Planet Rugby

Bath pile on Gloucester's misery

27th December 2009 16:29

Share:

Matt Banahan v Gloucester

Matt Banahan: Killer try

Bath have made Gloucester's position in the Guinness Premiership decidedly uncomfortable with a 24-8 West Country derby win at The Rec.

Fly-half Nicky Little guided them to victory, landing four penalties as Bath prospered from Gloucester's indiscipline before substitute Jack Cuthbert and wing Matt Banahan posted late tries.

Little added the conversion to Banahan's interception dash as the England international celebrated returning from suspension and signing a new Bath contract in style.

Wales international Nicky Robinson booted a penalty and prop Alasdair Dickinson touched down for the visitors, who have now gone almost three months without an away league success.

And they could have few complaints, being outgunned during the second period when Bath cranked up the intensity levels.

Bath scored 21 points after the break, setting them up for next Saturday's trip to face Leeds Carnegie, who are just one place below them in the Premiership and remain relegation favourites.

Gloucester must regroup for new year league appointments with Worcester at home and Newcastle away after delivering another performance that fell way below their standards of previous seasons.

And with an early exit beckoning from this season's Heineken Cup, Gloucester's campaign remains in a downward spiral.

Banahan returned for Bath after serving a two-week ban following his dismissal against Northampton earlier this month, while hooker Lee Mears and prop Duncan Bell also gained recalls.

Gloucester, seeking a fifth successive victory over Bath, made one change from the side that defeated Heineken Cup opponents Glasgow last time out as New Zealand prop Greg Somerville replaced Paul Doran-Jones.

Robinson booted Gloucester into a ninth-minute lead, but the opening quarter proved a scrappy affair punctuated by two dust-ups involving the forwards and referee Sean Davey's whistle.

Neither side could establish a grip on the contest, although both teams were disrupted by injuries with Gloucester scrum-half Rory Lawson going off and Bath centre Shontayne Hape requiring treatment for a head wound.

Given the clubs' combined tally of just five Premiership wins this season, skill levels proved predictably poor and there was little to enthuse a capacity crowd.

Hape returned to the action just before half-time, but Gloucester ended the first period with 14 players after hooker Scott Lawson was sin-binned for a reckless late challenge on Bath's Australian flanker Julian Salvi.

Bath then produced a promising passage of play, and it ended with Little slotting an equalising short-range penalty that concluded a miserable opening 40 minutes.

There was plenty of honest endeavour, but precious little creative spark on show, and Davey's half-time whistle brought a brief respite from the mind-numbing tedium.

Bath full-back Nick Abendanon departed injured at the break - Cuthbert replaced him - and Little's second successful penalty edged the home side 6-3 ahead.

Bath had upped the tempo, confirmed when Salvi sprinted into Gloucester's 22, but simmering tensions were underlined by a grappling contest between both front-rows before Lawson returned.

Little completed his hat-trick of kicks 15 minutes into the second period, although it could have been worse for Gloucester after they were forced to defend their line for several phases as Bath sought a close-range touchdown.

The visiting defence held firm, yet Little's strike increased Bath confidence levels, and another penalty early in the final quarter gave Gloucester a mountain to climb.

Bath put the win beyond doubt 12 minutes from time, breaking Gloucester's resistance with a well-worked score for Cuthbert, then Banahan galloped away when he collected Robinson's ambitious pass.

But it was Gloucester who had the final say, rounding off a spell of pressure that came far too late when Scotland international Dickinson ploughed over.

The scorers:

For Bath:
Tries: Cuthbert, Banahan
Con: Little
Pens: Little 4

For Gloucester:
Try: Dickinson
Pen: Robinson

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Michael Stephenson, 13 Matt Carraro, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 Nicky Little, 9 Michael Claassens (c), 8 Luke Watson, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Andy Beattie, 5 Peter Short, 4 Stuart Hooper, 3 Duncan Bell, 2 Lee Mears, 1 David Flatman.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 David Barnes, 18 David Wilson, 19 Danny Grewcock, 20 Ben Skirving, 21 Scott Bemand, 22 Ryan Davis, 23 Jack Cuthbert.

Gloucester: 15 Olly Morgan, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 James Simpson-Daniel, 12 Tim Molenaar, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Nicky Robinson, 9 Rory Lawson, 8 Gareth Delve (capt), 7 Andrew Hazell, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Alex Brown, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 Greg Somerville, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Pierre Capdevielle, 19 Adam Eustace, 20 Luke Narraway, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Carlos Spencer, 23 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu.

Referee: Sean Davey
Assistant referees: Robin Goodliffe, Luke Pearce
Television match official: Laurie Bryant
Assessor: Ed Morrison

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London WelshSale vs London Welsh Preview
London Irish vs SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Preview
Harlequins vs WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Preview
Bath vs LeicesterBath vs Leicester Preview
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Preview
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets vs Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Preview
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Preview
Manawatu vs Southland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
Connacht 10 - 9 LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Brive 13 - 53 ToulonBrive vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 29 - 15 Pumas
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter310
2Saracens29
3Bath29
4Leicester Tigers29
5Northampton26