Monahan seeking home comforts when Bath time comes calling
SPARKLING early-season away form is a reprieve for Northampton defeat at Kingsholm – and now Gloucester must build a winning home sequence.
That's the view of in-form wing Shane Monahan, who is relishing the West Country derby fever.
The Irish powerhouse bagged his first Premiership try in Sunday's 31-25 London Welsh victory.
Former Rotherham wideman Monahan squared up to Bath at Kingsholm in July, helping the Cherry and Whites to a 24-17 victory in JP Morgan Premiership Sevens action.
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The 25-year-old was blown away by the partisan atmosphere that night – and now cannot wait for Saturday's Premiership West Country derby.
Gloucester host Bath at Kingsholm (kick-off 2.15pm), keen to extend their run of four-straight league victories over their bitter rivals.
And Monahan believes Nigel Davies' men are primed to start a run of strong Kingsholm form.
He explained: "We've done really well in the away games so far this term, and I think in some respects that makes up for losing to Northampton at home.
"But now we've got to move that forward and start building a sequence of results at home – starting with Bath.
"I didn't realise the full extent of the rivalry before I arrived, but I've taken some time to find out as much as I can about that.
"Clearly it's massively important, and I wanted to get a good feel for it.
"I got a taste of the rivalry at the Sevens in the summer, with the crowd reaction at Kingsholm when we played Bath.
"Every time we did something well or got a score, the place erupted and it was only half-capacity.
"I couldn't get over it.
"So I'm sure it will be a great crowd this week and we're really looking forward to it.
"We knew it was going to be a hard game at Welsh, they were on a roll after two wins.
"But we're very happy with that result.
"The first Premiership try for me is a big thing – but the most important element is being able to help the team pick up points.
"We're getting more and more used to our patterns and styles of play with each week, we're growing all the time and I think that's reflected in what's happening on the field.
"It's great to be involved, and any chance to pull on that shirt is fantastic.
"Rob Cook went well at the weekend, and that shows how much of a squad game it is.
"Everyone has huge confidence in the squad, and the more players who get their chance, the more that is underlined.
"Rob went really well at Welsh, and he's just one of the most recent in a big group of players to show their ability."
Keen to see the impact of new Gloucester arrival Jimmy Cowan, Monahan is enjoying testing himself against, and playing alongside, top-class players in his first Premiership campaign.
He added: "You want to play at the highest level possible, and the chance to play with and against people of the calibre of Jimmy Cowan, it's massively exciting.
"You want to test yourself against guys like that, and it's great to play alongside and learn from them.
"When you play against first-class players, once the game starts you just want to smash them though!"