Redpath ready for Sarries showdown
May 7, 2011
Newcastle's Iain Thornley struggles to find a way through the Gloucester defence © Getty Images
Gloucester head coach Bryan Redpath is looking forward to the challenge of trying to upset Saracens after watching his side roar into the Aviva Premiership play-offs with a resounding 68-17 demolition of Sale Sharks at Kingsholm on Saturday.
The Cherry and Whites were beaten at Vicarage Road only a fortnight ago but Redpath insists that lessons were learned in defeat.
"We under-performed at Saracens last time," he said. "We will make changes from the side that went up there last month and we'll give it our all. They have some outstanding individuals and it will be a real challenge."
Addressing his side's performance against Sale, which featured ten tries in total, including a treble for Charlie Sharples, Redpath said: "We were very sloppy to start with but I was delighted with the way that we knuckled down and it was great to finish in this way."
Meanwhile, Sale's executive director Steve Diamond was understandably despondent after watching his side absolutely humilated and admitted that a summer clear-out is on the cards.
"In the second half we conceded seven tries and that's an indication of how far this club has dropped," he said. "Thirteen or 14 of them won't be at Sale next season and we didn't come down here with the right mindset. I expected it as that is what happens if you are not up for it and players don't show any self respect."
Diamond admitted that the embarrassing nature of the defeat had been desperately disappointing way for Saracens-bound fly-half Charlie Hodgson to bow out after 11 years with the Sharks. "He has been a great stalwart for the club and didn't deserve to go out on a performance like that," he said.
However Diamond believes that Sale are capable of returning to the summit of English rugby - even without their talismanic No.10.
"It is possible to turn it round quickly. The team and coaching staff are already in place for next season," he said. "We'll have a month and then regroup and stop this spiral downwards. We won't come down here and take a thrashing like that again."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game
Amy Perrett, the Australian referee who whistled the Women's Rugby World Cup final after handling only six Tests, talks to Jamie Lyall