The final frontier
Kingsholm stalwarts looking to bury the past
Last Updated: 19/03/10 6:22pm
Gloucester's long-serving stars told the Rugby Club that they are determined to shake their perennial runners-up tag when they take on Northampton Saints in the LV= Cup final this weekend.
"If we fail on Sunday, then we fail for Sunday's reasons, not for what happened five or six years ago or a year ago against Cardiff"
Gloucester coach Bryan Redpath Quotes of the week
The Cherry and Whites lost out in last year's final against Cardiff Blues and still bear some painful scars from previous Championship final defeats to Wasps and Leicester in the past decade.
Fans of Gloucester have since taken to describing themselves as the eternal bridesmaids of domestic rugby union, but with another final now on the horizon, the players insist that they must put their failures behind them.
"I can still remember every little thing from those finals, it just sticks in your head because obviously it hurts," Gloucester flanker Andy Hazell told the Rugby Club.
"I think we've learnt a bit from every defeat. They're not nice and you can see the disappointment in the fans' faces and in the players. It's not a nice thing."
Despite losing out to Cardiff Blues in last year's Anglo-Welsh Cup final, revenge for that loss has already been achieved through Gloucester's 29-18 semi-final win over the Welsh outfit last weekend.
With that particular ghost now laid to rest, semi final hat-trick hero James Simpson-Daniel now believes that the only thing standing in their way will be the mental challenge of overcoming the Championship final defeats of 2003 and 2007.
"I think for anyone who played in those days - and there are several of us - it wasn't good and there's no hiding from that," Simpson-Daniel added.
"But I think it's equally important that we don't let that stick in our heads come matchday.
"I'd love to put a line through those days as they were horrible days at the office. I think if you take that into the weekend then you're in danger of having those memories come up, and it's very important that we push them to the back of our mind."