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Gloucester rue errors in last-gasp defeat at Exeter

By PA
Louis Rees-Zammit of Gloucester Rugby looks dejected as he leaves the field at full-time after their teams defeat in the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Exeter Chiefs and Gloucester Rugby at Sandy Park on November 19, 2023 in Exeter, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Gloucester head coach George Skivington bemoaned his side’s late errors as they conceded 10 points in the last four minutes to lose 25-24 to Exeter at Sandy Park.

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The Cherry and Whites were unfortunate to lose key flanker Albert Tuisue in the first half, but rallied to lead 24-15 with two tries in three minutes.

The visitors ended up outscoring their opponents 4-3, in terms of tries, to pick up two losing bonus points, but that would be scant consolation for Skivington as Gloucester continued their miserable league record at Sandy Park, where they have not won since January 2015.

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Jack Clement, Ollie Thorley, Louis Rees-Zammit and Seb Atkinson crossed for Gloucester, with George Barton landing two conversions.

Rusi Tuima, Dafydd Jenkins and Stu Townsend scored Exeter’s tries, with Henry Slade adding two conversions and two penalties, including the crucial three-pointer with the last kick of the game from 45 metres.

Points Flow Chart

Exeter Chiefs win +1
Time in lead
50
Mins in lead
14
62%
% Of Game In Lead
17%
65%
Possession Last 10 min
35%
10
Points Last 10 min
5

Skivington said: “It’s stinging right now as we should have closed that game out, but our errors gave them the opportunity to come back into it.

“The last crucial penalty was a 50-50 call and I’m not too aggrieved about that as more often than not those penalties go in favour of the attacking side, but there are few other tight calls which I felt didn’t go our way.

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“The boys worked ferociously hard to keep our line intact during the sin-bin period, but we did leave two or three tries out there.

“I feel a lot whole lot better than I did last week after our game against Bath as the last 30 minutes there were not acceptable in terms of physicality, which we rectified today.”

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter was relieved to bounce back from last week’s defeat at Northampton despite his side’s performance.

He said: “There’s two ways of looking at it. During our successful years, we have won a lot of games like that with scores in the last five minutes.

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“But then again the team have to ask themselves whether they were satisfied with their performance going in those final minutes, and today the answer would probably be not.

“The second half got away from us with too many unforced errors as some of kicks went off-beat, which surrendered momentum, and there was a moment of ill-discipline by questioning the referee which cost us dear.

“We were in control and I thought we were going to be the side making the breakthrough, but then we turn around and give them two tries.”

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Clive 243 days ago

Chiefs started the season like world beaters, now we have turned error strewn and gobby coughing up the ball and field position for fun, a lot of it is down to youth and inexperience plus the loss of Hodge, Fisilau and Chinz, also youthful. 4 home games out of 6 sees us in a false position, it will be difficult to qualify for the Heiny and very difficult to make the play offs unless some of the young’uns train on a bit rapid.

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Shaylen 4 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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J
Jon 9 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

I think the main problem here is the structure of both countries make up. They are going to have very similar.. obstacles(not problems). It will just be part of the evolution of their rugby and they’ll need to find a way to make this versatility more advantageous than specialization. I think South Africa are well on the way to that end already, but Ireland are more likely to have a hierarchical approach and move players around the provinces. Ioane is going to be more than good enough to lock up one of those available positions for more than a few years I believe though. Morgan would definitely be a more long term outlook. Sacha to me has the natural footwork of a second five. Not everything is about winning, if a team has 3 players that want to play 10s just give them all a good go even if its to the detriment of everyone, this is also about dreams of the players, not just the fans. This is exactly how it would be in an amateur club setting. Ultimately some players just aren’t suited to any one position. The example was of a guy that had size and speed, enough pace to burn, power to drive, and speed to kick and pass long, but just not much else when it came to actual rugby (that matched it). New Zealand has it’s own example with Jordie Barrett and probably shows what Reece Hodge could have been if the game in Australia had any administration. Despite the bigger abundance of talent in NZ, Jordie was provided with consistent time as a fullback, before being ushered in as a second five. Possibly this was due to his blood, and another might not have been as fortunate, but it is what it was, a complete contrast to how Hodge was used in Australia, were he could have had any position he wanted. When it comes down to it though, much like these young fellas, it will be about what they want, and I think you’ll find they’ll be like Hodge and just want to be as valuable to the team as they can and play wherever. It’s not like 63 International Cap is a hard thing to live with as a result of that decision!

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