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George Skivington left repeating himself for third consecutive week after Gloucester loss

By PA
George Skivington displeased following loss to Harlequins. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Gloucester head coach George Skivington blamed his side’s poor start and ‘butchering’ most of the chances they created for their 21-12 defeat to Harlequins at a sold-out Stoop.

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The Cherry and Whites conceded two early tries to trail 14-0 and despite a combative effort from their pack, they were unable to claw back the deficit as their attack lacked any fluency.

Their tries came from their customary forte of line-out drives with number Ben Morgan and hooker Santiago Socino both crossing, but it was not enough to prevent Gloucester from slumping to a third successive Premiership defeat.

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Skivington said: “I believe I’m saying the same thing for the third week in a row as once again we can’t fault the fight but we’ve got to start respecting the first 10 minutes of Premiership games.

“We got sucked into playing a game that we didn’t want and played right into Quins’ hands.

“They took all their opportunities but we butchered most of ours. I was happy with the way we launched our attacks but we then tried to copy them with fancy off-loads, which didn’t pay-off.

“The second half was a brutal stalemate and a right ding-dong and that’s what it should have been from the start with two good teams going after each other.

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“We rely on our decision-makers on the field but we should have taken a kick at goal in the final minutes to get us a bonus point.”

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All the points came in the first half, with man of the match Danny Care scoring two tries for Harlequins and Dino Lamb also touching down.

The four-point haul from the win helped Quins move above Northampton into third place in the Premiership table behind Saracens and Sale, while Gloucester, one of their main rivals in the battle for a play-off spot, lost ground by taking nothing from the match.

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Harlequins head coach Tabai Matson hailed his side’s performance as one of their best of the year.

He said: “It’s a really hard-fought four points and the final scoreline was quite flattering to us.

“There will be some really bruised bodies out there as we did well to repel them at the right time in our 22 as they put us under a lot of pressure.

“They have a fantastic line-out and driving maul, probably the best in Europe, and it was a great defensive effort on our part as they kicked the ball 40 times and therefore the game was not as open as we would have liked.

“It’s the toughest competition in the world with the win being a really critical one for us in one of our best performances of the year.”

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