Cherry and Whites Wrecked
Gloucester 20 Bath 43
Saturday, 28 April,1500hrs
A young local rugby player I know, whose season has already finished, elected to watch Gloucester versus Bath on television. He only watched the first half before turning it off. He said 'I thought Gloucester were supposed to be better this season but they were as poor as they used to be'. That just about sums it up - Gloucester were poor, very poor.
Wheras the Bath defence rarely missed a tackle, the home defence was just the opposite as the visitors seemed to score on each visit to the home 22.
Anyone could be forgiven for thinking that the visitors were the side striving for a possible play-off spot as Gloucester were never in serious contention and comfortably outplayed in all departments.
Although they had plenty of possession the Cherry and Whites looked off the pace, lacked invention, drive and purpose as their many sloppy mistakes was punished with ruthless efficiency by a Bath team who exposed their opponents' continued lack of accuracy.
Any slight chance Gloucester had of Premiership progress disappeared with this six try thrashing and it is Bath who are the more likely contenders for a top six league place thanks to their best ever result at Kngsholm.
Bath had seven points on the board within a couple of minutes and when referee Wayne Barnes ruled out a Gloucester try for a double movement you had the distinct feeling that it was not going to be a good day.
The visitors then shredded the sluggish Gloucester defence with ease for a second converted try before Twelvetrees kicked a penalty as the hosts claimed their first points having turned down previous chances opting for abortive line outs.
The hosts' loose play was let down with a pass straight to the opposition which resulted in another seven points for the visitors. 3-21.
Gloucester did rally briefly with a score from Ed Slater but as half-time approached Bath got their bonus-point try courtesy of their full back Tom Homer who seized a speculative kick downfield to split the home defence and shrug off half-hearted tacklers to put the visitors in complete control with a spectacular try.
Twelvetrees added a penalty but Bath were almost out of sight with a 13 point interval lead.
Priestland then added a penalty for Bath before a powerful run from the hard working Ben Morgan set up a try for Jason Woodward to give Gloucester some hope but that was as good as it got as then Bath added a further pair of converted tries to seal their fate and the best-ever Bath score at Kingsholm. 20-43.
Gloucester were made to pay for their usual inconsistency, their continued lack of control and accuracy which contributed to more sloppy handling and loose kicking, plus a poor defensive showing.
A season which has shown occasional glimpses of much needed improvement sadly subsided like a deflated baloon.
What a let-down.. Disappointment is an understatement.
Mike - What a shower!
15. Jason Woodward; 14. Tom Marshall, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Henry Trinder; 10. Billy Burns, 9. Callum Braley;
1. Josh Hohneck, 2. James Hanson, 3. John Afoa, 4. Ed Slater (capt), 5. Mariano Galarza, 6. Jake Polledri, 7. Lewis Ludlow, 8. Ben Morgan
16. Motu Matu’u, 17. Paddy McAllister, 18. Fraser Balmain, 19. Tom Savage, 20. Ruan Ackermann, 21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Andy Symons, 23, David Halaifonua
Unavailable for selection:
:Gareth Denman, Lloyd Evans, Willi Heinz, Richard Hibbard, Henry Purdy, Val Rapava Ruskin, Jacob Rowan, Charlie Sharples, Ollie Thorley, Owen Williams
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Con: Twelvetrees (2)
Pen: Twelvetrees (2)
BT - Extended Highlights