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Gloucester boss David Humphreys frustrated after 'unacceptable start'

Published 01/10/2016

David Humphreys was frustrated after the defeat by Bath
David Humphreys was frustrated after the defeat by Bath

Gloucester boss David Humphreys admitted that his team had made an "unacceptable" start to the season following their 15-6 Aviva Premiership home defeat against Bath.

It was Gloucester's third successive home loss of the campaign and came after England internationals Anthony Watson and Matt Banahan scored second-half tries as Bath claimed a fifth successive victory in all competitions against Gloucester at Kingsholm.

Wing Watson's 62nd-minute score edged injury-hit Bath ahead before centre Banahan struck six minutes from time in a dire west country derby when neither side looked remotely like Aviva Premiership play-off contenders.

"There is always pressure here, whether you are winning or losing," Humphreys said.

"It is certainly an unacceptable start to the season, with three losses at home. We know that is not good enough.

"We've let ourselves down this season. We have got to be smarter in games, and we have got to find a way to win a game like today.

"The bottom line is we are making too many simple, unforced errors, and that is not allowing us to generate pressure.

"For me, it's really a case of we knew there would be some ups and downs with changing our playing style, but you have also got to play rugby to win games, and we haven't done that this year.

"We thought we did enough again today to win the game, but at key moments we made some big mistakes. They are the key moments in games we haven't got right in the first four or five weeks, and we have got to find a way of solving that problem.

"Last week (against Newcastle), we were neat and tidy, but we lacked a physical edge. There was no lack of physical edge out there today, but we had 10 unforced errors."

Gloucester skipper Greig Laidlaw was left to rue three missed penalties - he had landed 17 successful kicks this season before Bath's visit - including two long-range failures in three minutes during the closing quarter as Bath prevailed.

Laidlaw and James Hook each landed a penalty for Gloucester, while Bath fly-half George Ford dropped a goal and converted Banahan's try as Bath left Gloucester still without a home win since they beat Exeter last April.

Bath rugby director Todd Blackadder said: "The conditions were heavy, and we knew it was going to be a real arm-wrestle.

"We absorbed a lot of pressure in the first half, and we knew if we played down in Gloucester's half in the second period we were in with a good shout, and that is probably what happened.

"We toughed it out, and I am just pleased we are improving every week.

"We knew we had to keep persevering and keep wearing them down. It took us a long time to get into our game, and it was a bit frustrating when we didn't take our opportunities.

"I am just proud of the squad. If you are fit at the moment, you are selected and out there and doing a job. We will only get better as time goes on."

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