Playing On The Edge Attracts Attention

I let the frustrations of recent weeks boil over against Exeter last weekend, and I have to admit I am a bit embarrassed about it.

I pulled Exeter scrum-half Haydn Thomas back at a ruck and was going to be sin-binned for that.

But as the referee came over I reacted and shoved Thomas, and he fell to the ground.

I was sin-binned anyway, and in all likelihood I was probably lucky that no further action was taken, even though it was more a push and not a punch.

All the pent-up aggression and emotion of the last few weeks came out, and I let myself down in allowing that to happen.

I was having a bad game, I had just come off the back of five-straight defeats with Scotland, and I let that take hold.

And that’s frustrating, because that’s the first time the red mist has descended when I’ve been playing in a Gloucester shirt.

Now I’ve got to make sure that first time becomes the last time.

We conceded a try while I was off the field, and that definitely contributed to our eventual 28-27 defeat.

I’ve spoken with our coaches Bryan Redpath and Carl Hogg about things, and they are right when they say that I’m a target for referees now.

I play on the edge and when you do that you have to tread carefully.

But I’m experienced enough now to know where that line is and to stay on the right side.

I was sin-binned against Bath, which was frustrating enough, but then I was sin-binned for Scotland against Italy – and I still have absolutely no idea what that one was for.

So there’s little doubt that the officials are watching me closely.

Now we’ve got a huge game down at Wasps this Sunday and we’ve simply got to get a win.

People have suggested we are out of the running for a top-four finish and a play-off place now, but I’m not so sure.

I still think the league is wide open, and if we win all our four games then we’ll still have a chance.

Wasps are battling for their lives to avoid relegation, so it’s a huge game for both teams.

We tried to play in all the wrong areas of the field against Exeter, and we struggled to get out of our half because of it.

So if we can add in a smarter tactical approach, then I know we’ve got the power and the pace to cause Wasps problems – provided we only try to strike in their half of the field.


Follow Jim Hamilton on twitter @JimHamilton4

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