Gloucester Rugby recovered from a nightmare start to claim the bragging rights over West Country rivals Bath Rugby, Rob Cook’s first-ever Aviva Premiership try handing them a 16-10 victory at Kingsholm.
Less than a minute was on the clock when Stephen Donald went over and converted his own try to give Bath a dream start, adding a penalty as the visitors went in at the break 10-6 ahead.
But Gloucester dominated the second half and Cook crossed to add to 11 points from the boot of Freddie Burns to extend the Cherry and Whites’ unbeaten run to five Aviva Premiership games.
Bath would have been looking to silence the raucous home support at Kingsholm in this West Country derby as early as possible and got the ideal start as Donald touched down after just 32 seconds.
All eyes will be on Kiwi Donald now that Olly Barkley swapped the Rec for France and he did himself no harm here as he spotted a gap in the Cherry and Whites defence, bursting through it and running 40m to cross the whitewash, adding the extras himself for an early seven-point lead for Bath.
Despite the early setback Gloucester were very much in the game, knocking on Bath’s door but just lacking with the final pass.
But on 14 minutes the visitors thought they had crossed for a second try through Nick Abendanon only for it to be ruled out after replays had shown Kyle Eastmond had just stepped out of touch on the right wing after chasing down Sam Vesty’s grubber kick.
However Bath did extend their lead just four minutes later as Eastmond once again chased down a kick, this time from Donald, and put the Gloucester defence under pressure when it seemed like being a lost cause.
This led to a penalty at a scrum which Donald put between the posts for a 10-0 lead.
Despite trailing, Gloucester were enjoying the lion’s share of possession and ten minutes before half-time Burns had the hosts on the board with a straight-forward penalty.
Just moments later Burns sent his side in at the interval trailing by just four points as he added another three-pointer following a powerful run by Shane Monahan.
This buoyed the home side and they started the second half as they had ended the first, but Burns was wide with a penalty on the right.
Ten minutes into the second half Gloucester thought they had got their first try of the game but despite grounding the ball Monahan’s effort was ruled out by TMO David Grashoff as he deemed it was not immediate thanks to some brilliant defending by Tom Biggs.
But just moments later the home side had the try their play deserved as a flowing move from right to left saw James Simpson-Daniel send full-back Cook over in the left corner for his first-ever Aviva Premiership try.
This put Gloucester in the lead for the first time and Burns made the tough conversion to leave Bath trailing by three points.
The home fans at Kingsholm had more to cheer just before the hour mark as Kiwi World Cup winner Jimmy Cowan came off the bench for his first taste of action in a Gloucester shirt.
However they once again saw a try ruled out after Henry Trinder had touched down in the right corner but Monahan was adjudged to have gone out of touch before offloading to the centre.
With six minutes on the clock Burns wasn’t taking any chances and sent over a drop goal to give Gloucester a bit more breathing space, Bath unable to come back, leaving them with just one win in their last ten meetings with their local rivals.