Gloucester must learn – Ryan

Gloucester boss Dean Ryan has hailed Saracens' "tremendous" European Cup victory over star-studded Welsh side the Ospreys. [more]

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Gloucester boss Dean Ryan has hailed Saracens’ "tremendous" European Cup victory over star-studded Welsh side the Ospreys.

But while Saracens head to Kingsholm on Saturday on the back of that stirring 19-10 success, Ryan’s men must pick themselves up after making their European exit last weekend.

Ryan though, did not see his belief shaken by the 16-3 defeat against Munster which ended Gloucester’s European Cup hopes for another season.

He said: "The side we want to be was there against Munster in a lot of ways, but we need to replicate that in the rest of our games to be competitive towards the end of the Guinness Premiership season.

"We have to learn from last weekend and learn from last year’s experiences.

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"I believe very strongly we are getting better and maturing.

"Nobody wanted to experience last weekend, but we have to get better from it and understand and appreciate the lessons, take that forward into tomorrow and be competitive.

"Saracens are in some great form – their victory over the Ospreys was tremendous – and they have just come off the back of scoring 10 tries against Leeds.

"They will be confident, but it is our job to go out and produce a performance."

A Gloucester win could see them steal a match on title play-off rivals Leicester and Bath, who don’t play in the Premiership this weekend ahead of their Recreation Ground clash next Tuesday night.

And with three of Gloucester’s last four Premiership games being at home, victory on Saturday would increase hopes of a top-two finish.

Injuries have forced Saracens rugby director Alan Gaffney into making changes.

Full-back Brent Russell, wing Francisco Leonelli, centre Andy Farrell and flanker Paul Gustard are all sidelined, although only Farrell – he was due to undergo shoulder surgery on Friday – is a definite non-starter for the European semi-final appointment with Munster on April 27.

Gaffney said: "We picked up a few injuries last week, and in certain areas we are down to the bare bones.

"Gustard and Leonelli should both return next week (against Wasps), with Russell expected to be out for two weeks.

"But this is still a very competitive side, and one that is capable of getting the result we want at Gloucester.

"It is a game we have to win to keep up hopes of a top-four finish, and after last week’s performance the players have set the bar in terms of performance levels."

Wasps, the Premiership’s form team after collecting 22 points from a possible 25 in their last five games, should extend that impressive run against Adams Park visitors Worcester on Saturday.

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