Gloucester Rugby: Write off London Welsh and we will suffer
WRITE off London Welsh at your peril, Billy Twelvetrees has warned his Gloucester team-mates.
Underestimate the Premiership new boys and the Cherry and Whites could find themselves in a sticky situation this weekend, admitted the Kingsholm centre.
Promoted side Welsh started the season with two heavy defeats, raising initial suggestions they would wind up the league's whipping boys.
But back-to-back wins have kick-started their top-flight tenure.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
And now 23-year-old Twelvetrees is expecting a stern test at Oxford's Kassam Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).
Twelvetrees backed Gloucester to handle Welsh's underdog motivation: provided they do not take anything for granted against last term's Championship play-off winners.
He explained: "It's going to be massively tough for us at Welsh.
"They're a physical side with a big pack, and some useful backs.
"Some people might have been surprised by what Welsh have done.
"But I don't think anyone is going to underestimate them now.
"Anyone who thinks that side is not good enough to win games is not looking at them objectively.
"They've got nothing to lose, they will feed off playing against so-called more established sides and international and top Premiership players.
"But any side who gets into this league is good enough to be here.
"And that motivation of going out there to prove that, and upset the odds, that's powerful.
"Exeter did it time and time again, and very quickly no one was talking about them in terms of relegation.
"There's no reason why Welsh can't establish themselves, and we've got to be very wary of their motivation.
"We've got everything to fear, they've won two on the bounce and the beauty of rugby is that once you get into the game, there's no favourites.
"It's about focus and mindset and who performs best on the day.
"As long as we consider it in those terms, prepare properly and fix ourselves for a real battle, then we'll have a chance."
Buoyed by Saturday's 29-22 Wasps victory, Twelvetrees is confident Gloucester are finally finding their attacking feet.
Less on-field bickering equals greater natural understanding and fluency, said the former Leicester Tiger.
He continued: "It's clicking more as we go along, the combinations are improving all the time.
"That's only the fourth time we've played together, but we're getting better all the time.
"There are less arguments on the pitch now, which is always a sign that things are coming together pretty well and that natural understanding is building.
"We've got to add greater discipline into our game, and we've got to look after the ball better too.
"We're just so excited about playing, but we've got to chill out a bit sometimes and keep making the smart choices.
"Sinbad's try just underlines how many options we've got out wide when things are going well.
"The challenge is to make sure we're picking the right ones."
Calling for more clinical finishing in the coming weeks, Twelvetrees said Gloucester should have killed off Wasps more easily at the weekend.
He added: "We came out flying and we showed right from the off what we've been trying to put together over the last few weeks and months.
"We were lacking that cutting edge in terms of finishing though, because we really should have completed a few more of our good moves with tries.
"Had we scored another try before the end of the first half then I think it would not have been such a tight finish.
"But we won't let that gloss over the extra work we need to do, because we do need to tighten up our finishing now.
"We couldn't sustain our play in the second half and that was a frustration, but at least we stayed in the contest.
"Just by winning, you put belief in yourself.
"Victory at Irish gave us a huge boost.
"Winning makes you feel good, anyone in a team environment will back that up."