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Match report: Gloucester Rugby 20 Bath Rugby 43

28 Apr 2018
Match report: Gloucester Rugby 20 Bath Rugby 43

Tom Homer’s show-stopping solo score helped inspire Bath to West Country bragging rights as they claimed the scalp of rivals Gloucester.

Todd Blackadder’s troops run in six tries to claim their fifth straight win at Kingsholm, handing a major blow to Gloucester’s hopes of nicking a spot in the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals along the way.

It didn’t take long for the visitors to light the blue touch paper, with Anthony Perenise and Matt Banahan driving Bath forward before feeding Tom Dunn out wide.

The hooker arrived like a freight train, bulldozing his way through a barrage of red and white shirts to dot down, Rhys Priestland adding the extras.

The home side thought they had hit straight back but saw a Lewis Ludlow score chalked off, the Gloucester man penalised for a double movement as he rolled over the try line with Kane Fotuali’I holding on for dear life.

With 14 minutes on the clock, Bath struck again as Francois Louw broke with purpose and slickly offloaded to Priestland, who blazed home before converting his own try.

A Billy Twelvetrees penalty got Gloucester on the scoreboard but, with 25 minutes on the clock, the hosts suffered another setback as Charlie Ewels intercepted a loose ball and teed up Aled Brew, who turned on the afterburners and sprinted all over 60 metres to score, Priestland against converting from the tee.

Just a few minutes later, however, Gloucester grabbed their first try of the afternoon through skipper Ed Slater, who bundled over from out on the right wing, Twelvetrees adding the extras to make it 21-10.

That only served to illicit a magical bonus-point score from the visitors’ Homer, who spotted a gap and set off from inside his own half, blistering through the Gloucester defence and holding off three despairing challenges as he ran in a magnificent solo effort.

Twelvetrees and Priestland exchanged penalties either side of half-time and 12 minutes into the second period, the hosts had their second try of the game as, after fine work from Ben Morgan, replacement Ben Vellacott flung the ball over to Jason Woodward to go over, Twelvetrees converting to bring his team to back to within nine points of their rivals.

But it didn’t take long for Bath to grab their fifth score of the game, Priestland picking out Cooper Vuna in space, who stood up the Gloucester defence before jinking over out wide, fly-half Priestland converting against to make it 36-20.

The two teams largely cancelled each other out but there was to be one final flourish from Bath, James Wilson seizing upon a loose pass to dot down, Freddie Burns adding the extras.