Ryan Lamb was on fine form against Bath in the Guinness A League
GLOUCESTER maintained their solid run in the Guinness A League last night with a 34-17 victory over Bath at the Rec.
Bath, fielding a number of first team players, started well and could have scored as early as the first minute when Andy Higgins carried on Andy Dunne's superb break, but the centre was hauled down just short of the line.
But it was the young Gloucester side that went into a 9-0 lead through the boot of centre Ryan Lamb after Bath were penalised for straying off-side in midfield, guilty of killing the ball and pulling down at the line-out.
Things got a whole lot worse for Bath when Kye Palm intercepted Spencer Davey's speculative pass to touch down in between the sticks. Lamb converted.
Bath did register a fine score on the stroke of half-time to haul themselves back into the game when hooker Rob Hawkins picked a tremendous line to step two Gloucester defenders for a try near the posts which was converted by Andy Dunne.
The home side started the second half well and Dunne slotted over a penalty to reduce the deficit to six points, but Gloucester's Lamb cancelled out the advantage a few minutes later before number eight Mark George was driven over the Bath line for a try.
The lead was further extended in the 62nd minute when Lamb added his fifth penalty to give Gloucester an unassailable 27-10 lead. Gloucester added gloss with another converted push over score for number eight George.
Bath did have the final say when Mike Mangeolles skipped past two tackles for a converted try on the stroke of full time.
GLOUCESTER RUGBY: 15 J Goodridge, 14 K Palm (1t), 13 G King, 12 R Lamb (2c, 5p), 11 S Hunt, 10 B Davies (McNeil), 9 D Pointon, 1 T Sigley, 2 B Gerry (Williams), 3 J Foster (Moran), 4 J Pendlebury, 5 Q Davids (Parkes), 6 D Miller, 7 T Rawlins, 8 M George (2t)
16 J Parkes, 17 B Williams, 18 K Moran, 19 W Jones, 20 C McNeil, 21 V Lanciano, 22 D Touy.
Speaking to the local media this week ahead of the Bath Rugby game, Head Coach Laurie Fisher stressed that the fundamental shape of Gloucester's game is in good shape but that the Cherry and Whites have to look after the ball better and make more of their scoring opportunities.
Skipper for the day Willi Heinz faced the cameras after the 13-18 home loss to Newcastle and expressed real frustration at not being able to back up last week's win at Sale, calling it a performance he and his team-mates are not proud of.
Speaking after the game, Charlie Sharples described it as 'the win that has eluded us.' The winger stressed that Gloucester had stayed positive after the first couple of weeks of the Aviva Premiership season and the 26-13 victory over Sale was a result of that focus.
Gloucester Rugby picked up their first win of the new Aviva Premiership season on Friday night, easing to a 26-13 win on the road at Sale Sharks. Director of Rugby David Humphreys was full of praise for his players on the night.
It's a game of small margins at the highest level, and so it proved to be at Kingsholm on Saturday afternoon as two second-half Bath tries earned a 6-15 victory from a game which Gloucester had dominated for long periods.
Greig Laidlaw is back to skipper Gloucester Rugby in Saturday's Aviva Premiership derby game against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm. James Hook will make his first start of the season at full-back and Billy Twelvetrees will make his 100th competitive appearance for the club.