Gloucester Rugby signed off their 2019-20 Premiership Rugby Cup campaign on a disappointing note, as Bath Rugby overturned a 24-0 deficit to pip the Cherry and Whites by 26 points to 24 at Kingsholm on Friday evening.
For 25 minutes, the Cherry and Whites were on fire, scoring four tries and arguably leaving several other chances out there. Bath Rugby looked distinctly second best and wishing they were somewhere else.
However, the game then turned on its head as Bath started to keep the ball tight as conditions worsened. Several penalties followed and the visitors battled their way back into the game with two tries before half-time.
Perhaps the key moment of the game though occurred early in the second-half when Bath fly-half Alex Davies was forced out of the game with an arm injury. Former Kingsholm favourite Freddie Burns entered the fray and played a key role in what followed.
The Cherry and Whites found it difficult to get out of their own half in the first 20 minutes of the second half, but were defending reasonably comfortably until Burns, as he did so many times in Gloucester Rugby colours, snaffled an interception and went under the posts.
The lead was now down to 24-19, and the visitors started to sense a memorable comeback. The Cherry and Whites didn’t help themselves with some set-piece malfunctions whereas the visitors were efficient in this regard, and it came as no surprise when a catch and drive resulted in their fourth try, Burns’ conversion edging his team in front at 24-26.
Ball handling was now difficult as the persistent rain took its toll, and there were only a couple of fleeting chances for Gloucester Rugby to try and launch an attack to regain the initiative.
Sadly, none came to fruition and a disappointing evening came to an end with Bath Rugby holding on and actually looking the more likely to extend their lead.