Kriel takes en­ergy from Shed on his come­back

Gloucestershire Echo - - GLOUCESER RUGBY -

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.”

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