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
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Preview
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs ZebreMunster vs Zebre Preview
Cardiff Blues vs UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Preview
Connacht vs LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Preview
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs ToulonBrive vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:30
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs PumasLions vs Pumas Preview
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
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
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26