TOP BAR - Fixtures

Match Reaction: Gloucester Rugby 12 Bath Rugby 17

Match Reaction: Gloucester Rugby 12 Bath Rugby 17

Bath Rugby coach Toby Booth insists Semesa Rokoduguni’s England claims cannot be ignored for much longer after the winger’s superb double sealed a West County derby win at Kingsholm.

The second of the Fijian-born star’s tries against Gloucester Rugby proved vital as he powered through three tackles before stretching out to ground the ball and break a 12-12 tie in miserable conditions.
Before then, the boot of Greig Laidlaw had kept the hosts in touch with a Bath side that had scored two tries through Chris Cook and Rokoduguni.

The in-form England winger now has six tries in his last four Aviva Premiership Rugby games and victory means Bath become the first team in league history to win three successive Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures at the famous old ground.

"He had no right to score the last one," said Booth. "Everyone knows what Roko brings. He's unbelievably strong and powerful. He's a try scorer and every team needs one. He does it for us on a regular basis.

"We've had (England boss) Eddie Jones with us this week, giving us player feedback, and obviously we know that Roko's on his radar. All Roko can do is play well for Bath and if he does that people will watch."
With the likes of George Ford and Jonathan Joseph back in the Bath team after the Six Nations, Booth added the confidence is flowing back into the squad.
"A lot of people have come back and that gives a massive injection of enthusiasm. They all stepped up and brought that enthusiasm with them,” he added.
"If we were guilty of anything in the first half it was trying to play too much, but the conditions didn't lend themselves to that. As the game wore on, we got on to the front foot and dragged ourselves into their half and that's when we applied the pressure."
Meanwhile David Humphreys’ Gloucester side have now lost three in a row in the league to put their top six hopes in real jeopardy.
“It's very disappointing," he said. "I can't fault the effort, but there were key moments in defence and attack when we made simple mistakes – one-on-one missed tackles, key turnovers. It felt like we were a long time in the Bath 22 and we couldn't get over the line.
"Three weeks ago we were in a great place. Now on the back of two poor performances we've got to sit down and make sure we finish the league far better than we've played the last couple of games.
"Against team as good as Bath defensively and offensively, you've got to take your opportunities, it's all the small details which haven't been as good as they need to be against the best teams.
"We pride ourselves on our defence, but today a couple of individual errors cost us. It's disappointing to concede three tries and lose at home."
 
Gloucester Rugby: Marshall; Halaifonua, Meakes (Trinder, 67), Twelvetrees (Atkinson, 77), McColl; Hook, Laidlaw; McAllister (Thomas, 74), Dawidiuk, Afoa, Savage, Thrush (Galarza, 63), Kalamafoni (Evans 66), Kvesic, Moriarty.
Replacements not used: Cole, Doran-Jones, Braley
 
Bath Rugby: Watson; Rokoduguni, Joseph, Devoto, Banahan; Ford, Cook; Catt (Lahiff, 55), Webber (Dunn, 66), Thomas (Wilson, 64), Ewels, Day (Douglas, 71) Garvey, Louw, Mercer (Mafi, 45).
Replacements not used: Evans, Priestland, Agulla
 
Gloucester Rugby
Penalties: Laidlaw 4
 
Bath Rugby
Tries: Cook, Rokoduguni 2
Conversions: Ford
 
Referee: Wayne Barnes.
Attendance: 16,115

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