Bath Rugby stumble at Kingsholm

Bath Rugby recorded their first away loss of the season as they went down 23-6 at Kingsholm to fierce rivals Gloucester Rugby.

The opening quarter saw Bath maintain the majority of the possession and territory, as they slowly built the pressure on the home side. It was only through some strong last ditch defending from Gloucester forcing handling errors in the red zone that meant the visitors were unable to breach the try line in the first half.

As it was, it was the boot of fly-half Sam Vesty that enabled Bath to convert the pressure into points, with two successive penalties. The first came after a superb break from Nick Abendanon saw Bath camped on the Gloucester tryline. The home side infringed, and Vesty took advantage, securing Bath's first three points.

The second penalty came moments later, and whilst Vesty needed a little help from the crossbar to ensure the ball went through the posts, he had doubled Bath's lead and the visitors looked to be in control.

Smarting from last week's loss to Quins, Gloucester were never going to be an easy encounter, and they proved their strength  moments later as a huge driving maul saw them deep into the Bath 22. Securing a penalty, Tim Taylor dutifully stepped up and sent the ball through the posts to give the home side their first points of the game, with just under 10 minutes left of the first half. 3-6.

Gloucester seemed to gather momentum from the penalty, and minutes later they were securing line-out ball and setting up another huge drive within sight of the tryline.  The maul drove over the line, and Darren Dawidiuk was awarded the try. Taylor converted, increasing the lead to 10-6 as the two sides went in at half-time.

Gloucester continued the second half much as they had finished the first, with Taylor stepping up to send another penalty kick through the posts, increasing the home sides lead. He added three more with about 20 minutes left of the game, after the referee had played advantage to the home side.

Bath were by no means down and out of the game, and came fighting back with a good series of phases. Having been awarded the penalty, Vesty stepped up for the long range kick, but it drifted just wide. Later attempts from Jack Cuthbert and debutant Tom Heathcote also failed to find the target, so despite Bath fighting hard there was no change in the scoreline for the visitors.

A turnover ball in the last minute of the game gave Gloucester their second try, as Charlie Sharples chipped through, beat replacement Nick Scott in the footrace and gathered the ball to run through unopposed. Burns converted with the final kick of the game, and the home side had secured the victory. Final score 23-6.


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