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BATH director of rugby Todd Blackadder blamed inconsistency as the reason that his club may miss out on a tilt at the Aviva Premiership this season.

The west-country outfit have secured a place in the European Champions Cup next term after demolishing Gloucester 44-20 in their derby at the Recreation Ground on Sunday afternoon.

But Bath are four points adrift of Leicester and, even if they get a bonus-point victory at Sale next weekend, the Tigers will need just a losing bonus point to keep their grasp on fourth place and a play-off position.

Blackadder said: "We cannot control what the other teams are doing going forward but, when you leave these things to chance, these things happen.

"I am pleased we played the rugby we are capable of today. When I reflect on the season, inconsistencies have certainly really killed our chances. We can only really look at ourselves so it is what it is.

"But we wanted to finish things off today, particularly at home. There are a lot of guys who played their last home games and to make the top six in the Premiership was the goal."

British and Irish Lions number eight Taulupe Faletau produced a magnificent display as he crossed for a hat-trick of tries for Bath.

Centre Max Clark, wing Aled Brew and replacement Robbie Fruean also got tries while fly-half Rhys Priestland landed two penalties and four conversions.

Gloucester's England wing Jonny May went over for tries in each half, with fellow wing David Halaifonua getting a consolation at the end. Wales cap James Hook kicked a penalty in the first half while Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw, back from an ankle injury picked up in the RBS 6 Nations, added a conversion.

Blackadder praised Faletau, saying: "He was just unbelievable today. There was a world-class player right there."

Television showed an incident where Gloucester's replacement hooker Motu Matu'u looked to be knocked out during an attack but came back on the playing field again.

Cherry and Whites director of rugby David Humphreys said: "BT Sport thought Mots had been (knocked) out. I have not seen it at all. I was not with our comms (department during the game) but our discussion was that he had picked up a 'stinger' injury.

"He was taken off for an HIA (head injury assessment) on the back of what footage had been seen. He passed that in the dressing room and was able to come back onto the pitch.

"I was not aware of any issue or concern. We have got a top-quality medical team at Gloucester and everyone is aware of player welfare."

As for the game, Humphreys was desperately dismayed at the second-half collapse.

He added: "Embarrassing is probably the word. It is a huge sense of embarrassment and probably the worst 10 minutes of rugby in the last three years."