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RUGBY: Gloucester 5 Bath 32
2:18pm Sunday 3rd February 2013 in Sport
AN outstanding LV= Cup second half saw Bath secure their first win over West Country rivals Gloucester at Kingsholm since 2006 and only their second victory in 11 attempts against the Cherry and Whites.
Four tries, from full-back Nick Abendanon, replacements Matt Gilbert and Semesa Rokoduguni plus New Zealander Stephen Donald added to a first half touchdown from Olly Woodburn against a solitary try for Gloucester from hooker Huia Edmonds.
Centre Sam Vesty added a penalty and two conversions as Bath made light of a match they did their best to lose in the opening half.
Although Bath were on top for the first 30 minutes of the match, head coach Gary Gold would have been fuming as his side left the field at the break.
The reason for the South African's fury was that Gloucester played 20 minutes of the opening period with 14 men as two players were sent to the sin-bin, with one lucky not to be off the pitch for good.
Bath took full advantage when home flanker Andy Hazell found himself on the sideline for 10 minutes when accused of a tip-tackle on hooker Rob Webber which looked likely to be a red card when skipper Mike Tindall was also called over by referee Ian Davies.
Luckily for the Cherry and Whites the card was yellow but Bath, attacking deep inside the home 22, sent the ball down the back division through the hands of scrum-half Peter Stringer, fly-half Stephen Donald and finally saw centre Sam Vesty with a lovely flip pass.
It found the hands of Woodburn and, with the Gloucester backs stretched, it was an easy run-in for the visiting flyer, which went unconverted by Donald.
That should have signalled more points while Hazell was off the pitch but, with Gloucester digging in defensively, Bath wasted opportunities and, when the back row returned, it was still only 5-0.
Yet Bath were handed another man advantage when lock Tom Savage was accused of taking a player out of a throw-in 10 metres from his own line but, once more, the Cherry and Whites held firm and even came near to a try when with Charlie Sharples just could not get the ball away from an all-enveloping tackle as fellow wing Shane Monahan waited in anticipation.
With Savage back on and no more points conceded by Gloucester, they turned tables on Bath and finally made their breakthrough five minutes from the interval.
It came from a lineout on the right near the Bath line and, after a rolling maul, Edmonds fell over the line under a pile of bodies, although Chris Cook could not convert.
Whatever was said in the Bath changing room made a difference as they came out with more purpose and were rewarded for a great attack down the right when wing Horacio Agulla gave Abendanon his scoring pass which the former England full-back accepted for an unconverted corner touchdown.
They were looking in much better shape as former Ireland scrum-half Peter Stringer sent a ball into the home 22 that forced home centre Tim Molenaar to concede a five-metre scrum.
And it looked more like a rare Bath victory on Gloucester soil when Vesty landed a penalty. That was confirmed - and more - when Gilbert stormed his way over from a few metres after a great move in the home 22.
Bath secured a bonus point when Rokoduguni went through a gap and ran to the line. Bath were in top gear by now and grabbed a fifth try as the home fans left Kingsholm early when World Cup winner Donald ran home from 30 metres.
Gloucester tried to get a consolation try at the end but the sight of their loyal fans streaming out of the ground told its own story of a disappointing day for the home side.
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