Gloucester shoot themselves in the foot as Bath gain rugby bragging rights

Stroud News and Journal: Gloucester coach Nigel Davies Gloucester coach Nigel Davies

GLOUCESTER director of rugby Nigel Davies admitted his side only had themselves to blame after they were beaten by West Country rivals Bath in a feisty Aviva Premiership encounter.

In a match that witnessed seven cards including three yellow for Bath and two yellow and two red for Gloucester, George Ford converted a late penalty try for an 18-17 triumph.

The Cherry & Whites ended the match with only 11 men on the field, making the late score almost inevitable.

The defeat left Davies’ side in ninth position though they remain just three points behind Exeter Chiefs who occupy what is now a prized European spot in seventh.

But after seeing his side have a man advantage at times and lead in the match, he admitted the performance fell below his standards.

“We have got to look at ourselves first. Our discipline, regardless of anything else, has not been good enough this season,” Davies said.

“It’s hugely frustrating. We did so much good in terms of stepping up and playing the type of game that we needed to win a local derby.

“There was good intent although our accuracy let us down on occasions in the first half in particular.

“I think what we got at the end of the game was a bit of a farce and there is a lot of frustrations of within the players because of the inconsistency throughout the game.”

The victory moved Bath onto 59 points in the Aviva Premiership table – five clear of Harlequins who had put the pressure on by beating Sale Sharks on Friday night.

And after coming out on top in a furious encounter forwards coach Neal Hatley credited his players’ character – particularly after suffering a single-point defeat to Sale in the last round.

“I think it was [a real test of character]. After the disappointment of the Sale game where we had something very similar where we have had the opportunity to win the game in the last minute and not taken it,” he said.

“So to get something straight away in almost a replica of that situation and come up with a result, it says a fantastic amount about the character in the squad.

“We talked in the week about maybe the derby had lost some of its edge in the professional era, and then the game is reduced to something like that. So no, I haven’t seen anything like that for a while.

“With Harlequins getting the win last night it was important for us to come out and get a positive result. We’ve got three tough games to go. Two at home and one away so we’ve just got to keep edging our noses a little bit further in front.”

Be part of the world’s biggest club rugby final. To buy your tickets for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 31 May at Twickenham go to www.tickethour.co.uk/premierrugby

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