Gloucester Rugby: Nigel Davies hails half backs' progress
QUICK learners Dan Robson and Dave Lewis can give Jimmy Cowan a tough start to life at Kingsholm, believes Nigel Davies.
Gloucester boss Davies hailed half-backs Robson and Lewis for rectifying several early-season issues inside one week.
Impressed with both his scrum-halves' improvements between the Northampton Saints defeat and the London Irish victory, Davies said there is no substitute for the benefits of time in battle.
Robson has graduated from two years of England Under-20s action to battle for a regular first XV slot this term.
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The 20-year-old has claimed the starting shirt for both of Gloucester's Premiership clashes so far, with 23-year-old Lewis covering on the bench.
Lewis' blindside break set up James Simpson-Daniel's vital try in Gloucester's 40-31 London Irish victory last weekend.
Hailing both nines for their impressive showing last weekend, Davies said both are already benefiting from Cowan's delayed arrival.
World Cup-winning All Black Cowan will pitch up at Kingsholm on September 28, and Davies expects fierce competition for the scrum-half jersey.
Davies explained: "I think both Dan and Dave have learned and improved exponentially, even over two weeks.
"And that's what can happen when younger players get chances.
"The challenge of course is for them to continue in that vein, but hopefully they'll be able to keep doing that in the coming weeks.
"On the back of making a few mistakes, that's how you learn, there's no better way.
"So to have that opportunity to get those guys into action in these games is very helpful, and important.
"Both of them were very impressive and impacted the game in positive ways on the weekend, and hopefully that's the fruit of the first game against Northampton.
"They will grow in this period because they are quality players.
"It's great to have someone of Jimmy's calibre and experience coming into the mix – the competition for that shirt will just increase dramatically between all three men."
Worcester have lost both their opening Premiership clashes – and Davies admits the Cherry and Whites will aim to capitalise on that tomorrow.
Gloucester take on the Warriors at Sixways (kick-off 1.30pm), searching greater control for longer periods of matches.
Davies continued: "It's very difficult to win away from home, but having said that the pressure's pretty much on Worcester.
"They need this win desperately, so we'll go there with a positive frame of mind, and we'll look to pressurise them.
"It's just getting control in certain areas of the game, like kick-off receipts.
"But there are huge areas we did control, like the contact area.
"It's all about controlling the game for longer periods.
"We probably controlled the Saints game for 20 minutes, and probably the Irish game for 40 to 45.
"And that tells its own story.
"We've got some momentum going, we've kick-started our season now and we want to keep that going."