It has not been the start to the season that Gloucester’s supporters had hoped for or maybe even expected. The Aviva Premiership is tough as we know but with a home game against the Tigers and a relatively local jaunt up the road to take on Worcester, the Shed faithful would have been looking for more points on the board than they currently have.
More than that however, they would have preferred to have seen two good performances, a solid start from which to build their season. As it is, they are having to recover from a demoralising defeat at the hands of Leicester – having blown a 24-point lead – and a draw with Worcester – who were reduced to 14 men with half an hour still to play.
Despite heroic displays from scrum-half & captain Greg Laidlaw, the collective effort has been sub-standard with too many unforced errors and silly mistakes that have been punished as only they can be in the top flight.
In analogies with other sports, Gloucester’s start can be likened to Usain Bolt getting caught sitting on the blocks, Lewis Hamilton getting too much wheel-spin off the grid or Andy Murray going a break down early in a Grand Slam first set. All of these things are redressable (certainly for those individuals mentioned) but in each case it makes the task just that little bit harder and affects confidence.
With all that has happened so far, it will be a difficult trip up the M6 on Friday to the AJ Bell Stadium to take on Sale Sharks who have just come off a confidence-inspiring victory over Harlequins and will look to establish themselves in the upper half of the table for the rest of the season.
Gloucester’s last visit to the AJ Bell holds happy memories with an 11-12 victory but this has given the Sharks extra impetus to avenge that result that put paid to their 100% home record last season.
Steve Diamond told salesharks.com: “I think we just need some momentum, we need two wins on the bounce, we’ve got Gloucester coming who are a really good attacking side, who have scored 50 points already this year. “
“Gloucester have been unfortunate in both games, they are a disciplined side in the way they play. They are a good attacking side under David Humphreys and if we are not at our best, we won’t win the game.”
If the Cherry & Whites come away with nothing, they could be in for a very long slog up to Xmas, therefore minimum must be a bonus point and hopefully – for their travelling supporters – a winning one. Oh the life of a Gloucester fan.
One to watch: Dan Mugford