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Match Preview – Gloucester Rugby v Bath Rugby

Match Preview – Gloucester Rugby v Bath Rugby
It’s West Country Derby day this weekend, as Bath Rugby come to Kingsholm Stadium in one of the most exciting days in the rugby calendar (KO 3pm)

After five wins from the last six, the Cherry and Whites know their fate is in their hands, full in the knowledge the job is nowhere near done as they look to secure a spot in the end of season play-off shake up.

Here are some players to keep an eye on this weekend.

Jaco Kriel

The Springbok back row was in fine barnstorming form at Franklin’s Gardens last time out, and will be keen to continue his strong showing back on home soil this weekend. Kriel will be part of a settled Cherry and White back row up against a young and dangerous Bath Rugby trio.

Jonathan Joseph

One of English rugby’s most devastating attacking players returns for the finale of the season for the Blue, Black and White and will be a man to keep very close tabs on on Derby Day. The England international will be doing all he can to prove to the national coaches his fitness and form after missing out for much of the campaign.

Last Time Out

Northampton Saints 31-40 Gloucester Rugby

Bath Rugby 26-19 Bristol Bears

Match Facts

Gloucester Rugby’s only defeat in the last six rounds of Gallagher Premiership Rugby was 24-28 at Bristol on 1 March. Gloucester have won their last three home games at Kingsholm, since their reversal to Munster in Round 6 of the European Champions Cup.

Despite indifferent form since the turn of the year, Bath are still only five points behind Harlequins in fourth and six behind their weekend opponents.

Five points earned from the Clash against the Bears kept Bath above Wasps and level with Sale Sharks, both of whom also recorded bonus-point wins.

But with Quins losing and facing a tricky tie at home to Northampton Saints this weekend, Bath know they could potentially be in the driving seat for Gallagher Premiership Rugby semi-final qualification come the end of Round 19.

Meanwhile, Gloucester know a win will put some distance between them and the chasing pack.

With Saracens and Exeter Chiefs assured semi-final berths, Gloucester know their fate is in their own hands – but will want to secure their spot as soon as possible.

Last Time We Met

A thrilling tie ensued the last time these two met in Gallagher Premiership Rugby as a late try from Matt Banahan rescued three points for Gloucester as the sides drew 31-31 last September.

A quickfire first-half double from Ruan Ackermann and a further score from Callum Braley appeared to give the away side an unassailable lead.

But Bath hit back as Semesa Rokoduguni crossed just before the half-time whistle and Tom Dunn notched a double of his own.

Elliot Stooke looked to have dotted down the winner with seven minutes left before Banahan broke the home side’s momentum in the dying seconds.

Team News

Gloucester Rugby

15. Matt Banahan, 14. Tom Seabrook, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Henry Purdy; 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Willi Heinz (capt); 1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Franco Marais, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Ed Slater, 5. Franco Mostert; 6. Ruan Ackermann, 7. Jaco Kriel, 8. Ben Morgan

Replacements:

16. Mike Sherry, 17. Val Rapava Ruskin, 18. Gareth Denman, 19. Freddie Clarke, 20. Lewis Ludlow, 21. Jake Polledri, 22. Callum Braley, 23. Louis Rees-Zammit

Bath Rugby

15. Tom Homer, 14. Joe Cokanasiga, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Jamie Roberts, 11. Ruaridh McConnochie, 10. Freddie Burns, 9. Kahn Fotuali’i; 1. Beno Obano, 2. Tom Dunn, 3. Max Lahiff; 4. Dave Attwood, 5. Charlie Ewels (capt); 6. Tom Ellis, 7. Sam Underhill, 8. Zach Mercer

Replacements:

16. Jack Walker, 17. Jacques van Rooyen, 18. Anthony Perenise; 19. Elliott Stooke, 20. Miles Reid; 21. Will Chudley, 22. Rhys Priestland, 23. Max Clark

Match Officials

Referee: Matthew Carley (84th Premiership game).

Assistant Referees: Hamish Smales & Peter Allan. TMO: Geoff Warren.

Citing Officer: Paul Burke.

How To Follow

This Saturday’s game is live on both BT Sport and Channel 5, and there will be live commentary via BBC Radio Gloucestershire who will in place at Kingsholm Stadium.

Follow all of the club channels for live updates on the Gloucester Rugby App, matchday live blog, Twitter and behind the scenes on Instagram.

Enjoy the game!
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Kingsholm Stadium
Gloucester Rugby
Sat 28 Nov
KO 15:00
Wasps
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