Redpath pleased by Tindall’s response

GLOUCESTER head coach Bryan Redpath was delighted with the performance of under-fire centre Mike Tindall as he ended a difficult week with a resolute performance in a tense 21-17 defeat at Toulouse .

After an unwanted week in the headlines, in which Tindall was axed from the England Elite squad and slapped with a £25,000 fine following his behaviour at the World Cup, the veteran centre could not have had a tougher task than facing the four-time Heineken Cup champions.

But Tindall refused to let the controversy affect his game and was a continuos force as Gloucester almost claimed an historic win at Stade Ernest-Wallon.

Tindall produced a try-saving tackle on Yves Donguy in the fifth minute and created the openings for both of Gloucester’s tries – scored by Charlie Sharples and Henry Trinder.

That had put the visitors on course for a memorable result but Clement Poitrenaud stole the win with a last-gasp try.

Redpath said he never had any concerns over 2003 World Cup winner Tindall’s mindset and hopes he can continue to do his talking on the pitch.

Redpath said: “It was massive game from Mike and I’m delighted for him. I never thought about leaving him out – he’s desperate to play rugby and if he’s performing like that why should we let external things get in the way?

“We treat him with respect, discuss things if he wants to discuss it and if not we don’t keep bringing it up.

“I have a personal opinion (on the RFU ban and fine) which I will keep to myself. He’s appealing the ban and I’m sure it will get dealt in the right manner.

“But we’ve kept it about the rugby. Mike’s had enough discussions around him externally, for me he’s here to play and enjoy his game.

“Performances like that are what you want and he’s still as keen as mustard to do well for Gloucester.”

Charlie Sharples, whose first-half try was created by Tindall, said little has been said about the ongoing saga within the Kingsholm camp and was impressed with the centre’s performance.

He added: “If he was affected by it, I don’t think he’d show it anyway. He’s a pretty laidback guy, he’s one of our most experienced players and he leads from the front.

“Whatever he is thinking inside, it’s not affecting his rugby and that’s all that matters to us.”

The defeat leaves Gloucester third in Pool Four and they welcome Harlequins to Kingsholm in the next round.

Redpath has called on his charges to build on their performance in France and insists all the pressure is on Conor O’Shea’s men, who are on an 11-match unbeaten run.

Redpath added: “We’ve performed, picked up a point and will look forward to Saturday. They have won 11 out of 11 matches and our record at Kingsholm has gone so we don’t need to talk about that. They are the ones with a record to keep. It’s great for us to play them next.”

Toulouse scorers: Tries: Matanavou, Poitrenaud. Cons: Beauxis. Pens: McAllister 2, Beauxis.

Gloucester scorers: Tries: Sharples, Trinder. Cons: Burns 2. Pens: Burns.

TOULOUSE: Poitrenaud, Matanavou, David, Fritz, Donguy, McAllister, Burgess, Poux, Botha, Johnston, Maestri, Millo-Chluski, Nyanga, Nicolas, Sowerby.

Replacements: Jauzion for Fritz (60), Beauxis for McAllister (60), Montes for Poux (64), Servat for Botha (52), Falefa for Johnston (64), Galan for Sowerby (52).

GLOUCESTER: May, Sharples, Trinder, Tindall, Voyce, Burns, R. Lawson, Wood, Dawidiuk, Harden, James, Hamilton, Buxton, Qera, Strokosch.

Replacements: Lewis for R. Lawson (70), S. Lawson for Dawidiuk (55), Narraway for Qera (61).

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland).

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