Bath Rugby rocked Kingsholm as the Blue, Black and White dominated in the final 40 to secure a 24-26 win over West Country rivals Gloucester Rugby in the fourth round of the Premiership Rugby Cup.
Stuart Hooper’s side claimed a bonus-point victory and moved up to second in the group, with games still yet to be played this weekend.
Gloucester were the first to get on the board after just five minutes with Louis Rees-Zammit pouncing over the whitewash following a Bath line-out. Bath were caught out and made a deep pass which went to ground and the Gloucester wing. Lloyd Evans added the extras for the hosts. [7-0]
Gloucester’s shape and defensive purpose put Bath under pressure and with a pick and go from the base of the ruck five meters out, allowed Gloucester to capitalise and add another score. After TMO referral, referee Ian Tempest awarded the try. [12-0]
The hosts kept compiling the pressure and continued to create space to attack the Bath defensive line. But Gloucester added a third with Charlie Chapman dodging his way through to give the Cherry and Whites their third try of the game. Evans found his boot and the ball went sailing through the centre of the sticks. [19-0]
Just moments later the hosts struck again after moving the ball wide with purpose and pace to the right-hand side of the pitch before Jake Morris crashed over. With just 22 minutes on the clock Gloucester had added their bonus-point try. [24-0]
The teams went through the phases and Bath persevered with their game plan delivering a platform to attack with seven minutes left of the half. The visitors were finding the phases to provide the momentum required to get them on the board.
Bath got themselves back into the game after half an hour when the visitors found themselves five meters from the line. A solid Bath scrum saw the forward pack use the driving maul to get over the line. Captain Ross Batty found the ground giving his team some much needed relief. Alex Davies added the extras from the tee. [24-7]
There was a distinct change in style from the Blue, Black and White in the dying minutes of the first-half and just moments after making their first score Bath found themselves over the line again. Levi Douglas supported Will Stuart over the line to score his first try for Bath to narrow the deficit. [24-12]
Half-time - Gloucester Rugby 24 - Bath Rugby 12
In a second period that saw Bath dominate proceedings, Gloucester looked to break the mould and disrupt any chance of the visitors coming away with a result. But the hosts made a long pass into the midfield which allowed Freddie Burns to grasp the ball out of the air and race clear to score under the posts in front of the iconic shed at Kingsholm. Burns converted his score. [24-19]
The hosts put themselves under pressure with some poor handling being the fault to their downfall as Bath’s drive and go got them over the whitewash once more. Bath won the lineout and moved with speed which saw Jack Walker crash over. Burns found his boot and added the extras. [24-26]
The Blue, Black and White delivered a half of dominant scrummaging and driving mauls and scored 26 unanswered points to take the lead for the first time in the game.
Bath maintained the pressure and continued to disrupt Gloucester’s game. Their attempts to regain control came to nothing as the clock continued to count down.
A spectacular come back from the visitors who won the evening by adapting their game in order to disrupt the opposition to bring home the win.
Premiership Rugby Cup
11 October 2019
Referee: Ian Tempest
Half Time score: 24-12
- Tries: Rees-Zammit (4), Kriel (12), Chapman (17), Morris (20)
- Conversions: Evans (5, 18)
- Tries: Batty (33), Stuart (40), Burns (53), Walker (62)
- Conversions: Davies (34), Burns (53, 63)