David Humphreys admitted Gloucester Rugby are already eyeing Saracens after turning in a hugely impressive performance to beat third-placed Wasps 36-18 at Kingsholm.
Thomas Young crossed for the game’s first try, but Richard Hibbard’s response ensured that the hosts led 10-5 at the break.
Jimmy Gopperth’s boot nudged Wasps 11-10 ahead after the break, but Gloucester roared back through Mark Atkinson, Matt Scott, Henry Purdy and Charlie Sharples, with Young’s second score scant consolation.
And despite a win against Aviva Premiership Rugby’s third-place side, Humphreys has his eye on a league clash with defending champions and pace-setters Saracens in Round 9.
Gloucester stunned Saracens in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, scoring at the death to win 36-32 and Humphreys is keen to use that as a turning point in their season.
🏉 Great to see this man cross for his 7️⃣th try of his debut Kingsholm season! pic.twitter.com/t5Ixt2Ll04
— Gloucester Rugby (@gloucesterrugby) November 19, 2016
“We will enjoy the victory, but we also know that Saracens are eight days away and we will make sure we’re properly prepared for that,” he said.
“You always look throughout seasons for moments that turn things around and for us you look back to that Saracens game in the Anglo-Welsh Cup when we managed to win a game with the last play. That confidence, belief and feel-good factor from winning games spreads throughout the squad
“It is a huge win, we have talked about it for a few weeks – we haven’t got the results we have wanted at Kingsholm.
“I thought that was a much more complete game, our set piece was good both offensively and defensively. Our defence has been outstanding every week, but it won the game.
“I thought we controlled field position, we have talked a lot about patches in games, but this was much better and we were rewarded with a five-point win.
“The biggest frustration has been putting ourselves in positions to win games, but then a little bit of weakness or silly mistakes – in this game we didn’t do that.”
Dai Young cut a disappointed figure as his side fell to just a second Aviva Premiership loss of the season and failed to hit the heights they have become accustomed to.
The Welshman was full of praise for Gloucester, but insisted the manner of defeat was a cause for concern.
“The result is disappointing, but the performance is probably more disappointing. You’ve got to put your hand up and I thought that we were pretty much second best in most departments,” he said.
“Our execution wasn’t good enough in everything we did. Losing is a big pill to swallow, but not performing is an even bigger pill and that was a pretty disappointing performance by us.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Gloucester. They thoroughly deserved the win and I don’t want to take the gloss off that for them.
“We have had a couple of good performances, but we have a really honest group and we are all in it together. They were obviously pretty disappointed after the game, because we know we didn’t play like we talked all week we were looking to do.”
Tries: Hibbard, Atkinson, Scott, Sharples
Conversions: Hook 4
Tries: Young 2
Penalties: Gopperth 2
Referee: Dean Richards