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George Skivington reflects on ’embarrassing’ 90-0 defeat

Gloucester Director of Rugby George Skivington has said he ‘can’t defend’ the 90-0 score line from last weekend, however he insists it doesn’t change his plan ahead of this weekend’s clash with Newcastle Falcons.

The mammoth defeat to Northampton Saints was the heaviest league defeat in the club’s history, however it does nothing to the Cherry and White’s position in the table as they sit 22 points clear of bottom side Newcastle.

Speaking to the media today, he described the defeat as ’embarrassing’: “It was really tough, I did not see that score line coming at all. I can’t make any excuses around the score line or the performance. From that point of view, we’ve got a bit of work to do, it’s a red flag for strength in depth.”

He added: “It was an embarrassing weekend and an embarrassing score line. I can’t defend that score line; but I’ve reviewed our plan critically, how we’re going about it and we won’t change how we’ve approached these next few weeks.”

Northampton opened the scoring in virtually the first play of the game, and they didn’t let their foot off the pedal from there. Dowson’s side ran in 14 tries in total across the 80 minutes, and Skivington took a moment to praise the quality of his opponents.

“It’s very hard to control Northampton Saints when they’re running right on you and finding holes everywhere and fair play to them. For me, that Northampton Saints team is the best premiership overall team we’ve seen in a long time.”

George Skivington on a ‘baptism of fire’ for young guns

George Skivington-Credit: IMAGO

Gloucester are currently marooned in ninth in the table, with no possibility of moving up or down the table; however they have a Challenge Cup final firmly on the horizon.

This has given DoR George Skivington plenty of opportunity to blood new players into his Premiership side, however against Northampton he made 13 changes to his starting side; with the bulk coming through the academy and some even making their debut.

“It was a real baptism of fire for some of the lads,” said Skivington. “They know the context of it. They’re tough kids, you don’t end up being in pro sport unless you’re physically, mentally tough.”

He added: “You drip young guys in all the time, that’s how you break them in; but in this scenario, it’s tough. They’re blowing hard and it’s all carnage around them; but from that point of view, they’re just getting a baptism of fire. They’ve seen the sharpest end of it and next time they play it’s unlikely to be like that again.”

Skivington also detailed the process of how he broke the game down to the players: “We’ve looked at individual performances around the contact, your set-ups, your plays and how you execute them.”

“From their point of view, we’ve put it in context for them. I’m very confident those young lads will do much better for the experience.”

The Cherry and Whites now turn their attention to Newcastle Falcons as they look to end a tough Premiership season on a high.