AFTER THE AGONIES
of recent weeks suffered at the hands of Wasps and Northampton
in the Premiership plus the exit from the Parker Pen Shield to
Sale at the semi-final stage, now the ecstasy.
FOUR FIRST HALF TRIES
Gloucester were commanding at half back
through Andy Gomarsall and Ludovic Mercier. Ludo played quite
beautifully with huge touch finders, mixed up with long passes
to attack the opposition mid-field. Four first half tries secured
the bonus point by half time and with the aid of Ludo’s boot the
match was effectively over at 35-0.
The pure bliss of beating Bath. Not just
beating Bath but a nine try demolition job, to inflict upon them
their biggest ever Zurich Premiership defeat.
Bath, the side that used to boast of ‘a
better class of rugby’, made the term ‘Premier Rugby’ look like
an offence against the Trades Description Act as far as their
display was concerned. Twickenham 1990 seemed a closely contested
game in comparison. Former glories count for nothing. Revenge
Even allowing for their current injury
problems, the Bath set-up, on and off the field, is quite clearly
a shambles. Gloucester had similar injury problems at the start
of last season, as have Wasps this season but neither side sank
to such a low state.
Bath slumped to their eleventh successive
away defeat of the this Premiership campaign, and were completely
outplayed from start to finish by a rampant Cherry and Whites.
Talk about boys trying to do a man’s job. No wonder Bath are deep
in relegation trouble. It is no more than they deserve for the
arrogant manner in which visiting fans have been treated at the
With Gloucester building up a 15 point
lead within minutes, the result was never in doubt. Ludo kicked
a penalty and after Junior Paramore seized upon a misdirected
Bath line out for Mercier to work the ball out wide for James
Simpson-Daniel to score the first try.
Gloucester’s pack drove relentlessly with
Olivier Azam to the fore as Junior scored a second try within
minutes. The score fairly rattled along and Bath must have been
dizzy trying to keep up with the scoreboard. Diego Albanese was
a constant thorn in the Bath side and he opened up the visitor’s
defence for Robert Todd to score. James Forrester latched on to
one of Ludo’s long passes out wide for Patrice Collazo to cut
through in a scissors move and score.
Within minutes of the restart lively Diego
charged down a kick for Terry Fanolua to score in the corner.
Although never under pressure, Henry Paul
looked good at full back for his first start in five matches and
frequently joined the line and used his strength for a well taken
Sinbad then got a truly superb try with
a lightning angled run at pace to show just why he has been a
star sevens player for England. A Gloucester counter attack initiated
by Henry Paul was taken on by Terry Fanolua before Sinbad again
left the defence for dead to set up Fanolua for his second try.
Simpson-Daniel duly completed his hat trick to take the home side
to over sixty points with the ninth try.
Ludo contributed 23 points and although
Bath did get two tries through Cox and Delve, Gloucester delivered
an emphatic win in the most comprehensive fashion.
Typical Gloucester. Disappointing one
week, outstanding the next. The trials and tribulations of following
the Cherry and Whites.
With the smell of collusion coming from
Twickenham there may not be any relegation this season but any
changes at the end of the Premiership programme do not promote
confidence in the game’s administration.
Following victory over Bath, Gloucester
are now back in the Heineken European Cup competition for next
season. At the start of this season none of the pundits gave Gloucester
a chance of a top four finish. Now, together with other un-fancied
clubs, Sale and London Irish, they are close to the top of the
Zurich Premiership table.
If only we were consistent away from Kingsholm,
who knows what might happen?
H.Paul, D.Albanese, T. Fanolua, R.Todd, J.Simpson-Daniel,, L.Mercier, A. Gomarsall, P.Collazo, O.Azam, F.Puccarello, R.Fidler, M.Cornwell, J.Forrester, J.Paramore, J.Boer