Bok prop scores as Bath comeback floors Gloucester
MATCH REPORT: Bath produced a stunning second-half performance to win a pulsating West Country derby against Gloucester 45-27 at a sold-out Kingsholm.
Trailing 10-20 at the interval, after being comfortably second best in the first half, Bath turned the game on its head with their pack taking control to score four tries in a devastating 15-minute spell as their opponents imploded.
Ollie Lawrence scored two tries for Bath, with Will Muir, Thomas du Toit and Beno Obano also touching down for the visitors.
There was also a penalty try awarded, with Finn Russell adding five conversions and a penalty.
Santiago Carreras, Chris Harris and Matias Alemanno scored Gloucester’s tries, with George Barton kicking two penalties and three conversions.
Gloucester made an explosive start, with Jonny May heavily involved.
A pre-planned move saw the former England international tear through the Bath ranks to set up a period of pressure, with the wing soon producing another strong run which ended with Carreras being hauled down metres from the tryline.
Bath captain Ben Spencer was yellow-carded as he sought to slow down Gloucester’s possession and the hosts soon capitalised with a Barton penalty.
Bath’s response was swift with a Russell penalty rewarding a powerful burst from Lawrence, meaning Spencer was able to return to the fray with no damage done to the scoreboard.
After 17 minutes, Gloucester’s early dominance was rewarded when Harris powered over after Bath’s defence had been dragged from side to side as the hosts’ skilful inter-play had them chasing shadows.
Bath then missed a golden opportunity for an immediate reply when another break from Lawrence set up a scoring chance for Miles Reid but the flank stumbled when challenged by Carreras with the line beckoning.
It mattered little as Lawrence took matters into his own hands by brushing off Stephen Varney’s tackle to score Bath’s opening try, with Russell’s conversion bringing the scores level.
However, Gloucester were soon back in front with more intricate back play creating the space for Carreras to walk over in the corner.
A Russell penalty attempt rebounded back off a post but Barton had no such issues as he slotted over from 30 metres out to give his side a deserved 20-10 interval lead.
After the restart Bath were quickly out of the traps and roared back into contention when Muir collected Max Ojomoh’s long pass before bumping off two defenders to score.
Russell converted before Bath took the lead for the first time when Du Toit finished off a succession of forward drives.
In the third quarter, it was one-way traffic as Gloucester could not get out of their 22 and it came as no surprise when Obano crashed over for Bath’s bonus-point try.
Gloucester conceded a fourth score in the space of 15 minutes, a penalty try being awarded with their flank Jack Clement sin-binned for collapsing.
Gloucester showed some spirit with a try from Alemanno before Clement returned from the sin-bin in time to see Lawrence seal Bath’s victory with his second try of the night.
Tries: Harris, Carreras, Alemanno
Cons: Barton 2, Carreras
Pens: Barton 2
Tries: Lawrence 2, Muir, du Toit, Obano, Penalty try
Cons: Russell 5, penalty try does not require a conversion
Yellow cards: Ben Spencer (Bath, 3 – cynical foul, slowing the ball down), Jack Clement (Gloucester, 64 – cynical foul, illegally collapsing maul)
Gloucester: 15 Santi Carreras, 14 Jonny May, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Seb Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 George Barton, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Albert Tuisue, 7 Lewis Ludlow (captain), 6 Jack Clement, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Freddie Clarke, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Mayco Vivas.
Replacements: 16 Santi Socino, 17 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 18 Kirill Gotovtsev, 19 Freddie Thomas, 20 Ben Donnell, 21 Micky Young, 22 Max Llewellyn, 23 Louis Rees-Zammit.
Bath: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Will Muir, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ben Spencer (captain), 8 Alfie Barbeary, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Miles Reid, 5 Charlie Ewels, 4 Fergus Lee-Warner, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Beno Obano.
Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Josh McNally, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Tom Carr-Smith, 22 Sam Harris, 23 Matt Gallagher.
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Sara Cox, Jonathan Healy
TMO: David Rose