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Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Thursday, 15 May 2008 12:52 UK

Ryan hails 'maturing' Gloucester

GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP SEMI-FINAL: GLOUCESTER v LEICESTER
Date: Sunday, 18 May Kick-off: 1630 BST Venue: Kingsholm
Coverage: Commentary on BBC local radio and online; live scores on BBC Sport website

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Interview: Gloucester head coach Dean Ryan

Gloucester head coach Dean Ryan feels his side have matured enough to succeed in the Premiership play-offs.

Ryan's side lost to Leicester in last year's final, but he told BBC Points West he is confident they can avoid a repeat defeat in Sunday's semi-final.

"We were well-beaten on that day and I'd like to think that we've matured further and we'll get a good indication of that at the weekend," he said.

"Hopefully we've a little bit more experience than the last time."

606: DEBATE
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Ryan feels that his side have been getting the ideal build-up.

Saturday's 8-6 victory at home to Bath helped the Cherry-and-Whites finish top of the Guinness Premiership, and that was preceded by their first away win against Wasps for 18 years.

"The last two weeks have both been very tight games and it's good preparation - both sides are in the play-offs so it's a good confidence boost and both games were incredibly intense.

"Part of the process as we've matured is that there's been criticisms of whether we can do that week to week and I think we're growing and getting better at it and we're going to need it again."

The atmosphere created by a sell-out Kingsholm crowd against Bath helped Gloucester defeat them and secure home advantage against Leicester.

I'm sure the atmosphere will contribute again

Gloucester coach Dean Ryan

Ryan is hoping it can prove to be the decisive factor.

"I think we do get an edge at home, we do feel more comfortable.

"The atmosphere against Bath was fantastic and if we can generate that sort of noise and enthusiasm, it does have an effect on the pitch.

"I've always said if we want to get that then we want to give good images on the field that people want to cheer about and the last few weeks we've done that.

"If we can generate it again I'm sure the atmosphere will contribute again."


see also
Gloucester v Leicester (Sun)
15 May 08 |  Gloucester
Corry eager to ride 'lucky' wave
15 May 08 |  Leicester
Forrester set to miss play-offs
15 May 08 |  Gloucester
Gloucester 8-6 Bath
10 May 08 |  English
Leicester 31-28 Harlequins
08 May 08 |  English
Tindall positive about comeback
11 Apr 08 |  Gloucester


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