RUGBY: Davies pleased with his side's mental strength
7:25pm Monday 30th September 2013 in Sport
GLOUCESTER director of rugby Nigel Davies insists gritty performances like the one that saw his side grind out a narrow Aviva Premiership win over Newcastle Falcons is exactly what will see his Cherry & Whites break into the top six, writes Pippa Field.
Gloucester went into the game at Kingston Park looking to record back-to-back wins following last weekend's 26-24 victory over Northampton Saints.
But they were behind at the interval, as Tom Catterick's converted try and the boot of Rory Clegg had Falcons 13-8 ahead, with Rob Cook's try and Freddie Burns' penalty making up the visitors’ points.
However, they took a second-half lead when Burns added another kick and Jonny May crossed for a second Gloucester try.
Although Phil Godman's penalty levelled affairs with 20 minutes remaining, Burns showed his kicking composure to add two further scores and seal a 22-16 victory.
And having seen his team resist late Falcons pressure to take the win, Davies believes his side showed their mental toughness when it mattered most.
"Newcastle came out really strong and scored a well-worked try early on which added pressure on us," he said.
"I felt we created a lot of opportunities but weren't clinical enough to finish them off and because of that Newcastle had a chance right at the end to finish it off.
"But the key to me is we need to change our mindset as a team when we come away to places like Newcastle and just get through. It was a huge game in those terms from my perspective.
"The most positive aspect was our mental strength. They started very strongly, put a lot of pressure on us but we rode that. We played a little bit of rugby then.
"You have to come away to difficult venues like Newcastle and get results if we have any ambition to be in the play-offs and we certainly have."
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