Savage convinced European triumph will spur on Gloucester
Gloucester Rugby tasted European glory for just the second time in their history last weekend and lock Tom Savage is convinced that will give his side the impetus to finish the season on a high.
Billy Twelvetrees ran in Gloucester’s sole try as they beat Edinburgh 19-13 underneath the Friday night lights at the Twickenham Stoop to lift the European Rugby Challenge Cup.
That triumph stands in stark contrast to a middling Aviva Premiership Rugby season – the Cherry & Whites lie ninth in the table with just two rounds to go.
They host London Irish in their home finale on Saturday before making the short trip to Bath Rugby next week to round out the campaign.
And Savage admits that while Gloucester celebrated their European victory, attention quickly turned back to the bread and butter of the league.
“We had a couple of days enjoying the win on Friday and then it was back to work pretty quickly,” said Savage.
“We made hard work of it at times but got over the line and that is what rugby is all about – winning silverware.
“We have taken that competition seriously all year and we have gone out to all the different places you get to go out to and won. We found a bit of form in the knockout stages and that is what it’s all about.
“We are just looking to continue that momentum and be as confident as possible. We want to put in as good a performance as possible, whoever we are playing.”
Against Edinburgh, 14 points from the boot of Greig Laidlaw saw them over the line following Twelvetrees’ first-half try.
The England centre finished off a well-worked set-piece – from a line-out, James Hook found Jonny May who teed up the 26-year-old to dot down underneath the posts.
The victory gives Gloucester the opportunity to qualify for next year’s European Rugby Champions Cup, they will require two play-off wins to book their place at the top table.
The first of those games will be played at Kingsholm and Savage believes the try that gave them that chance could not have been scored by a more fitting player.
“He [Twelvetrees] has been awesome for us all year, leading from the front. Jonny broke through and put him away and he did the rest,” added the 26-year-old.
“We were really confident going into the final. We knew the challenge Edinburgh presented and we met it head on and we knew if we worked hard, we would create some opportunities for our backs.
“We just found that out about the home play-off the other day, so that is obviously a huge bonus but that’s in the background at the moment.
“That’s the one everyone wants to play in. It is an opportunity to test yourself against the best and in the top tier of Europe you can do that.”
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