Bath leave it late in thriller
PREMIERSHIP MATCH REPORT: Bath secured a late win against local rivals Gloucester, as Rhys Priestland slotted a 48-metre penalty in the 78th minute.
It was a game of high emotion, as Bath celebrated the life of club legend Dave Egerton, who recently passed away.
There was drama within the first 10 minutes, as Gloucester’s Val Rapava-Ruskin was shown a red card after making direct contact with Josh Bayliss’ head.
However, it was 14-man Gloucester who took control of the game as Billy Twelvetrees kicked two straight-forward penalties to give the visitors a 6-0 lead.
It looked like that’s how the first half would end but a flowing move put Joseph, on for the injured Rokoduguni, into space. A lovely reverse pass put Tom de Glanville through the defensive cover, he drew the final defender and put Taulupe Faletau over for the first try of the game. Priestland converted from out wide to give Bath a narrow 7-6 half-time lead.
The physicality of the first half took it’s toll on Bath as Tian Schoeman and Will Cudley, on for his 50th appearance, replaced Tom de Glanville and Ben Spencer.
Straight from the kick-off, Bath looked to up the intensity. Firstly Mercer was held up over the line but an earlier infringement allowed Priestland to extend the lead with another three points.
Bath was then reduced to 14-men as Mike Williams was sent off by Wayne Barnes for a high tackle.
This didn’t deter the home side as the pressure continued. Firstly Christian Judge was held up over the line and a few minutes later Priestland added another penalty to stretch the lead out to 13-9.
The TMO denied Bath again as Will Muir was tackled into touch as he grounded the ball.
Gloucester responded with a period of repeated pressure. Firstly, Twelvetrees reduced the lead with another penalty after a high tackle.
With five minutes left Gloucester thought they had snatched the win. A sweeping move put captain Ludlow in the corner. Crucially Twelvetrees missed the conversion to leave them only one point ahead.
There was still some drama left in this West Country derby as Chris Harris tackled Henry Thomas off the ball.
The ever-dependable Priestland, who announced earlier in the week he would be returning to Wales at the end of the season, kick the penalty to give Bath their second win in a row.
* Scorers below video …
— Bath (@BathRugby) February 19, 2021
Pens: Priestland 3
Tries: Twelvetrees 3
Bath: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Max Clark, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Will Muir, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Ben Spencer (captain), 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Miles Reid, 6 Taulupe Faletau, 5 Mike Williams, 4 Josh Bayliss, 3 Christian Judge, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jack Walker, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Tom Ellis, 20 Ethan Staddon, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Jonathan Joseph.
Gloucester: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Tom Seabrook, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Billy Twelvetrees, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow (captain), 6 Jordy Reid, 5 Alex Craig, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Henry Walker, 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin.
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Alex Seville, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Freddie Clarke, 21 Stephen Varney, 22 George Barton, 23 Henry Trinder.
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Anthony Woodthorpe, Paul Dix
TMO: David Rose