Match summary – Gloucester 71-10 Bath Rugby
Experience told in the scoreline as a youthful Bath Rugby team suffered a heavy loss at Kingsholm in the Premiership Rugby Cup.
England international Ben Morgan scored a hat-trick with his back row partners Lewis Ludlow and Ruan Ackermann also on the try-sheet.
Kyle Moyle, Andrew Davidson, Fraser Balmain, Jack Clement (2) and Jake Morris grabbed tries while Lloyd Evans kicked eight conversions.
Bath Rugby Academy fly-half George Worboys earned all of the visitors’ points, crossing for a late consolation.
Led by first-team scrum coach Mark Lilley, Bath chose to use the tournament as developmental tool to help grow the games of the club’s young players.
The matchday 23’s average age was 22.6-years-old with five Senior Academy players set to make their senior debuts from the bench.
In total, the Blue, Black and Whites fielded a starting XV with 363 Bath caps to their name – just under half of which could be attributed to homegrown hooker Tom Dunn (159) who captained the club for the first time at senior level.
Gloucester meanwhile named a side glittered with experience, told by their appearance count of over 900.
Veteran Billy Twelvetrees lined up in the centre with Ruan Ackermann, Lewis Ludlow and Ben Morgan forming a strong back row.
Gloucester: 15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Alex Morgan, 13. Tom Seabrook, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Jake Morris, 10 Lloyd Evans, 9 Charlie Chapman; 1 Harry Elrington, 2 Santiago Socino, 3 Fraser Balmain, 4 Freddie Clarke, 5 Andrew Davidson, 6 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow (c), 8 Ben Morgan
Replacements: 16 Henry Walker, 17 Val Rapava-Ruskin, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Freddie Thomas, 20 Jack Clement, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 George Barton, 23 Louis Hillman-Cooper
Bath Rugby: 15 Darren Atkins, 14 Ruaridh McConnochie, 13 Max Ojomoh, 12 Will Butt, 11 Gabriel Hamer-Webb, 10 George Worboys, 9 Max Green; 1 Arthur Cordwell, 2 Tom Dunn ©, 3 Kieran Verden, 4 Ewan Richards, 5 Will Spencer, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Thompson Cowan, 8 Nahum Merigan
Replacements: 16 John Stewart, 17 Will Vaughan, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Josh Dingley, 20 Richard de Carpentier, 21 Tom Carr-Smith, 22 Ciaran Donoghue, 23 Gabe Goss
Gloucester began on the offensive, trying to dictate play through British & Irish Lion Twelvetrees, but Dunn, Will Spencer and Max Green put their bodies on the line for the Blue, Black and White to deny an early breakthrough.
The Cherry & Whites made ground with hard carries and despite some resolute defending, they earned a penalty which was kicked to the corner and Morgan was guided over by his pack-mates.
Bath regathered from the kick-off and Max Ojomoh showed his promise with a chip over the top. However, Gloucester were alert to any danger and swept up before countering through Moyle. The full-back raced clear and attempted to execute a two-on-one but Green worked back to make a last-ditch tackle.
Moyle did manage to escape the clutches of any visiting defenders moments later, dummying for a free run to the line.
Bath remained spirited with Ojomoh and Gabriel Hamer-Webb linking well. Green was forever busy and Spencer made metres on his return to the side, though the final couldn’t quite stick.
When they did get some phases together, it presented Worboys with a shot at goal though it was the only positive scoreboard wise in the first half as a 14-man Gloucester – reduced in numbers because of Freddie Clarke’s sin bin – rumbled over in the corner via Ludlow. Soon after blindside flanker Ackermann followed suit on the other wing.
On the stroke of half-time, George Skivington’s side used their power once again as Morris, Ackermann and Harry Elrington ran hard before Morgan brushed down under the posts for his second.
Gloucester continued in the ascendency with a maul seeing Davidson cross before Morgan sealed his hat-trick in similar fashion.
Bath introduced several young players in the second half as Josh Dingley, Tom Carr-Smith, John Stewart, Ciaran Donoghue and Gabe Goss all debuted at senior level for the club but they couldn’t prevent Clement and Morris scoring in quick succession.
As tough as the scoreline was, Bath battled for field position and did score a consolation midway through the second period. From a line-out, Worboys was presented with space to cut a line and dive over – his fourth try in a week after scoring three for the University of Bath in BUCS Super Rugby.
But Clement scored from another maul to end a tough evening.
Premiership Rugby Cup
12 November 2021
Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe
Half Time score: 33-3
- Tries: Morgan (7, 39, 43), Moyle (11), Ludlow (25), Ackermann (32), Davidson (40), Balmain (47), Clement (54, 75), Morris (67)
- Conversions: Evans (8, 12, 27, 40, 41, 44, 48, 55)
- Tries: Worboys (60)
- Conversions: Worboys (61)
- Penalties: Worboys (17)