JOHN Kingston has backed his Harlequins players to excel in the feverish atmosphere of tomorrow night’s Premiership clash with Gloucester.
The Quins head coach admitted the cauldron that is Kingsholm generates one of the more stirring emotional buzzes of rugby union’s top flight, an atmosphere some other teams would find intimidating, particularly in the wake of the 27-12 defeat in Sunday’s top of the table battle with Saracens.
However, he cited victories against Leicester and Northampton this season inside two more of rugby’s great theatres of noise, Welford Road and Franklin’s Gardens, as grounds for great confidence ahead of what he believes may be a try-fest.
He said: “There is always a great atmosphere at Kingsholm and we enjoy that. We have been successful at Leicester and Northampton and if you have been successful in those scenarios you draw on that experience and it is the biggest confidence booster you can have.
“Historically, Gloucester, like ourselves, want to challenge and have a go and that has made for fast open encounters with both sides scoring tries, so it should be exciting to watch.”
Defeat to Saracens dropped the champions to third and with Gloucester in the play-offs hunt there would seem to be a lot riding on the outcome.
Kingston however played down its significance, insisting he was not a man for talk of pivotal matches.
He added: “There are a lot of people out there staring at league tables and that is their prerogative. “I can tell you that whoever wins on Friday night, the issue of who makes the top four will remain clouded.”