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Aviva Premiership: Gloucester's Nigel Davies says win at Exeter could be pivotal
That was our third Premiership on the trot - that is pretty significant, so I was pleased about that. We had really targeted this one as a key game in our season.
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Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies believes Saturday's 14-13 victory over Exeter at Sandy Park could prove the turning point in his team's season.
Thirteen-man Gloucester hung on for a narrow triumph - their first league win away from Kingsholm in 2014 - to move above their hosts into eighth place in the Aviva Premiership table.
"That was our third Premiership on the trot - that is pretty significant, so I was pleased about that," Davies said. "We had really targeted this one as a key game in our season.
"It can almost turn round our season a little bit. Exeter are having a great season and rightly so get a lot of plaudits, but right now we sit above them in the league.
"We have had a tough season. We've been nowhere near where we would have liked to have been.
"But we are still battling and to get three wins on the bounce - and come up from where we have been - is pretty significant and the boys should take a lot of credit for that.
"Our focus now is to win as many games as we can and we have made a good fist of it so far."
Two Rob Cook penalties left Gloucester trailing 8-6 at the break after a Henry Slade penalty and a Matt Jess touchdown had given the Chiefs the edge.
But the second half was dominated by the Cherry and Whites.
The visitors regained the lead with Cook's third penalty and a Charlie Sharples try, but in the final minutes Sila Puafisi and Sione Kalamafoni were yellow-carded and Cook was sacrificed when Nick Wood had to return to the Gloucester front row.
Exeter took advantage of the extra men to drive over the line with replacement Don Armand's try reducing the arrears to one point, but replacement kicker Gareth Steenson was unable to add the extras.
Davies added: "Overall I thought we were the better team and we deserved that win and I was pleased with the effort and the commitment from my players.
"We probably spurned a couple of chances in the game which made it difficult for us to defend at the end.
"But the energy and enthusiasm that the guys showed at the death was a credit to them. We have been preparing for this game because it was a huge game, when you look at the table, and we realised that Exeter had had a couple of tough games."
Penalty try controversy
Exeter head coach Rob Baxter refused to blame Steenson for his failure to convert their last-minute try, which would have sealed victory but his side, but felt it should have been a penalty try when the second yellow was issued.
"It was great endeavour from the guys at the end but I am a little perplexed about how you can have a driving maul flying over the line that collapses and it is a yellow card but not a penalty try, especially after a couple of penalties that led up to it," Baxter said.
"It was tough for Gareth because he hadn't had any shots at goal at that point and there was a very tough wind. Gareth missing a kick is not a big issue for me - it's a bit more how we needed a conversion in the last seconds to win the game."
He added: "I am not going to hide my disappointment because I don't think that we played particularly well. I said to the guys afterwards that if you want to win Premiership games you have to go out there and play really well.
"You have to make it about yourselves and you have to take all your opportunities with two hands. I thought at the start we were nervy because of the amount of times we gave poor passes or lacked crispness or dropped the ball or whatever.
"But as it wore on you can't really say it is about nerves because in the final period we kind of dominated possession and territory without really ramming home what we needed to.
"We have a break now and what we have to do now is re-ignite some of the intensity that we were playing with just a few weeks ago. This is just another of those one-point score games where we have been our own worse enemies."
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|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale Sharks|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle Falcons vs Leicester Tigers|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Bath vs London Irish|
|15:00||Northampton vs Saracens|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Welsh|
|Sunday 26th April|
|14:00||Wasps vs Exeter|
|Saturday 9th May|
|14:00||Sale vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Wasps 32 - 21 Gloucester|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Exeter 16 - 6 Bath|
|Saracens 22 - 17 Newcastle Falcons|
|Leicester Tigers 28 - 8 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 12 - 50 London Irish|
|Friday 27th February|
|Northampton 17 - 13 Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com