Bath Rugby suffered their first Premiership defeat of 2011, as they went down at Kingsholm to Gloucester Rugby. Final Score 34-22.
Gloucester were on the attack from the kick-off, driving hard through the midfield. After a small kicking battle, Gloucester won an attacking lineout and they sent the ball through the centres to Henry Trinder, who won a penalty when Bath were judged to be off their feet. Fly-half Nicky Robinson lined the kick up, and sent the ball straight through the middle of the posts to give the home side a 3-0 lead after six minutes.
Bath weren't letting the Cherry and White's have it all their own way though, and attacked hard through the middle of the pitch. Butch James managed to find Matt Banahan on the charge, but Banahan couldn't quite keep hold of the ball, and Gloucester won the resulting scrum.
With Gloucester on the front foot, Bath were defending hard. After James had kicked long to clear the lines, Gloucester full-back, Olly Morgan counter attacked. Whilst a shuddering tackle was put in on Morgan by Tom Biggs, Gloucester managed to hold on to possession and a neat chip from scrum half Rory Lawson found Henry Trinder on the wing, who managed to collect and dot the ball over the line. Robinson converted, taking the score to 10-0 with 20 minutes played.
Just six minutes later, Bath got themselves onto the scoreboard with a try of their own. From an attacking lineout, Michael Claassens fed James who found Ben Williams with a pin point long pass and the centre cut through the Gloucester defence. With Banahan on his shoulder, Williams offloaded and the giant winger powered through to score just left of the posts. Olly Barkley converted, taking the score to 10-7.
Both sides were attacking hard, and an open, end to end game developed. With Gloucester once more on the attack, Robinson grubbered through, and Pieter Dixon and Paul Doran-Jones gave chase. The TMO, who had a busy afternoon, judged that Doran-Jones had just managed to touch the ball down before it went dead, so the try stood. Robinson missed the conversion. 15-7.
Bath were still in the game however, and with just two minutes left in the half, Gloucester were penalised, giving Barkley the chance to get three more points on the scoreboard. He succeeded, and Bath went in 15-10 down at half time.
From the start of the second half, the visitors pressed hard. Quick hands found Biggs on the wing, who shrugged off the Gloucester tacklers and broke free to touch down in the corner, drawing the scores level. Barkley could not find his angle from out wide. 15-15.
Having levelled the scores, it wasn't long before Bath were having to defend again. Robinson had two quick penalties in succession, seeing one bounce of the post, and succeeding with the other, meaning the home side were back in front. He added another not long after, extending the lead to 21-15.
They moved further ahead moments later, as Luke Narraway broke off the back of a scrum to allow Rory Lawson to make a break through the middle of the field. He quickly recycled the ball to the waiting Tom Voyce, who went over in the corner. 26-15.
Bath were quick to respond, and after a strong scrum, managed to attack deep into the Gloucester 22. However, the move ended with a knock on, and an awkward collision saw Barkley stretchered off with a suspected fractured leg.
Another penalty for Robinson followed, and with six minutes left the scoreboard read 29-15. Bath refused to give up however, and Simon Taylor broke from the back of a scrum, found Luke Watson, who offloaded to Ben Williams who cut through the centre of the Gloucester defence and go over the line just left of the posts. James converted, and Bath were back within a score. 29-22
However, Gloucester attacked from the re-start, and quick hands through the backs found Voyce on the wing who snuck over in the corner for his second try of the afternoon. The TMO was called into action again, as it looked like the wing's foot was in touch as he touched the ball down, however the try was ruled good. Replacement Freddie Burns missed the final conversion, but the try took the score, and the game, away from Bath's reach.