24 points from the boot of George Ford helped Bath to an impressive 39-16 Aviva Premiership victory over Gloucester at Kingsholm on Saturday.
As is typical with derby matches, the first half was tight and tense and was dominated by the boots of the respective kickers.
Despite the Cherry and Whites controlling territory, their West Country rivals went into the break with a 15-9 advantage thanks to five Ford penalties.
The hosts’ response before the interval came via three Greig Laidlaw efforts from the tee, but they couldn’t build any continuity in the second period and Bath were by far the better side.
Matt Garvey touched down twice and they were also awarded a penalty try to complete a fine victory, although Dan Robson went over for a consolation score.
Having struggled in the league recently, going into the match in ninth position, Gloucester needed to re-find that winning formula, and they opened the game in ideal fashion with a Laidlaw three-pointer.
Ford and the Scottish international half-back then traded penalties as the home side moved 6-3 clear before the visitors levelled matters after 18 minutes through their fly-half.
Despite the narrow scoreline it was arguably the Kingsholm-based outfit that were proving to be the more dangerous in attack, but they were infringing at regular intervals. That allowed Bath to build a 12-6 advantage through Ford and, although Laidlaw briefly reduced the arrears, the away team went 15-9 in front at half-time thanks to another penalty.
Just like in the opening 40 minutes, Gloucester started the second period well, going through the phases and looking threatening with ball in hand. However, the visitors remained resilient and took their opportunities when they presented themselves.
Ford duly added his sixth three-pointer following yet another infringement by the hosts before Sila Puafisi saw yellow for repeated scrum infractions.
The extra man proved beneficial for Mike Ford’s men as a powerful driving maul resulted in referee Greg Garner awarding a penalty try.
Bath then sealed the win when an Ollie Devoto break ended in Garvey going over.
Although the Cherry and Whites crossed the whitewash late on through Robson, the Rec-based team had the final word as their replacement lock touched down for the second time.
Pen: Laidlaw 3
Tries: Penalty try, Garvey 2
Con: Ford 3
Pen: Ford 6
Gloucester: 15 Steve McColl, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Purdy, 12 Billy Twelvetrees (capt), 11 Jonny May, 10 James Hook, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Tom Palmer, 4 Tom Savage, 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Yann Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Nick Wood, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 James Hudson, 20 Elliott Stooke, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Mark Atkinson, 23 David Halaifonua
Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Alafoti Fa’osiliva, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Matt Garvey, 20 Carl Fearns, 21 Micky Young, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Sam Burgess.
Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix, Roy Maybank
TMO: Geoff Warren