Sixways hoodoo goes on
GLOUCESTER’S past results at Sixways have not been great and the theme continued on Sunday.
The Cherry and Whites lacked that bite and hunger in defence, their usual stifling line press was not there, allowing a motivated Worcester side to win the battle of the gain line. Worcester won the contact battle on the floor, slowing up the Gloucester ball, which did not afford the half backs of Heinz and Cipriani a lot time or space on the ball. Gloucester’s lineout did not function as smoothly as it has done in recent months. One reason they have been in such a good vein of form, had a lot to do with an efficient lineout. The scrum theme was of continued collapses which referee JP Doyle was happy to play away from.
At times I thought Cipriani tried to create something that was not there; the usual slick back line play was muddled with indecision which resulted in players being in the wrong position and put unnecessary stress on the contact area.
The most disappointing aspect was the Gloucester players did not play with the usual intensity.
Gloucester were playing a wellmotivated Warriors side, where victory would result in them securing another season in the Gallagher Premiership.
Gloucester required a point to confirm they will make the play-offs for the first time in eight seasons.
Johan Ackermann rested the front line props and used his bench early realising any injuries to his front-line players could have a detrimental effect.
With Gloucester making the play-offs it begs the question will Ackermann stick or twist regarding selection? Does he rest his front line players, or does he keep playing them to maintain form and fitness?