Bath United were unable to get their first win of the Aviva A league as they fell to a powerful Gloucester side, made up of a host of familiar Aviva Premiership names. Despite a try from Sam Weier and eight points from the boot of Brad Barnes, Gloucester emerged victorious having scored five forward orientated tries. Final Score 13-36.
United started the game with great pace and purpose, working hard in defence and attacking directly at the Gloucester try line. It wasn't long until the home side were rewarded for their attitude to the contest as Gloucester crept offside allowing United fly-half, Brad Barnes, to slot a penalty and take an early lead 3-0.
Despite United's positive start, Gloucester replied with a powerful forwards effort. After a penalty allowed the away side good field position deep in United's 22, the Cherry and Whites' pack kept it close and following a number of penalties in the scrum, the referee lost patience and awarded Gloucester a penalty try. Fly-half Ryan Mills converted. 3-7.
Considering the very cold evening, the Rec stands were buzzing with anticipation and the home crowd were rewarded as United came straight back at their opposition's try with another series of well played phases. Again, Gloucester were found to be offside and allowed Barnes to strike another three points. 6-7.
After 25 minutes had been played, United has utilised the width of the field to make advances into Gloucester's half whereas the visitors had opted for the more direct route with hard running forwards off the scrum half. It was Gloucester's forwards who delivered the goods once again as on the 28th minute, they drove over another scrum from close range to score, with Gareth Evans touching down just right of the posts. Mills added the extras. 6-14.
As the half drew to a close, the initial narrow scoreline was beginning to escape United as the scrum, for a third time, was the source of the next try. A penalty kick to touch enabled the Gloucester pack to initiate the set and drive, and with a combined and solid effort, they drove over for Gloucester's third try of the game, captain Darren Dawidiuk the scorer. Mills was on target again. Half time score 6-21.
Gloucester started in the same way as they finished the first half, with more direct running rugby. As the forwards carried up the pitch, the United defence was drawn in and after some slick hands in the backs, Gloucester crashed over to score in the far left corner. Mills was on song again with a well taken conversion. 6-28.
United did however give Gloucester a taste of their own medicine in the 69th minute, with a well orchestrated forward effort resulting in replacement flanker Sam Weier scoring. Barnes added the conversion from the touch line. 13-28.
Gloucester, who's pack had really dominated the game with their experience in strength and ability providing the backs with clean ball, had another reply to United's previous score. Another powerful drive down the touchline worked its way towards the United line, and despite the home side's dedicated defence, the visitors managed to force their way over with James Gibbons touching down. 13-33.
The game ended sourly after play was stopped for a fight, resulting in Weier being sent to the sin bin with just minutes remaining on the clock. Gloucester replacement Dan Robson rounded off a solid team performance with a penalty kick to finish the game 13-36.
Bath United had succumbed to a powerful Gloucester side whose forwards had dominated throughout the game. Despite the 20 points difference in the scoreline, the contest demonstrated another spirited and gutsy Bath performance with some promising young players showing real signs of potential.