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George Skivington on facing 'pretty unbelievable' Leinster

By PA
Garry Ringrose of Leinster, 13, celebrates after scoring his side's third try with teammates James Lowe and Ryan Baird during the Heineken Champions Cup Pool A Round 1 match between Racing 92 and Leinster at Stade Océane in Le Havre, France. (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

George Skivington believes that Gloucester will be facing the tournament favourites when they continue their Heineken Champions Cup campaign against Leinster in Dublin.

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Gloucester head to the Irish capital for next Friday’s clash after fighting back to beat Bordeaux-Begles 22-17 in their tournament opener at Kingsholm.

Substitute Charlie Chapman’s try three minutes from time completed a powerful Gloucester recovery after they trailed 17-5 with just 16 minutes left.

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Leinster, though, opened their Pool A schedule by defeating highly fancied Racing 92 42-10 away from home, delivering an immediate statement of intent in the process.

“You are pretty much playing Ireland,” Gloucester head coach Skivington said, assessing Leinster’s challenge.

“They’ve gone to Racing and beat them 42-10, which is pretty unbelievable. I am intrigued to watch that game, because I thought it would be a close match.

“We are up against the favourites for the tournament at their place, but it is exciting as well.

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“You can’t win the Premiership, the Champions Cup, if you don’t go and play these tough teams away.”

Gloucester finished with a bonus point following earlier touchdowns from Chapman’s fellow replacement Albert Tuisue, starting scrum-half Stephen Varney and hooker Santiago Socino.

Fly-half Santiago Carreras added one conversion, but Bordeaux were left wondering how they let things slip after dominating the opening hour, yet they failed to score a second-half point.

Former Wasps number eight Tom Willis scored his team’s second try and was a dominant force throughout as Bordeaux looked capable of ensuring a miserable start to Gloucester’s European campaign.

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Prop Sipili Falatea also crossed for Bordeaux, while fly-half Zack Holmes added a penalty and two conversions.

Skivington added: “Sometimes, you have just got to win, and the boys found a way to win today.

“There is lots to review and lots that wasn’t perfect, but you have got to find a way to win. Their attitude and fighting spirit is never in doubt, and that came through for them in the end.

“We played some decent rugby in the first half, but it didn’t quite stick for us. It was a little bit sticky, and it felt like every time they got to the try-line they scored.

“But we didn’t panic at half-time. Fair play to the boys, they worked their way into the game, ground Bordeaux down and eventually won.

“We are trying to push our game, push the envelope, so there is a risk factor with that and we are definitely not the finished article.

“We are very critical of ourselves on that because we want to get better. There are signs of it, but when you make a line-break you have got to be better at securing the ball.

“I don’t know if it was a slow start from us today. It was a one-on-one missed tackle (that led to Bordeaux’s opening try) and the bloke runs straight through.

“I don’t think it was a slow start. It was just inaccuracy.”

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