Bath Rugby scored six tries as they secured a 20-43 bonus-point victory over Gloucester in the West County derby at Kingsholm.
Bath came flying out of the blocks, and scored their first try inside the opening two minutes. Matt Banahan found himself in acres of space on the right wing and darted infield towards the Gloucester 22, before offloading the ball to Tom Dunn, who added the finishing touch. Rhys Priestland kicked the conversion. 0-7.
The hosts looked to respond quickly, and only a combination of Tom Homer and Aled Brew stopped Lewis Ludlow from hitting back moments later.
The Blue, Black and White weathered the Gloucester pressure, and their great defensive work was rewarded with a second try of the afternoon on 14 minutes. After multiple phases, Francois Louw made a break, chomping up considerable ground towards the home side’s 22. The South African international then offloaded to Priestland and the fly-half dived under the posts.
Billy Twelvetrees got the host's on the board soon after to close the gap to 11 points with just over 20 minutes played. 3-14
Bath's onslaught continued as they added a breakaway try through Brew. Charlie Ewels stole the ball brilliantly before finding Brew on his own 10m line. The Welshman went through the gears and evaded the clutches of the back-tracking Jason Woodward to dive over the whitewash. Priestland added the conversion to give Bath an 18-point advantage. 3-21
The home side hit back with their first try of the afternoon 10 minutes before half-time, courtesy of Ed Slater. Woodward found space down the right wing before switching the ball to the Gloucester skipper who powered over the try line from close range. 10-21
Bath secured their bonus-point on 38 minutes when Tom Homer scored one of the tries of the season. The fullback collected the ball from his own 10m line and drove at full speed, stepping both Mark Atkinson and Billy Burns before arcing outside Woodward to finish a superb solo try in the corner. 10-26
Twelvetrees kicked another penalty for the Cherry and Whites to reduce arrears to 13 points going into the interval.
Half-time - Gloucester 13–26 Bath Rugby
Bath scored the first points of the second-half, and it was the reliable Priestland, who kicked his side into a 13-29 lead with 47 minutes on the clock.
Gloucester scored their second try of the afternoon four minutes later. Ben Morgan made an electric break into the Bath 22, before offloading to replacement Ben Vellacott. His precise pass found Woodward on the right wing and the fullback had the easy job of touching the ball down in the corner. 20-29.
Bath were quick to respond, scoring their fifth of the afternoon five minutes later. With pressure mounting in the Gloucester 22, Priestland, sent a looping pass out wide to Cooper Vuna, and the powerful winger disposed of Vellacott to score in the corner. Priestland added the extras to put Bath firmly in control. 20-36
James Wilson scored Bath’s sixth and final try on 75 minutes as the centre took advantage of a loose Gloucester pass in their 22 to make it a day to remember for the visiting supporters. Freddie Burns kicked the conversion to seal an emphatic victory at Kingsholm.
Full-time - Gloucester 20–43 Bath Rugby