Ospreys circle Kingsholm

Ospreys and Wales prop Duncan Jones has warned Gloucester that his team are getting better at winning in England as they prepare for a vital Heineken Cup clash at Kingsholm on Friday.

The two teams both recorded wins in Pool Two on the opening weekend and even at this early stage it looks like a fascinating battle in prospect with two bruising packs and dashing back lines.

Gloucester opened up with a thrilling five-try burst in the first half in Ulster, while the Ospreys could manage only one try against Bourgoin after scoring 14 tries in their previous two games against English opposition.

Prop Jones is relishing the prospect of testing the Ospreys’ strength in one of the most traditionally daunting venues in European rugby.

“We have just started to have a look at Gloucester now and we understand the challenges in front of us, but as a squad there is a buzz and excitement about it,” said Jones.

“Kingsholm is a great place to play, but we have a great travelling support behind us and it is the sort of game that any player will look forward to.

“Recently we have gone away as a group and managed to get results away from home, especially in England, but we understand this is a different game and we go there confident in our own abilities as a squad.

Gloucester tore Ulster apart with a mesmerising burst of running rugby in the first half-hour of their clash, recording the fastest-ever bonus-point quartet of tries in Heineken Cup history.

But the Kingsholm crowd is never happier than when roaring on a monstrous pack rolling its way to the tryline, and Jones is all too aware of the currently less-lauded Gloucester pack.

“We know Gloucester like to play but they also have a very strong forward pack, so there should be a great battle between two packs then there are two exciting back lines as well,” he said.

“It is a sign of where we are as a squad that we win our opening game and are still a little disappointed in some aspects of our performance.

“That is encouraging, but we have to pay respect to Bourgoin, they came with a game plan and it took us a while to work out what they were doing – they were a good side and we are pleased with the victory though we understand there are things to work on.

“Gloucester were great in Ulster, they came away with that bonus point so they will be delighted but it will be a different proposition at home when the spotlight falls a bit more on them.

“We know they are a quality side but we know we have good quality here – we will go there with confidence and hopefully it will be a great game.”

 

365 Digital

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