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Match Report: Bath Rugby 21 Gloucester Rugby 22

29 Oct 2017
Match Report: Bath Rugby 21 Gloucester Rugby 22

Owen Williams proved ice runs through his veins as he nailed an 88th-minute conversion to hand Gloucester Rugby the West Country bragging rights at Bath Rugby.

Rhys Priestland’s penalty gave his side a slender 8-5 lead at the interval after Willi Heinz and Semesa Rokoduguni traded impressive early tries.

And while Rokoduguni again cancelled out Heinz in the second half to hand Bath the lead, it was a grandstand finish as the Cherry & Whites piled forwards in search of a match-winning try and up popped Ed Slater to score it with the clock deep into the red.

A packed-out Rec expected the home side to deliver the goods in their home derby, but it was the Cherry & Whites that got off to the perfect start with a try made by Henry Trinder down the short side.

The centre held the ball and released Heinz at the perfect moment, with the scrum-half throwing a dummy to fool defender Priestland.

But three England players combined beautifully to put Bath level shortly after. Jonathan Joseph produced a piece of magic to step inside and beat Owen Williams and find Anthony Watson outside him, who in turn fed Rokoduguni to finish off a superb try in the right corner.

Joseph’s grubber-kick just had too much on it for replacement Aled Brew to gather in the left corner late in the half, but Bath grabbed the lead as Priestland was successful with one penalty but missed another in the swirling wind.

The scores were level again seven minutes after the interval however as Bath were offside in front of the posts, Williams making no mistake with the penalty, before some John Afoa wizardry created Gloucester’s second try.

An unbelievable offload out the back of the hand from the World Cup winner found Heinz who was there running a lovely supporting line to score.

But Priestland kept his side in touch with two more penalties as Bath began to bang on the door, and finally a massive carry from Toby Faletau brought them up the field, and the ball was sent wide for Rokoduguni to step inside and finish with aplomb.

Six points behind with five minutes remaining, Gloucester were not down and out and surged forward in search of their first away win of the season.

And they got it with Slater stretching over deep into time added on despite some desperate Bath defence, with Williams doing the honours with the nerve-wracking conversion to seal a 22-21 triumph.