Bath Rugby return to the Rec for Friday Night Lights against local rivals Gloucester Rugby Kick-off. 19:45 live on BT Sport.
Bath Rugby will be full of confidence heading into Friday’s derby following a 27-22 victory away to Sale Sharks in Round 9; a game which saw aggressive defence and patient attack provide a vital win at a sub-zero AJ Bell.
Gloucester come into this clash after a close encounter with fellow West Country rivals Bristol Bears at Kingsholm. A top versus bottom of the table fixture made for scintillating viewing, with the Cherry and Whites pushing the away team all the way before an Ioan Lloyd penalty on the 76-minutes gave the Bears the spoils.
Gloucester face a second West Country derby in as many weeks, with only one win out of nine in the Gallagher Premiership. George Skivington’s side will be looking to turn things around and secure their first victory of 2021 as they travel down the M4 to face an enthused Bath team.
Bath Rugby will no doubt be buoyed by their victory over Sale Sharks last time out, producing a winning performance despite considerable pressure from the home team. An energetic first start from Will Muir and a unified defence from the likes of Miles Reid, Josh Bayliss and Tom Dunn all contributed to a 22-27 victory for the Blue, Black and White.
Dunn, who dotted over the white line just before half time, also put in one of the best defensive performances of the Gallagher Premiership so far with 34 tackles.
Alex Gray made his return to rugby union at the AJ Bell, appearing in Bath colours for the first time following a three year stint at in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons.
Bath now turn their attention to Gloucester with both teams even on West Country bragging rights, having each claimed victory at their respective home fixtures in the 19/20 Gallagher Premiership season. Despite a strong start to the game back in September 2020, Gloucester’s visit to the Rec ended with a loss when Bath’s killer instinct produced an emphatic 28-points in 20 minutes to seal the 31-20 win.
Date: 19 February 2021
Competition: Gallagher Premiership R10
Where: The Rec
Referee: Wayne Barnes (234th Premiership game)
Assistants: Matthew Carley and Paul Dix
TMO: Tom Foley
Citing Officer: David Guyan
Media Coverage: BT Sport 2
GLOUCESTER RUGBY CURRENT FORM
Gloucester Rugby 17–18 Bristol Bears | Gallagher Premiership
London Irish 32–26 Gloucester Rugby | Gallagher Premiership
Gloucester Rugby 26–31 Northampton Saints | Gallagher Premiership
Newcastle Falcons 22–10 Gloucester Rugby | Gallagher Premiership
Gloucester Rugby 19–22 Sale Sharks | Gallagher Premiership
LAST TIME OUT
Bath Rugby edge euphoric derby day spoils with stunning comeback to earn a bonus point win 31-20.
A stunning Bath Rugby bonus point comeback keeps the home sides title contentions alive.
Gloucester headed into this fixture with very little left to play for in league standings, but with local bragging rights always up for grabs and an opportunity to do the double over Bath Rugby in the Gallagher Premiership, it was never going to be anything but a fiercely contested battle.
A sharp break from Lloyd Evans to feed the inside man set up the perfect start for Gloucester while in the second half, Matt Banahan’s try in the corner against his former club seemed to dampen all hopes of a top-four finish for the home side.
However, Bath’s resilience and determination came good, producing four tries in 18 dramatic minutes. An unbelievable sidestep on the wing from Joe Cokanasiga - who had been side-lined for 16 months - fed scrum-half Ben Spencer to dive in the corner for a bonus-point victory.