Gloucester Rugby: We have to be wary of wounded London Irish
WARY Nigel Davies has called on Gloucester to guard against a London Irish backlash this weekend.
The Cherry and Whites inflicted a second defeat on the Exiles at the Madejski Stadium this season on Saturday.
Turning a 22-9 deficit on its head, Gloucester stormed to 29-22 Amlin Challenge Cup victory.
Now Gloucester boss Davies believes the win and its last-gasp manner will leave Irish desperate for revenge at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
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Gloucester host Brian Smith's side in the return European clash, where the winner will tee up quarter-final qualification.
But after racking up 20 unanswered points in the final 25 minutes in Reading on Saturday, Davies said Gloucester can expect Irish to arrive at Kingsholm with a point to prove.
The Cherry and Whites rugby director explained: "Irish proved once again what a dangerous attacking side they are, and we know we'll have to be very mindful of that on Saturday.
"They will certainly be keen to come to Kingsholm and get a result – yes we are in the best position in the pool now, but if they win then everything is wide open again.
"So they know there is still everything to play for, and to a certain extent they've got nothing to lose. They can come to us and have a real go at it, and I'd expect nothing less.
"But we've got to keep working on sharpening up, and make sure we realise where we fell short last week and try to cut out those errors."
Hailing his side's near-unbreakable resilience on Saturday, Davies said once Gloucester found their phase-play feet they always had a chance to hit back into the clash.
He continued: "There was certainly that resilience but I thought we played some good rugby too.We were very inaccurate in that first half and we just couldn't get past three phases.
"So at half-time we spoke about the fact that wanting to play with more width and pace actually pressurises you to be more accurate and to be better in the contact area.
"And we weren't any of that in the first half, so we were really disappointed at half-time, even though we were in touching distance.
"But then we showed our mettle in the second half, we weren't phased by the fact they scored two tries early on themselves.
"That's important, to ride those knocks and come back strongly, and we did.
"We played some good stuff to bring ourselves back into the game.
"We'll have to handle all those sorts of pressures again at Kingsholm, and on top of that we certainly need to raise our levels once more.
"But we're confident that we're continuing to improve all the time, we're shaping our game every week and I think the players are excited and enthused by that process just as much as the coaches are."
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