TOP BAR - Fixtures

Tom Savage: Gloucester Rugby ready to lay down derby statement

Tom Savage: Gloucester Rugby ready to lay down derby statement

Tom Savage claims Gloucester Rugby have put the disappointment of last weekend behind them and are ready to lay down a marker in their south west derby.

After a dramatic draw with Worcester Warriors and an impressive win at Sale Sharks, Gloucester welcomed Newcastle Falcons to Kingsholm last Saturday but went down to a narrow 18-13 loss thanks to Alex Tait’s second-half try.

The result saw them drop to seventh in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table but the Cherry and Whites have a chance to bounce back as they host rivals Bath Rugby on Saturday.

Second-rower Savage acknowledges that small mistakes cost them dearly last time out but is convinced that a week of hard graft in training will pays dividends against Bath.

“We were bitterly disappointed last weekend – it’s not where we’ve been going as a group and we know we’ve got some improvements to make,” said Savage.

“But we drew a line under it and we’re now fully focused on this weekend.

“We need small improvements up front and to cut out a few individual errors – the picture changes all the time but you’ve got to play what’s in front of you and adapt as you go.

“You get a little buzz around the place when it’s a derby and the fans are there in their thousands. They enjoy it as much as we do and it’s going to be a big one.

“It will certainly be an exciting game and I haven’t played in one that hasn’t been really fun yet. I’m looking forward to it.

“You need to be winning your home games and then putting as much pressure on teams on the road as you can.

“If we can do that this weekend and assert some dominance then we can put ourselves on the front foot and it will be a good platform to build on.”

For their part, Bath started the season like an express train – notching up victories away to Northampton Saints and at home to Newcastle and Worcester.

They suffered a 34-14 defeat to Leicester Tigers last weekend but a wounded animal is a dangerous one and Savage is under no illusions about the challenge facing Gloucester.

“Bath have got big threats all over the park and they have had a good start to the season with only one loss,” added the 27-year-old.

“They’ve got a big pack that like to scrum and maul you but then some exciting backs as well.

“There’s nothing better than testing yourself against the team who are in good form. We’re putting pressure on ourselves to perform and hopefully all the improvements will show on the pitch.

“It’s going to be one or two key opportunities in a match and if they’re taken, that will be crucial. It’s how you back that up and really squeeze a team.

“Every game is tight and anyone can beat anyone which means you can’t be even a few per cent down as it will cost you.”

To get all the latest news from Premiership Rugby sign up to our Newsletter