Bath 21 Gloucester 22 –
Gloucester grabbed a dramatic victory against Bath last Sunday in the Premiership West Country derby to register their first league away win since March.
Lock Ed Slater bundled over the line five minutes into additional time before an Owen Williams conversion. Semesa Rokoduguni had earlier scored two tries for Bath to take his Premiership tally this season to seven. Gloucester captain Willi Heinz crossed twice for the Cherry and Whites, who move up to eighth in the table.
The lead changed hands five times in a see-saw encounter at The Rec. Bath looked set to move up to third and extend their winning run in all competitions to five matches when Rokoduguni scored his second try four minutes from time. But Gloucester were eventually rewarded with a third and decisive try of their own.
Slater was adjudged by television match official Stuart Terheege to have grounded the ball from two metres out after concerted pressure on Bath’s line. Wales international Williams then stepped up to slot home the two points that secured a famous Gloucester win. Rhys Priestland, recalled by Wales last week, missed long-range penalties in either half, which ultimately proved costly for Bath. And England coach Eddie Jones will be concerned to have seen Bath’s Sam Underhill withdrawn at half-time with a shoulder problem, while home full-back Anthony Watson also had a period off the field as he underwent a head injury assessment following a heavy tackle. Back row Underhill and versatile back Watson were both due to join England’s autumn internationals squad at a training camp in Portugal last Monday.
Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder said, “I thought Gloucester deserved it. I didn’t feel at all during that game that we were good enough to win. “We didn’t probably show enough at the breakdown, our carries were high, but we just weren’t quite at the races today and it showed. “We let them back into it with 30 seconds to go and some ill-discipline. We’re our own worst enemies at times.” On England back row Sam Underhill’s first-half shoulder injury: “He’s had a bit of a ‘stinger’ down the back of his neck and felt a little uncomfortable there. “It’s just not worth taking a risk.”
Gloucester fly-half Owen Williams commented, “I was trying to compose myself and control my breathing before that kick [the winning conversion. “I know how big of a kick it was, but it was just important to control my processes and as soon as I saw it going through the posts, I let out a big scream. “It’s relief to win as we were in the game throughout and we just managed to stay in the game despite going behind late on.” On his chances of Wales selection this autumn: “We’ll have to see how it goes in camp next week and put in the hard work. “Hopefully I can have a good week’s training and push my cause and stick my had up. I’ll play anywhere for Wales, whether it’s at 10, 12 or prop.”
Bath: Watson; Rokoduguni, Joseph, Clark, Banahan; Priestland, Fotuali’i; Catt, Dunn, Perenise, Charteris, Ewels (capt), Mercer, Underhill, Faletau.
Replacements: Walker, Obano, Andrews, Stooke, Garvey, Allinson, Lewis, Brew.
Gloucester: Burns; Purdy, Trinder, Twelvetrees, Halaifonua; Williams, Heinz (capt); Hohneck, Hibbard, Afoa, Savage, Slater, Ackermann, Ludlow, Morgan.
Replacements: Matu’u, Rapava Ruskin, Denman, Thrush, Clarke, Vellacott, Symons, Thorley.