Tuesday night at Kingsholm was special and exciting. The 36-5 scoreline flattered Gloucester’s Australian visitors a tad and it was pleasing to witness an abrasive pack performance with plenty to celebrate both in tight and loose. I appreciated Paul Doran-Jones’s adherence to the front row basics and I thought young hooker Darren Dawiduik enjoyed an energetic and bright match. Returning hero Jake Boer performed splendidly for the full eighty minutes with his trademark uncompromising ball-carrying catching the eye again and again; it was rather emotional hearing the legend’s name announced before kick-off with a resounding roar from the popular side indicating huge affection for this fabulous servant. Behind the pack Tom Voyce seemed more at home as a wing-threequarter while Freddie Burns, wearing '15', seemed full of spark and initiative. Alas, the team struggles at half back. David ‘Dave’ Lewis ran with vigour upon the sacred turf but his passing proved poor and a chance or two went begging. Carlos Spencer is off the pace and a shadow of his former elegant and inspirational self; time for the celebrated Kiwi to move on methinks.
Simply, Gloucester vs. Australia represented a cracking occasion. It was merry to attend a match where neither league points nor knock-out cup status were at stake and it certainly reminded me of the old days when this supporter would shout himself hoarse at a ‘mere’ friendly fixture. I’m growing tired of high pressure and mundane rugby football and Tuesday’s splendid event acted as a pleasing antidote to such humdrum fare.