Director of rugby David Humphreys knows the challenge that lies ahead after Gloucester Rugby sustained some frustrating injuries in their victory over London Welsh.
Henry Purdy ran in two second-half tries as the Cherry & Whites picked up maximum points, while Ross Moriarty, Charlie Sharples, Matt Kvesic and Sila Puafisi also crossed over.
Captain Carl Kirwan grabbed the Exiles’ only try but that was not the cause for Humphrey’s frustrations.
That was the injury list he accrued at Kingsholm, with Sharples, Kvesic and Henry Trinder – the latter making his first Aviva Premiership Rugby start since November – each forced off during the clash.
And with Wasps and Northampton Saints next up on the fixture list, he is hoping to see the Cherry & Whites rise to the occasion.
"This period will be absolutely critical,” he said. “These are bigger challenges but we are very excited at being still able to compete for a top-six place.
"The injuries took the gloss off the win. I'm hugely disappointed for Henry Trinder as he has worked hard to get back.
"Matt Kvesic has a blow to the arm. It looked serious when he came off. You fear the worst but hope for the best.
"However I'm delighted with our five points as it maintains our good start to the year. Welsh came out with an edge in the second half but we still finished with 48 points.”
Fly-half James Hook, who racked up 18 points from the tee, added: "We did what we had to do in terrible conditions as it was tough to break them down but it was terrible luck for Henry (Trinder).
"They adapted better to the conditions in the second half but we kicked on at the end to get a bonus point with two late tries."
The victory means Gloucester have now won six of their seven matches in all competitions since the turn of the year.
Welsh, meanwhile, are still searching for their first win this season – and hoping to add to their solitary Aviva Premiership Rugby point to date.
Next up for them is a clash with their fellow Exiles, London Irish, and forwards coach Matt Ferguson is hoping for a sharper start than he saw at Kingsholm.
“I'm pleased that we didn't roll over as it could have been another 70-point defeat," Ferguson said.
“However we don't learn our lessons as we gave them a 20-point start and that gave us a mountain to climb.”
Gloucester Rugby: Burns, Sharples (Robson 40), Trinder (Atkinson 8), Meakes, Purdy, Hook, Braley, Murphy (Thomas 53), Lutui (Dawidiuk 47), Afoa (Puafisi 47), Savage (Stooke 60), Hudson, Moriarty, Kvesic (Rowan 47), Kalamfoni (Evans 51)
London Welsh: Kear, Stegmann, Reynolds (Lewis J 59), Tincknell, Awcock (May 62), Robinson, Weepu (Lewis R 59), Aholelei (Trevett 51), Elloway (Morris 75), Vea (Gilding 51), Schofield, Down (Corker 8), West (McCaffrey 60), Kirwan, Pienaar
Tries: Moriarty, Sharples, Kvesic, Purdy 2, Puafisi
Conversions: Hook 6
Penalties: Hook 2
Referee: Ian Tempest
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