George Skivington happy Gloucester gained revenge on Bath

Date published: December 27 2021 - Planet Rugby

Gloucester head coach George Skivington was delighted with his side’s record 40-20 win over Bath at the Rec on Sunday after they suffered a late defeat to the same team last season.

Bath could not handle the experience and organisation of the Cherry and Whites whose six tries proved too powerful for their hosts.

Setting the record straight

And Skivington said: “We wanted to come here and put that right. It’s a West Country derby and it’s the big one for the supporters. We respect that, but we’re just working really hard to get better, every week.”

Skivington was pleased to have flanker Jordy Reid back and firing on all cylinders in a man-of-the-match performance.

“Jordy missed the start of the season and we hadn’t seen him for a couple of months. He loves the club and works unbelievably hard. He’s a proper warrior is Jordy,” he added.

But Skivington pointed out that there were other players in the Gloucester squad who were keeping Reid and others very much on their toes.

His side also proved that they could dominate opposition forwards in addition to showing a clean pair of heels outside through the talent of Louis Rees-Zammit and centre Chris Harris, who scored two tries.

Skivington added: “We have been building variety around our game for about 18 months and we are seeing the benefits now.”

Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper admitted his side had suffered in the face of Gloucester’s catch-and-drive from the line-out.

“Whenever you have a moment of confrontation like that, you have to win it, and we didn’t win it today,” he said. “We’ve got to learn from that and be considerably better as a forward pack.

“Our forwards were slow to the breakdown. In the way we carried the ball, we got over the advantage line with a few carries but at times we got hit behind it. Then you’re struggling.”

Will Spencer and Josh McNally, two of Bath’s bigger ball carriers, were late withdrawals because of Covid. “It does make a difference,” said Hooper.

Bath had also announced a number of changes in senior management in the last 10 days, including attracting Johann van Graan from Munster as head coach for next season, but Hooper denied the changes were having a disruptive impact on the field.

“There’s nothing we would pin on today from that point of view but the players understand what the roadmap looks like into the future,” he added. “Everybody understands that they have to pitch in and do their job.

“We’re not in a great spot but everyone knows they have to pitch up and get the job done. Today we were off it.”

Discipline is a persistent problem, as Hooper acknowledged, saying: “If you are under pressure, you are likely to give away more penalties. That is what we haven’t been able to do to opposition teams, to build pressure.”

The performances of young players like Tom De Glanville, Orlando Bailey and Max Ojomoh continue to give cause for optimism, however.

Hooper said: “If you look at it from a medium to long-term perspective, the exposure that the young players are getting now at a top level is a plus.”

Wasps boosted by London Irish triumph

Meanwhile, Wasps coach Lee Blackett believes there are positive times ahead for his team following their much needed 38-30 victory over London Irish in the Premiership on Sunday.

Blackett’s side have been plagued by injuries this season in what has been a tough period for the Coventry-based team.

After six consecutive losses, Wasps ended their year on a high, beating an Exiles side that had won their last two Premiership matches.