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We must build on fine Sixways spirit says Jonathan Thomas
10:00am Thursday 15th May 2014 in Sport
IT was really important to sign off with a win against local rivals Gloucester in our final Aviva Premiership game of the season.
The way we’ve gone about our business in the last few weeks has been really impressive.
We did not capitulate from January or February onwards as a lot of teams in our position would have and we have a great team spirit.
It was a derby game against Gloucester, there were a lot of fans there and we speak about the future of the club and going in the right direction, so it was really important that we signed off on the right note.
It could have been easy after our relegation was confirmed at Saracens to finish off with a dismal display, so credit to the group for getting the win.
There was a great atmosphere inside Sixways on Saturday and the fans have been amazing this season – that core group have stuck with us through what has been a difficult season.
We had a supporters’ night at the club last Thursday and speaking to the fans who were there, they were generally very supportive and have bought into the vision the management and Dean (Ryan) are creating.
There is a feel-good factor around the club, which is an odd thing for a side that’s been relegated, but I think that shows that people can understand we are going in the right direction.
The Gloucester game was quite similar to a lot of our matches this season where we had to work really hard for our tries, but often gave away soft scores to the opposition.
Against both Bath and Leicester recently, we have played really well but coughed up costly soft tries and that is our biggest ‘work-on’ going into next season.
Attacking-wise, we have some great players, such as Chris Pennell and Ryan Lamb, and we can score tries, but our defence is a big task. That was the case again on Saturday as Gloucester scored some break-away tries, as well as one from a driving maul.
That has been the biggest turn-around from the first six months of the season when we would go behind in games and that would be it, we would capitulate. In the last two months, even when we’ve gone behind, we’ve kept working and showing pride in the jersey.
We are really tight as a team and it is a great group of boys, but we are losing some massive characters with the likes of Shervs (Ed Shervington), Paul Hodgson and Dean Schofield moving on.
However, it is all about the evolution of the team and there are a lot of good, young players coming in next year.
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