GLOUCESTER director of rugby Nigel Davies admitted the Cherry & Whites behaving themselves was the key factor behind their defeat of Northampton as they returned to Aviva Premiership action.
Tries in each half from Jonny May set Gloucester on their way to a 27-11 win at Franklin’s Gardens, their first on the road in the Premiership since September, while Rob Cook contributed 17 points.
Northampton took the lead in the fifth minute through a Stephen Myler penalty but were behind thereafter as he slotted another after May’s first score and Phil Dowson touched down after the break.
The long-awaited away win moved Gloucester to fifth, two points off Wasps in fourth, and Davies admitted getting a grip on their ill discipline against the Saints proved to be the turning point.
“Discipline was always going to be huge for us. In the past three games we had given away 18 penalties, which is not good enough,” said Davies.
“And if you come to Northampton and do that you’re not going to get anything out of the game. Defensively we were excellent and we gave Saints a real go in the end.
“We were very disciplined and very accurate in the contact areas as well, which maintains your discipline and allows you to be effective in that area.
“It was a tighter selection than we had in the previous four matches and the boys have done exactly what we asked them to do.”
After Myler’s fifth-minute penalty, Gloucester full-back Rob Cook kicked four before the break with May scoring the first of his two tries in the middle of them.
It took wing May two minutes into the second half to grab his second, this time converted by Cook, who slotted a fifth penalty of the game five minutes from time.
Dowson scored Northampton’s only try in the 54th minute with Myler’s second penalty coming after 27 – and May’s two-try performance wasn’t lost on Davies.
“Having Jonny back makes the difference. He’s the type of player who, in a tight arm wrestle of a game, can change how it looks and that’s what he did,” he added.
“I’m very pleased with the overall performance. We’ve had a big week and on the back of the Amlin Challenge Cup games and the LV= Cup and we’ve been refocusing.”
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