Richard Whiffin praises ”hugely valuable” Premiership Rugby Cup

Dome Coetzer

Following Gloucester’s comfortable victory over Wasps Richard Whiffin was full of praise for his young side and the newly structured Premiership Rugby Cup.

Robert Rees has all the post match reaction from Kingsholm.

Whiffin praises Premiership Rugby Cup

Speaking after his side’s triumph over Wasps in their first game in the new Premiership Rugby Cup, Richard Whiffin said ”I’m incredibly pleased, we spoke all week about scanning for space and executing into it and the first 20 minutes was a big tick in the box on how to execute a game plan. Ben [Vellacott] and Lloyd [Evans] put us in the right areas of the field and we capitalised off that.”

Man of the match Ben Vellacott was taken off, but it was always the plan according to Head of Academy, Whiffin. ”We’ve got massive talent in our nine’s and we wanted to see Charlie Chapman and give him a good forty minutes to keep sharp. He [Vellacott] doesn’t do days off, he’s in working on skills every single day of the week. He’s got huge amounts of x-factor. His kicking game today proved he can marshal a team well and put them in the right areas. He was the difference in the first half, but Charlie came on and controlled field position when the game got scrappy in the second half.”

Forward dominance takes Gloucester home

Gloucester dominated the Wasps pack throughout the first half and it set the tone, but momentum in the second half dipped as Wasps fought valiantly back among a plethora of substitutions and handling errors. Richard Whiffin wasn’t happy with the second half, but saw the positive side. ” It’s a little bit disappointing, but that’s what development’s about. Dom Coetzer got a run at 10 in what will probably be the wettest and coldest game he’s ever played in. It’s a learning curve, we’ll go through the tape and look at where he possibly could have sat deeper and marshaled the troops a little better. His instinct is to run and that’s an area where he and the younger guys on the outside can learn from.

Our control and our intent in the 10 minutes where their scrum half was in the bin, we executed that time period well. We got messages on about where we thought the space would be and the boys executed outstandingly well. Three scores in that period took the game away from Wasps.”

Gloucester focused on development

Gloucester are utilising the Premiership Rugby Cup to develop squad depth rather than play a first team and try and win it. They’ll be looking to play a similar squad next week, Richard Whiffing saying ”There’ll be a few more first-teamers in and around the squad and putting their hands up for selection. That’s something we’ll speak about, there’ll be a few guys coming back in, but the nucleus of that team will be similar next week.”

”Hugely valuable” Premiership Rugby Cup to be used as depth builder

Despite some claims that the Cup and it’s predecessor’s with the Welsh were a distraction Richard Whiffing has praised the competition, saying ”It’s hugely valuable. We had nine guys make their senior debut today in front of a big crowd and the Shed roaring. We want the guys to get those experiences. As we drip more senior guys around them then they’re only going to learn even more.

The fact that you see the Ben Vellacott’s and Ciaran Knight’s playing regularly in the first team shows the pathway is working well. Today was an opportunity for the younger guys to put their hands up.

It’s always an opportunity to put their hands up, the squad has been depleted. Johan [Ackermann] and Humphs [David Humphreys] have always been about if you get your opportunity and take it then you’ll stay in there. Days like today are perfect for the lads to get out in front of the crowd and show the coaches what they can do. It will grow squad depth as well as growing the individuals themselves.”

Gloucester face Bristol Bears in their next Premiership Rugby Cup tie on Friday 2nd November. 
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