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Late tries give Bath victory over Gloucester in derby

Matt Banahan

Bath have lost just one of their last eight encounters with Gloucester in Premiership Rugby.

Bath came from behind in the West Country derby to condemn Gloucester to their third home defeat of the season.

In an underwhelming first period, in part to do with the wet conditions, James Hook scored the only points of the half with a long-range penalty.

George Ford drew Bath level after the break with a drop-goal, before Greig Laidlaw put Gloucester back ahead.

But Anthony Watson finished well as Laidlaw missed two late penalties and Matt Banahan’s try sealed a Bath win.

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Both sides came into the fixture after defeats, with Gloucester looking to make amends for their 18-13 home defeat by Newcastle, and a slow start to the season.

But neither team came out firing as the first half was dominated by sloppy play and penalties at the scrum.

Gloucester lead 6-3 with 20 minutes remaining, but Bath made a try out of nothing as England winger Watson crossed to give them the lead for the first time.

Gloucester captain Laidlaw could have rescued his side, but fired short on two long-range attempts at goal. Banahan then received the ball from a good Bath scrum at the opposite end to ensure victory.

Bath have now won five in a row against their West Country rivals, who have just one win to their name this campaign.

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England winger Anthony Watson’s try saw Bath lead for the first time

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys told BBC Radio 5 live:

“It’s always tough to lose at home, tougher for our players and supporters to lose at home to Bath.

“It was a disappointing afternoon. A lot of the parts of our game that were missing last weekend were there today. But, ultimately we made too many mistakes to win the game.

“In the second half, we defended particularly well in our own 22 to hold Bath out with a lot of possession.

“But, a good clearance form them from our line-out turns the game around and they score. We’re not taking those kind of opportunities at the moment.”

Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder told BBC Radio 5 live:

“(The West Country derby) was everything I imagined it to be. It was a parochial crowd, a big occasion and you could see there was a real edge out there with the players.

“I think both teams were probably a little bit frustrated. I don’t think we appreciated just how heavy a track that was.

“It was a wet ball and both teams were at each other. It probably wasn’t the free-flowing game that everyone was hopeful for.

“But, we knew that it would come down to an arm-wrestle and Gloucester would be desperate. We knew if one or two opportunities came, we would be able to take them.”

Gloucester: Hook; Sharples, Twelvetrees, Atkinson, Purdy; Burns, Laidlaw (c); McAllister, Hibbard, Afoa, Savage, Galarza, Moriarty, Rowan, Morgan.

Replacements: Dawidiuk, Thomas, Doran-Jones, Latta, Kvesic, Heinz, Scott, Halaifonua.

Bath: Homer; Rokoduguni, Brew, Banahan, Watson; Ford (co-captain), Fotuali’i; Catt, Dunn, Thomas, Ewels, Stooke, Garvey (co-captain), Ellis, Houston.

Replacements: Batty, Auterac, Palma-Newport, Attwood, Z Mercer, Cook, Jennings, Williams.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/37489389