Kriel takes energy from Shed on his comeback
JACO Kriel feels like he is getting extra energy from playing in front of the Kingsholm crowd.
The Gloucester flanker felt he produced his best performance since joining the club from the Lions last summer in Friday’s 30-24 win over Saracens and he paid tribute to the role of the passionate fans.
“The support is amazing and it’s amazing how loud they get when the team is doing well and we’re getting the backing of the crowd,” said Kriel.
“You can’t ask for any more, it’s amazing to hear the support. It almost lifts you and gives you energy via the Shed getting behind you. I’m really thankful for the crowd that came out and thank you for your support.”
Kriel, 29, had a serious shoulder injury when he arrived at Gloucester and had to wait until November to make his debut.
The South Africa international has been frustrated by further setbacks since but returned from an ankle injury to make his first appearance of 2019 against Saracens and was pleased to get 56 minutes under his belt.
“I believe I can still work harder to put in the full 80 but I’m happy so far with how it’s going getting the 60 minutes behind my back,” said Kriel.
“Being back from injury again feels real good to fight it out with the boys.
“The team culture is building and the boys are looking after each other more and more, and it’s great to see the guys go like that.”
After a mid-season break from the Premiership and a run of five defeats in all competitions, Gloucester have recorded back-toback wins against sides that arrived at Kingsholm sitting top of the Premiership with Exeter and Saracens both swept aside.
They remain fourth with a fivepoint cushion over Northampton and will be looking to continue their good form when they visit bottombut-one Bristol on Friday.
Kriel said: “I won’t take anything away from the boys but Exeter and Saracens do have key players away to the international setup so the boys did well to get the win so we’ll celebrate but there’s almost more hard work in being consistent throughout the season.
“After the break all the boys were fresh coming back into it and we almost have no excuse to back ourselves up and that’s where the hard work starts.
“We’re going to enjoy the win but have a hard look at ourselves and do things better that we did good and fix the things that we didn’t do well.”