George Skivington explains why he avoided hosting squad video nasty


George Skeffington has revealed there was no poor team review video of last Saturday's humiliating loss to Northampton, with the Gloucester boss explaining instead that it would be better to conduct a series of individual reviews with the players who played in the match.

Set to play the Durban-based Sharks in the EPCR Challenge Cup final on May 24 at Tottenham, Kingsholm's side sent their second series to Franklin's Gardens and were blown out, losing embarrassingly 0-90 to the league leaders.

Skeffington was adamant he would take the same approach to selection again, claiming that most fans he met at Gloucester would prefer final day of the big cup rather than improve on the club's humble ninth-place finish in the league.

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However, instead of subjecting the players exposed at Northampton to a collective review from the entire squad, the coach decided to deal with matters on Monday privately on an individual basis.

“We've had individual reviews this week rather than the team because obviously we're playing a different team this weekend (against Newcastle),” he explained on Tuesday afternoon when quizzed. Rugby Pass.

Combinations

Premier League Gallagher

Northampton

Gloucester

“What happened at the weekend was because the main thing was to rotate the team, so the players playing this week don't necessarily need to do that. [watch the review].

“There was a lot of inexperience, and it might have been better to do it individually in the room and check it out and make sure everything was covered that way. We did it all and we're focused on it.” Newcastle now.”

Skeffington admitted the two-hour, 160km bus journey back to Gloucester from the East Midlands was an ordeal. “It's been quiet. We've already started the Quins-Exeter game.”

“It was a quiet bus so we just watched the Queens-Exeter game. Not a lot of talking. A lot of contemplation, a lot of things going around your mind obviously.”

“I go straight into thinking about the week and how we prepared, was the messaging good enough, where did we go wrong? Not a great bus ride home at all. Very quiet, that would be a way to sum it up.

“We have all been held accountable for what happened,” he added. “Most players will be very disappointed with their performance. My job, every week, is to review how we prepared as a team, what our messages were from the coaches, and how we trained. On reflection, I don't think we had a bad week of training. We trained well.

“Whether we were prepared for how good Saints were, probably not because I watched that game four times and to be fair to Saints, they were absolutely ruthless throughout.

“I don't think I've ever seen a team keep their foot on the floor like that for 80 minutes in any context. They were at it from minute one and never let us go, never let us breathe and we suffered from that massively. It's just a really bad day.”

“It's really hard to say what we would do differently. We're not going to change our approach to it but we've probably simplified things so maybe you're even trying to take the first kick off instead of receiving it, trying to get into their half and hopefully get a lineup in their half.” Instead of the first line being in your half and suddenly there were four lines and it was like an avalanche that we never got out of.

“As I said, from the standpoint, we have a massive two weeks to finish the season, it's something I have a lot of notes on and will think carefully about in the off-season.

“I don't expect we'll be in a position in the Premier League to do that again at the end of the season, but I definitely have to see where our squad is and add a bit of depth.”





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