We have to stop thinking about a Kingsholm Amlin quarter-final - Burns
THE only way to secure a Kingsholm quarter-final in the Amlin Challenge Cup is to stop thinking about it, believes Freddie Burns.
Gloucester can set up a home draw in the last eight if they produce a handsome win against Mont de Marsan at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
The Cherry and Whites secured safe passage to the European second-tier cup's knockout stages with Friday's 31-26 victory in Bordeaux.
But now they have a chance to stack the deck for the next round, by securing home advantage.
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The five Amlin Challenge Cup pool winners qualify for the quarter-finals – where they will be joined by three teams that drop down from the Heineken Cup.
After next week's pool fixtures are complete, the five Amlin pool winners will be ranked in order of their overall performance – on everything from win record to tries and points scored.
The top four ranked teams then claim home matches in the quarter-finals.
Win in style this weekend then, and Gloucester will be among them – but fly-half Burns said any thoughts on the mathematic equations will distract from the main Mont de Marsan event.
Burns explained: "We can't start looking ahead of ourselves.
"They're a tough team to beat and I'm sure Mont de Marsan will be keen to put one over on us for pride as much as anything else.
"Yes we're into the quarter-finals, but at the same time we've got a big game on Saturday that will determine whether we play at Kingsholm in the next round or not.
"If we start thinking about racking up tries and things like that, we'll come unstuck.
"We desperately want to win, win well and set up that home quarter-final, but if we start concentrating on that rather than what we need to do in the game, then we'll be in trouble.
"We've got to get our heads down and battle hard to win the game.
"We can't start dreaming of try bonus points or anything like that.
"If that comes, great, but first things first and we won't be getting carried away."
Burns' faultless goal-kicking display of eight penalties and one conversion carried Gloucester to victory at Stade Andre Moga on Friday night in a tense and scrappy contest.
The hosts outscored Gloucester two to one on the try front, and in times past that would have cost Gloucester victory.
But as Burns hones his accuracy off the tee, so Gloucester's resolve builds.
And he said rock-solid goal-kicking is helping him stay confident should other areas not always go according to plan.
The 22-year-old continued: "It's great to get the win, it certainly helps after losing to London Irish the week before.
"It was quite slippery underfoot, but you can't let it affect you on the kicking front.
"You've just got to keep your technique and if your foot slips and you miss one, you've just got to let it go, don't change anything, and get on with it.
"Fortunately for me there was none of that on Friday.
"To kick the goals and get the win, that was key, but there's certainly a few elements to work on personally, and as a group.
"We've got to look at our defence because it was loose.
"With players coming back from injury it was always going to be patchy, but hopefully we can move it forward now.
"I was pleased with my goal-kicking but there's other parts to work on and that's what we'll be getting stuck into this week in training."