Home quarter final is inspiring - Gloucester RFC's Shaun Knight
A EUROPEAN quarter-final at Kingsholm is the greatest incentive for Gloucester to strike inconsistency from their scrum and hit back to top form, believes Shaun Knight.
Two healthy wins in their final two Pool One matches should secure the Cherry and Whites a Kingsholm draw in the Amlin Challenge Cup last eight.
Nigel Davies' men take on Bordeaux at Stade Andre Moga on Friday night (kick-off 7pm GMT), desperate to shrug off the frustrations of Saturday's listless 18-12 London Irish defeat.
Should they win well in France and then dispatch Mont de Marsan at Kingsholm on Saturday week then they can reasonably expect a home draw in the competition's next round.
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And tighthead prop Knight admits Gloucester could not ask for better motivation to atone for Saturday's lacklustre Premiership defeat to Irish.
The 22-year-old explained: "We've got the chance to top our group and claim a home quarter-final, so I don't know what more incentive we need to turn things round.
"The home quarter-final is on the line. We've done really well in Europe so far, we're unbeaten in this competition – and we need to make sure it stays that way in the next fortnight."
Knight still believes Gloucester can boast one of the best scrums in England – but only if they find that elusive quality of consistency.
New scrum coach Tony Windo has cemented last season's good work by the late John Brain, but now Matson-born Knight concedes Gloucester must step up another couple of levels.
He continued: "Irish did have a couple of good scrums on us. We won a few penalties as well but there was too much inconsistency from us.
"It's got to creep out of our game.
"At Leicester we were against one of the best scrummagers in Europe.
"It might be one thing to have issues there, but we've based a lot on our scrum and it's got to better.
"I think hard work can bring that back.
"The scrum has been strong overall, and I think it was outstanding against Exeter.
"So at times it's very good, but there's still some inconsistency there and we've got to stamp it out.
"I feel at times I'm too inconsistent myself, but at the weekend I think that affected everyone in the scrum.
"We know we've got to show something in the next two games because that against Irish wasn't good enough."
Frustrated Knight admitted expectation got the better of Gloucester against London Irish.
The Cherry and Whites expected to claim their fourth win of the season over the Exiles – and Knight reckons that was the chief reason for their defeat.
Knight added: "That's the fourth time we've played them and I think we took it a bit for granted, even though we said the right things before the game.
"The performance shows we did take it for granted, and we can't hide from that.
"That's not good enough and we know we can be 100 times better than that.
"That's the worst performance of the season so far, we know that, and we've got to put it right.
"We just didn't turn up, they were winning the collisions straight away and it just kept going in that way.
"And now we've got to react and hit back at the first opportunity."