game.
"Either through set-piece and strike moves, or through counter-attacks, or through being patient and moving opponents around, we've got to start making it happen now.
"We're a good team when we get into our phases and we're into our game.
"But at the moment we haven't been able to do that.
"We've been shooting ourselves in the foot, and that's got to stop.
"It's all about keeping the ball now, being pragmatic until we get things moving again.
"If you can get into a rhythm, get people like Sione Kalamafoni, Akapusi Qera and Tom Savage working round corners, then Dan Murphy, Darren Dawidiuk and Huia Edmonds, then we can make breaks and the rest of us can get on the end of that.
"If we do that we'll score tries.
"None of that was there at the weekend, and it wasn't there properly at Northampton the week before either.
"It's got to come together now, it's as straightforward as that."
The last thing Gloucester needed against Bath was another reality check in the form of disappointing defeat.
But Tindall said there is no time for the Cherry and Whites to cry into their half-empty derby pints.
The 34-year-old said: "We didn't play to anywhere near our ability, and that's something we've got to look at.
"But we cannot let that get the better of us – we have to react calmly and clinically.
"It is about time we got that point, where we are reaching our ability in our performance levels.
"Everyone knows that, but we're not going to do that by panicking.
"If we win next week we won't even think about this result.
"We wanted to go into next week with the confidence of a good performance.
"Instead we find ourselves fighting to get back on track, and back to standards we expect and demand of ourselves and each other.
"It's a different challenge from what we wanted but not really a harder one, to be honest.
"It would have been great to win and take momentum into it, but instead we go there with a kick up the backside.
"We've had a few too many of those this term though."
Leaking four unanswered tries in the second-half against Bath is enough to drive Gloucester to distraction – but Tindall said focus is more important than ever now.
He added: "It wasn't good enough, our discipline was poor.
"We didn't react and adapt to the referee.
"I think it was more than 20 penalties, 13 in the first half.
"We got lucky in the first half given all their territory and possession.
"We defended really well to hold out the way we did.
"A bit of that told in the second half, we were struggling to slow down their ball and get round corners after the break.
"But in the grand scheme of things, we can go away and examine it – but not dwell on it.
"We're into the Premiership with a tough game and we've just got to get up there and play.
"We gave penalties away when we had the ball, we had some territory after the break but we didn't make it count in the third quarter.
"It was one of those days when nothing was clicking, and because of that it was hard to get anything going.
"The set-piece didn't go too well either, and nothing really worked.
"Fair play to Bath they came and they played pretty well, but now we've got to let it go and solve some problems quickly."