The hype of Danny Cipriani was a precious distraction for Gloucester in their defeat by Saracens

The hype of Danny Cipriani was a precious distraction for Gloucester in their defeat by Saracens

  • Saracens defeated Gloucester 44-19 and placed themselves on the edge of a double
  • The way Danny Cipriani and his team prepared did not give Gloucester a chance
  • All pre-match focus was on Cipriani and his hope for a recall in England

The Danny Cipriani show completely seduces Gloucester for the biggest game of their season, and for some, their life.

They all showed their inexperience in handling must-win competitions.

Gloucester had defeated the Saracens on Saturday, but the way Cipriani, the players, and indeed head coach Johan Ackermann, did not give them a chance.

Danny Cipriani looks down during the collision between Saracens and Gloucester

Danny Cipriani looks down during the collision between Saracens and Gloucester

Cipriani was named Premiership player of the year last Wednesday during an award ceremony and during the week he did every interview in the sun.

Instead of focusing 100 percent on trying to beat the English and European champions, Gloucester was included in the Cipriani show.

The whole story this week was not about Saracens-Gloucester, but whether Cipriani would play for England and his fight with Owen Farrell. Deep inside the players would be irritated by all the hype and Saracens would have used it as fuel, I know for sure.

Make no mistake, if I were the coach of New Zealand, Australia or South Africa, I would like Cipriani to leave for England. No one – including himself – knows whether he can really handle the pressure of the big games, but on Saturday's proof, the answer is no.

The way Danny Cipriani and his teammates were prepared did not give Gloucester a chance

The way Danny Cipriani and his teammates were prepared did not give Gloucester a chance

The way Danny Cipriani and his teammates were prepared did not give Gloucester a chance

He's a great player, but he reads the hype that you think he was Jonny Wilkinson or Dan Carter.

I was also at a dinner on Wednesday with Farrell, Maro Itoje, George Kruis and Eddie Jones – the whole evening was set up to be in and out by 9 p.m. In the meantime, Cipriani had to stay in the city until the end of the evening as player of the year, the last prize of the night.

I would have loved it if he, his teammates and Ackermann had said: & We don't care about awards. Nothing will get in our way on Saturday and just made their apologies.

This was potentially the biggest game in their sporting life. Does anyone really think they should have been to a dinner in London on Wednesday night? Crazy. It can have irritated organizers, sponsors and the competition leaders, but a big deal. What annoys me are teams that don't show up on Saturday.

Cipriani was named Premiership player of the year last Wednesday at an award ceremony

Cipriani was named Premiership player of the year last Wednesday at an award ceremony

Cipriani was named Premiership player of the year last Wednesday at an award ceremony

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