Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Mental strength delights Davies

Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies hailed his side's mental strength

Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies hailed his side's mental strength as they fought back to claim a 22-16 win over Newcastle in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday.

Newcastle raced to a 10-0 lead thanks to Tom Catterick's converted first-minute try and a penalty by Rory Clegg before Gloucester hit back with tries from Rob Cook and Jonny May and the boot of fly-half Freddie Burns.

It was the first time Gloucester have won a game at Kingston Park since 2007 and Davies believes breaking that hoodoo will give them a huge boost as they bid to achieve what they failed to do last season - reach the end of season play-offs.

"Newcastle came out really strong which we knew they would and they scored a well-worked try which added pressure to us," Davies said.

"But the key for me was we've got to change our mindset as a team and to come away to places like Newcastle, come under pressure and come through - it's really important.

"It helps to change the mindset of the team and it was a huge game in those terms.

"Some teams have DNA that's built into them and they don't fare well against certain sides.

"I think it's the first time in seven or eight years that we have come away and won and that is hugely psychologically significant."

Both sides wasted several chances, with Newcastle denied a last-gasp try as Sean Tomes was held up on the line.

However, it was Gloucester, who took the lead for the first time in the game late midway through the second half, who finished stronger to claim their second league win of the season.

"We managed the territory well in the second half," Davies added.

"There was a strong wind which allowed us to do that and it's a frustrating place to be as I felt we created a lot of opportunities but we struggled to finish off and because of that Newcastle had a shot to come through at the end and get the result.

"They gave us a great game today."

Newcastle director of rugby Dean Richards was left to bemoan a lack of control as his side squandered a 10-point lead.

The Falcons have only one league win to their name so far this term - a narrow 15-14 away win over Sale - and Richards was left frustrated following his side's failure to hold off Gloucester's revival.

"We had a lot of possession we just didn't know how to use it. If you can't do that you will never win a game," Richards said.

"You have to replicate that time and time again and unfortunately we don't seem to be able to do that time and time again.

"That comes back to control and energy as well.

"Some of the boys aren't quite fit enough and a couple of the boys are carrying bugs from last week as well and we just need to make sure we look at ourselves in the eye and go out and train and play as we train."

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