West-country derby action: Bath vs Gloucester

West-country derby action: Bath vs Gloucester

One of the competition’s most celebrated derbies is on show this round as the West-country rivalry of Bath and Gloucester plays out, this time at The Rec. 

 


In Round 4, Bath were not good enough to stick one on London Irish, losing 47-38: 

 


Gloucester enjoyed a bye last weekend after their fixture with Worcester Warriors was called off. 

New Bath boss Johann van Graan had the following to say:


 

"I'm looking forward to it. It's the first Bath-Gloucester game I'll have been involved with. Go back to the last game when these two sides met back at Kingsholm and look at the result," Van Graan told BBC Radio Bristol.

 

"We've got to show that there's pride in this team. It's a great opportunity for this group to go out and perform and, for my side, we've got to go out and perform for 80 minutes.

 

"We reference that [the last meeting] as a group because it's a big derby, but my job is to make sure that we get better each week and we've got to build on the second 40 [minutes].

 

"From a clarity point of view, we've got to focus for 80 minutes and perform across 80 minutes.

 

"Gloucester are a class team, they've got potentially the best maul in the Premiership.

 

"They've got a very direct approach, they kick a lot in their half and they pin you outside your 22 and if they get penalties there they go to the corner.

 

"They've got a lot of firepower, so this will be a battle."

 

Gloucester boss George Skivington also showed great enthusiasm for the upcoming contest.

 

"I think the derby thing is brilliant," Skivington said.

 

"Everyone embraces it and enjoys it. I love seeing the supporters, how much it means in both camps, there's lots of banter flying around.

 

"The objective is to be a bit better than we were against Sarries.

 

"I think we've analysed that pretty hard and there's some glaringly obvious bits we could be better at that we think would have made a difference to closing the game out.

 

"The derbies are what makes rugby and sport special, but the important thing for us is that we're better than we were the other week."

 

 

Match insights: 

 

Bath Rugby 

  • Still yet to register a win this season, Bath have been struggling to get over both the finish line and the advantage line; they have the lowest rate of gainline success in the league (48%).
  • The blue, black and whites have been similarly flimsy on the other side of the ball, currently operating with a tackle success rate of just 85% - the lowest in the Premiership.
  • Joe Cokanasiga is returning to his fearsome best for Bath, coming off his wing and making 30 metres in contact from his 14 carries against London Irish – the most metres in contact made by any player last round.
  • Ben Spencer has made more kicks which have been collected by one of his teammates than any other player in the league (five).

Gloucester Rugby 

  • Gloucester have only played two matches so far this season but have not lost a scrum on their own ball in either.
  • Backing their maul, the cherry and whites have set up an average of nine per 80 minutes – more than any other team.
  • So far this season, Gloucester have been effective at stifling the momentum of attacking players in the contact, conceding the second-fewest contact metres per 80 minutes so far in the 2022/23 Premiership (61).
  • Gloucester have struggled to create opportunities in attack so far this season, beating the fewest defenders per 80 minutes of any team (12).

Historical 

  • Bath have only won two out of the seven most recent West Country derbies. Gloucester have won four and there has been one draw. Both these Bath victories were at the Rec.
  • A torrid time for an historic club, Bath have lost their last five Premiership matches.

Gloucester Rugby

Bath Rugby

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