There was a Five Star, Five Try performance at Castle Grim - better known as Kingsholm - the home of Gloucester Rugby, as Bath romped home to a 32-5 victory in the LV= Cup
On a chilly day in Gloucester, Bath supporters followed the road to trepidation up the M5 in search of a win, which would give the boys a chance of qualifying for the Semi Final of the competition if results elsewhere went our way.
The first half felt an uncomfortable deja vu as Bath completely dominated the first half an hour, went for tries not penalty points and were rewarded as early as the 11th minute as a piece of magic by Sam Vesty, palming a pass down the line to Olly Woodburn, sending him over the try line with ease to give the away team a 5-0 lead. The conversion was missed by Stephen Donald.
In a first half dominated by Bath, Rob Weber, Charlie Beech and Dave Attwood were punching holes through the Gloucester defence. The home team were forced to defend for their lives in order to hold up the ball on at least one drive as Webber dived over the line but was ruled to have been held up by the referee. The shed were their normal vocal selves, though this match, most of their frustration was directed at the Referee who yellow carded first Andy Hazell and as he was returning Tom Savage, who took out a Bath player at the lineout. Despite playing nearly 20 minutes with just 14 on the pitch and with less than 40% possession in the half, Huia Edmonds went over for Gloucester in front of the shed and incredibly, Gloucester had pulled level with just five minutes left to half time. Bath fans had seen it all before over the past seven years...or had they?
The second half saw Beaver on an emotional charge, rallying the troops into battle. With barely 10 minutes of the second half gone, a lineout led to the ball going through the backs, releasing Nick Abendanon to sprint and dive through and under an incoming tackle and score a great try to give Bath a lead that they would never relinquish. Nathan Catt came on for Beech, no doubt to the relief of the Gloucester front row hoping for relief from the complete domination that our front three had throughout the game. Catt just added to the home team woes by putting in a great half.
Dave Attwood was a man mountain and is having a purple patch as his performance yet again was dominant, along with his partner Dominic Day. Francois Louw, looked hurt, looked injured, yet stayed out on the pitch to mastermind and lead the team to a devastating last 15 minutes in which the boys in BB&W scored three tries, converted two and added 19 points to the scoreboard in the process and all this away to our greatest local rivalries at a venue which Bath had not won at for some seven years.
The tries by Semesa Rokoduguni and Donald were runs through the Gloucester defence, showing great pace, determination and the ability to go past players at pace. Mat Gilbert showed real determination as he stretched over the line for his first try for the club.
Results elsewhere did go our way as The Saints failed to win at Sandy Park and Bath find themselves in the semi final of the LV= Cup, which is to be played at the Stoop, the day before England play Italy at Twickenham. A fantastic weekend of rugby for Bath fans to look forward to and the dreams of winning a trophy this year are very much alive.