Bath won the bragging rights and a little more besides on Friday night when these two West Country sides somehow made the near-full Rec glow despite a bitter Somerset night and the sending-off of Gloucester's hooker, Darren Dawidiuk.
After two tries apiece in the first half everything seemed to be going Bath's way when Dawidiuk tip-tackled Dave Attwood and the referee, Tim Wigglesworth, had no choice but to wave a red card. Left to play the last 30 minutes with 14 men Gloucester went 13 points behind when fast thinking from Peter Stringer and fast hands from Nick Abendanon put Tom Biggs over in the corner.
However, Rob Cook put Jonny May in for his second try of the night and suddenly the match was up for grabs again, especially when Cook squeezed over his touchline conversion. Bath, though, held on.
Gloucester once went decades without a league win at the Rec but on Friday night they were looking for their third consecutive double. They also had Freddie Burns back after missing five matches – and the chance of making his mark with the England Six Nations squad.
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