Semesa Rokoduguni scored four times as Bath Rugby cruised to a 52-0 victory over Gloucester Rugby in the Premiership Rugby Cup.
It took just three minutes for Bath to register their first points of the game and it was one to remember. A series of slick passes inside the Bath half saw Rhys Priestland release Semesa Rokoduguni. The talismanic winger cut inside the retreating Gloucester defence and showed his turn of pace before finishing in the corner. Priestland added the touchline conversion to give Bath the early lead. [7-0]
Bath continued to pile on the pressure on the Gloucester defence, and added a further three points to the scoreboard courtesy of a penalty from the boot of Priestland. [10-0]
Not to be outdone by Rokoduguni, Ruaridh McConnochie was next to show his finishing skills on the 16 minute mark. The returning Paul Grant found the space down the left wing, before offloading to McConnochie, who left the visitors for dust as the winger crossed in style. [17-0]
Gloucester made a few flurries into the Bath 22, but were met by a wall of Blue, Black and White as they were unable to close the gap on their West Country rivals.
Shortly before the interval, Bath scored their third of the half under the Monday light nights at the Rec. After Priestland had given Bath a five metre line-out, the catch and drive was called into play with devastating effect. The well-worked maul rumbled its way over the line, with Jack Walker rising under a pile of bodies over the Gloucester line. Priestland continued his faultless record from the tee to take Bath into the interval with a commanding lead.
Half-time – Bath Rugby 24-0 Gloucester Rugby
It was a scrappy opening 15 minutes to the second half, with neither side able to capitalise on any openings. However, with 56 minutes on the clock, Rokoduguni struck once again. The catch and drive proved a fruitful tactic once again, as Bath used quick ball to release the back line. It was Priestland, who sent the winger in for his second of the game. Priestland added a superb touchline conversion to put further distance between the two sides. [31-0]
The floodgates opened in the last 20 minutes, with Tom Homer getting in amongst the tries. Bath were getting plenty of joy from a dominant set piece and with penalty advantage looming from the scrum, replacement Freddie Burns sent a huge looping pass across to Homer, who had the simplest of finishes. [38-0]
Try number six and a hat-trick for Rokoduguni soon followed for the free-flowing Blue, Black and White. It was Burns at the centre of the move once again, as he stepped into the line to intercept a Gloucester pass. His clever offload found Grant, with Willison putting Rokoduguni over in the corner. Burns took over kicking duties, but continued Bath’s 100% record from the tee. [45-0]
Bath made it a half century of points with the last action of the game, as Rokoduguni capped off a Man of the Match display with his fourth and Bath’s seventh of the evening. Unlike his first, it was a routine finish for Rokoduguni. Burns gave his side the attacking platform with a cross field kick, which saw Homer, Charlie Ewels and Henry Thomas carry hard to take Bath to within five metres. With the numbers out wide, Bath spread the ball out to the right wing, opening up the space in the corner for Rokoduguni. Burns took the conversion from out on the touchline and despite hitting the posts, the flags were raised to the delight of the Rec faithful.
Full-time – Bath Rugby 52-0 Gloucester Rugby