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Gloucester continue charge as Saints slip further

28 February 2011

  • Bryan Redpath delighted with his side's progress after eighth straight victory
  • Gloucester deliver "huge statement" as Saints lose fifth in five
Jim Hamilton of Gloucester in the centre of the pack during the Aviva Premiership against Northampton

Photo: Getty Images

Bryan Redpath is delighted with Gloucester's continued progress, saying that their eighth straight win at Northampton on Saturday was a huge statement of their ambitions for the season.

A narrow 18-16 win at Franklin's Gardens was Gloucester's fourth straight in the league, and maintains their charge towards the play-offs.

Cherry and Whites boss Redpath was delighted with yet another win, while acknowledging that Northampton are a struggling side after they suffered a fifth loss in a row.

Despite the opposition's problems, Redpath is adamant that the win sends out a huge message that Gloucester mean business.

"It's a massive statement of intent, but I'm aware of where we are and aware of where they are too," said Redpath.

"We're doing the basics well, not getting too panicky, worrying, or getting over excited and carried away.

We're doing the basics well - Redpath

Gloucester's Luke Narrawy carries the ball against Northampton Saints in the Aviva Premiership

Photo: Getty Images

"I thought we handled the conditions very well in the first half, Nicky kicked well and we took two opportunities that came our way.

"Sometimes you tend to panic and kick the ball away in wind like that, worrying too much about territory, but I thought we balanced that well in the first half."

Wing Jonny May was the star for Gloucester as he bagged two tries, while young scrum halves Jordi Pasqualin and Dan Robson also showed that the club's future looks bright.

May was making just his second Aviva Premiership start of the season and Redpath had no fears the academy graduate would pass the test with flying colours.

"Anyone who watches A team rugby can see that he can finish with the best of them, but I'm delighted for Jonny, he's young and he's raw, and with James Simpson-Daniel, Leslie Vainikolo and Charlie Sharples out, it was a great opportunity for him," Redpath added.

"It was a good learning curve for him, and he should enjoy his performance.

"They've lost a little bit of their sting, but we had to make sure we kept our composure and discipline."

Saints suffer fifth straight defeat

Paul Diggin of Nothampton Saints runs into trouble during their Aviva Premiership defeat to Gloucester

Photo: Getty Images

Jim Mallinder's Saints continued their fall from grace following a brilliant start to the season that saw them power to the top of the table.

After losing five in a row for the first time in five seasons, Northampton are in grave danger of slipping out of the play-off reckoning altogether..

Mallinder, though, is confident his men can dig in and stop their slide and make an impact on the Aviva Premiership play-offs.

"We are still confident and hopeful of making the top four. We've got to be tighter in defence and sharper in attack, we've lost a bit of confidence," Mallinder said.

"We were playing well through the autumn internationals, so we cannot use the RBS 6 Nations as an excuse.

"I had hoped we would continue the composure we showed at the start of the second half, but we gave away weak, stupid penalties and that stung us."

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