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Boer ready to make amends

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

The west-countrymen's failure to navigate the final hurdle by losing the Zurich Premiership Final to London Wasps meant that their efforts in finishing top of the table – a full 15 points clear of their eventual victors – went unrewarded.

The memory of that crushing 39-3 defeat still lingers in the Kingsholm air and in the minds of the Shed faithful, but Boer is on a mission to exorcise the demons.

"It was obviously a huge disappointment. but that's just way it goes. In sport there will always be someone waiting to drop you down. We let ourselves down but that's all history now, we will just move forward into this season."

The South African back row man, speaking at the launch of the Zurich Premiership, shared his thoughts on the league structure that saw the season's most dominant team lose everything in the final 80 minutes of the year.

"I'm not really that happy with the system but we don't make the decisions. We've just got to play to the rules; we knew that was the system and we simply lost the game," said Boer.

"I just felt we didn't get the recognition we deserved for finishing top of the pile after the 22 games, that for me was more disappointing then anything else. But if that's the way it's going to be then we've just got to play to it. After all, it was just one more game and if we'd won that we'd have won a Cup. If we find ourselves in the same position again we are going to have to be sure that we don't make the same mistake."

The cloud that sullied Gloucester's season had a slight tinge of silver for Boer who was awarded Zurich Premiership's Man of the Season award for his outstanding contributions to the Kingsholm cause.

But with high modesty and a diplomatic touch that will serve him well in his new role as club captain, Boer diverted all praise to his team-mates.

"It's an old cliché but you can't perform well if the guys around you don't perform well – so let's hope that Gloucester can put in another huge performance that will allow me to play well again."

Boer will have to rely on few new faces to help him up to the heights this season. The club has raided their Academy to fill the holes left by summer departures and the Rugby World Cup absentees, but Boer has high hopes for the youngsters who follow in the footsteps of recent graduates Marcel Garvey, James Forrester, James Simpson-Daniel and Andy Hazel.

"We wouldn't be putting them in this situation if they weren't good enough and all of them have the potential to stay up. Hopefully some of these guys will play well enough to keep someone out when they come back, or at least add a bit of competition. But if nothing else, the experience the will gain will strengthen the squad and gives us more cover," he said.

"These guys have been loyal to the club and hopefully the club will be loyal to them. I hope these guys can come through, they are playing to make a career out of it so it's important they take their chance and play well."

By Andy Jackson

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