Keith Richardson Report: Something special needed to topple the champions
THE message to Gloucester at Harlequins tomorrow has to be 'more of the same please'.
The Cherry and Whites produced an absolutely top-drawer performance against the Tigers.
The attitude was something to behold as they went for their opponents at the tackle and the breakdown.
The back-row was immense and they led the rest of the pack into confrontations that were a pleasure to watch from a safe distance.
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: Sunday, June 30 2013
There was no hanging back and it rattled Leicester.
And Nigel Davies' men will need to produce something similar indeed to topple the reigning champions in their own backyard.
'More of that' is not exactly scientific but still makes sense.
Such defensive zeal deprives the opponents of time, space and comfort – and that's when errors creep in.
All the strategies in the world mean nothing unless there is no grunt up front.
Turbo-charged defenders leaving flames in their wake make attacking extremely difficult for the opposition.
Leicester – unusually unflappable and highly organised – were put well out of their usual stride.
The Tigers generally accepted their defeat with the good grace befitting of a match hard fought on both sides.
But there was still one sour note. Leicester full-back Geordan Murphy seemed to spend most of his day appealing to the referee or the touch judges – or all three at the same time.
He is too fine a player for that, and the Tigers too good a team, so let's hope that this was just an off-day for the Irish tactician.
The restarts were also greatly improved. So important but not often Gloucester's strongest area.
It flushed confidence through the players as the team regained possession at the start of each period, rather than ushering in the usual 'we'll sort it out afterwards' mentality that can sometimes prove the forerunner to doom and gloom.
So Gloucester need something of a repeat performance at The Stoop, an unhappy hunting ground in recent times.
With men like greased-lightning wing James Simpson-Daniel just getting better and better all the time, the Cherry and Whites are always a threat though.
He always breaks the tackle, even when it seems a formality, and England are the poorer without him because there are so few genuine game and line-breakers around.
He may be classed as too old for purpose, but winning the next match must come into the equation sometimes. Development and blooding future stars is fine, but let's not forget players of this proven calibre even if they are well past student discounts.