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Page last updated at 14:03 GMT, Friday, 18 March 2011

Nicky Robinson plays down Gloucester favourites tag

LV= Cup Final
Venue: Franklin's Gardens, Northampton Date: Sunday, 20 March Kick-off: 1530 GMT
Coverage: Commentary on BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Gloucestershire & BBC Newcastle

Nicky Robinson
Robinson raced in a try and orchestrated Gloucester's LV= Cup semi-final victory

Gloucester fly-half Nicky Robinson says his side's 10-game winning run will count for nothing when they face Newcastle in the final of the LV= Cup.

The Cherry and Whites may start Sunday's final as favourites for silverware but Robinson is wary.

"A lot of form tends to go out the window," he told BBC Gloucester.

"It's on the day in a final and we go with a lot of confidence and we know a final is where it really matters most to put in that performance."

Gloucester have been in excellent form in recent weeks with the Wasps-bound Robinson to the fore.

The Welshman was superb against Newport Gwent Dragons in last weekend's semi-finals, pulling the strings as they thrashed their opponents 45-17 at Kingsholm.

"We showed our pedigree," said the former Cardiff Blues playmaker, as they have in four of the five matches they have played to reach the final at Franklin's Gardens.


Following a narrow opening pool match defeat at the Dragons, Gloucester have racked up 23 tries in four outings to reach their third successive Anglo-Welsh final.

The Shed will be hoping it will be third time lucky after defeats to Northampton 12 months ago and a Cardiff Blues side in 2009 which had Robinson at fly-half before his summer move to Kingsholm.

"I know what it's like to win a trophy and I know what it's like to lose one," Robinson reflected.

"Winning one's a lot nicer and you have a lot better night afterwards as well."

Redpath wary of danger man Gopperth

As well as the flowing rugby that has carried them to the final, key to getting that result is discipline, especially given the kicking prowess of Newcastle fly-half Jimmy Gopperth.

The New Zealander helped propel the Falcons into the final with a fine interception try and a flawless kicking performance before a last-minute try edged them past Harlequins 21-20 in the semi-finals for a third successive win of their own.

Robinson said: "He's a great goal kicker. We know we have to keep our discipline. It's not rocket science.

"We know they're a strong outfit and they showed that by beating Harlequins away. They stayed in that game really well and will have a huge amount of confidence after winning in the last minute."

The theme of discipline was also taken up by lock Jim Hamilton, who feels it has let Gloucester down earlier in the season.

"Finals sometimes come down to small margins and if we give Gopperth any opportunities in front of goal he's a world-class kicker and we need to be very disciplined," said the Scotsman.

But if the game is to be won there are numerous challenges facing Hamilton and his fellow forwards before the ball even breaks for Robinson or Gopperth and their respective back divisions.

"With James Hudson coming back from injury in the past few weeks you can see what an influence he's had," Hamilton added. "He's their captain, a great player and a fantastic line-out forward.

"They've got Ally Hogg, who I've played with many a time with Scotland and when I was at Edinburgh and he's experienced and is up there as a world-class number eight.

"They're a good forward pack, are very determined and they're in a final as well. It's a one-off game and nothing else matters like what we've done in the past."

It is the chance for Gloucester to win a domestic final for the first time since 2003 when they won the Powergen Cup.

Hamilton stated: "We've been training hard this week, training the way we have done and we're concentrating on doing what we do best and if we play well and we do what we do, the result will come.

"Regardless of who's favourites and this and that, we'll just concentrate on ourselves."

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see also
Falcons focus on final experience
17 Mar 11 |  Newcastle
Sharples wants repeat performance
14 Mar 11 |  Gloucester
Gloucester 45-17 NG Dragons
13 Mar 11 |  English
Harlequins 20-21 Newcastle
11 Mar 11 |  English
Gloucester 41-8 London Irish
05 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Leeds 16-30 Gloucester
30 Jan 11 |  Rugby Union
Gloucester 36-10 Saracens
13 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Dragons 18-12 Gloucester
04 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
LV= Anglo-Welsh Cup 2010/11
02 Jul 10 |  Rugby Union
Northampton 30-24 Gloucester
21 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
Cardiff Blues 50-12 Gloucester
18 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union

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