Brutal blitz put Bath back in race
PREMIERSHIP REPORT: Bath staged a stunning fightback to stay on course for the play-offs, beating rivals Gloucester 31-20 at the Recreation Ground.
Gloucester led by 17 points entering the final quarter, but Bath moved second in the table after hooker Tom Dunn touched down twice in five minutes, before prop Lewis Boyce powered over and scrumhalf Ben Spencer added a 78th-minute bonus-point score.
Flyhalf Rhys Priestland kicked four conversions and a penalty, and victory over Saracens in their final regular-season game on Sunday week will be enough to secure a top-four finish.
Gloucester conceded 28 points during the final 19 minutes and they could scarcely believe what had hit them.
Tries by centre Chris Harris and former Bath player Matt Banahan put them in the driving seat, with Billy Twelvetrees kicking 10 points, yet it ultimately proved nowhere near enough.
The Premiership game was played behind closed doors after Bath’s hopes of welcoming 1,000 spectators as Premiership rugby’s latest pilot event were dashed just hours before kick-off.
Concern over the second wave of coronavirus infections has resulted in plans for supporters to attend sports venues in England from October 1 to be placed on hold as part of additional new restrictions announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Tries: Dunn 2, Boyce, Spencer
Cons: Priestland 4
Tries: Harris, Banahan
Cons: Twelvetrees 2
Pens: Twelvetrees 2
Bath: 5 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Ruaridh McConnochie, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Ellis, 5 Charlie Ewels, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Beno Obano.
Replacements: 16 Jack Walker, 17 Lewis Boyce, 18 Christian Judge, 19 Josh McNally, 20 Miles Reid, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Cameron Redpath, 23 Joe Cokanasiga
Gloucester: 15 Matt Banahan, 14 Ollie Thorley, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Jonny May, 10 Lloyd Evans, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow (captain), 6 Jake Polledri, 5 Matias Alemanno, 4 Matt Garvey, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Val Rapava-Ruskin.
Replacements: 16 Henry Walker, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Jack Stanley, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Jordy Reid, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Tom Seabrook, 23 Louis Rees-Zammit.
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant referees: Adam Leal & Karl Dickson
TMO: Christophe Ridley
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) September 22, 2020