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Tindall rampant for Bath in derby

02 Oct 2004
Tindall rampant for Bath in derby

Gloucester had never tasted success at their West Country rivals' home in 13 previous visits and a powerful performance from John Connolly's side kept Bath's hegemony intact.

A try in each half from man-of-the-match Tindall saw the World Cup winner celebrate his recovery from a shoulder injury in the perfect manner, displaying clinical finishing skills for the second.

Bath bullied the Cherry and Whites out of the game up front, with Gloucester generally looking a shadow of the side that had won four out of four so convincingly.

England fly-half Olly Barkley tallied a personal haul of 19 points, in stark contrast to Gloucester's kicker Henry Paul who missed four from six in an utterly forgettable performance.

It was Barkley who drew first blood with just a minute on the clock – his penalty saw Gloucester punished for straying off-side and Bath dealt another psychological blow by overpowering the visitors at a 10th minute scrum.

England 'A' winger Marcel Garvey threatened with an arching run followed by a chip ahead but there was too much weight on his kick and the ball bounced harmlessly out of danger, allowing Bath to breath a sigh of relief.

Gloucester continued to pile on the pressure and were rewarded by a Paul penalty – although an initial overlap on the left meant they could have had more – but three points from Barkley soon restored the home side's advantage.

There was little in it as both sides probed away with Bath going close following some impressive work from their pack and an opportunist break from scrum-half Martyn Wood, before Paul's boot levelled matters once again.

But John Connolly's side were back in front in the 29th minute thanks to a dreadful blunder from Gloucester fly-half Duncan McRae who gifted Bath the first try of the afternoon.

John Goodridge failed to control a towering up-and-under from Barkley but the ball bounced back into the arms of McRae only for the Australian to fumble possession into the path of Tindall and the England centre gathered up and fell over the line.

Barkley added the conversion and a third penalty but his side were a man down in the 39th minute after referee Dave Pearson spotted Robbie Fleck's late shoulder charge on James Simpson-Daniel and sent the former Springbok to the sin-bin.

McRae slashed the deficit with a drop goal before Melville beefed up his front row by bringing on monster South Africa prop Christo Bezuidenhout and French hooker Olivier Azam in the 45th minute.

But Azam hardly made the impression he would have liked as five minutes later he was yellow carded for impeding Danny Grewcock at a line-out, and Barkley rifled over the ensuing penalty to add to his fourth moments earlier.

Barkley was required to convert Tindall's second try in the 58th minute after the 25-year-old combined with Martyn Wood following some slick line-out work and wrong-footed the defence on his way to touching down.

A spell of driving rain took its inevitable toll on the match in the final quarter but the wet weather did little to dampen Gloucester's spirits as they took advantage of Bath's overstretched defence to score through Goodridge.

Paul pushed the conversion wide once again and the visitors could make no further headway against Bath's defence, leaving last year's beaten Premiership finalists to toast a deserved victory.

The scorers:

For Bath:Tries: Tindall 2Cons: Barkley 2Pens: Barkley 5

For Gloucester:

Tries: GoodridgePens: Paul 2DG: McCrae

Yellow cards: Fleck (Bath, 38), Azam (Gloucester, 52)

For more news, try out Bath Rugby v Gloucester Rugby

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