Finn Russell silences Gloucester fans as the Scottish playmaker leads Bath’s fightback to earn a dominant 45-27 West Country derby victory
- Bath overturned a 10-point half-time deficit to secure a memorable derby win
- Russell held his finger to his lips to silence the home crowd as Bath fought back
- The visitors secured a bonus point victory to move top of the Premiership
Finn Russell warmed up at a sold-out Kingsholm on Friday night with a series of keep-ups and then held his finger to his mouth to tell Gloucester’s fans to be quiet as Bath claimed a big derby win.
Scotland playmaker Russell was signed by Johann van Graan to be the difference in crucial matches and he helped guide Bath to a bonus-point success after his team fell 10 points behind.
Bath’s second half was dominant. They scored five of their six tries after the break. Gloucester’s struggles continue. They were totally outpowered in the second 40.
‘I thought the second half was pretty cool,’ said Bath boss Van Graan. ‘Finn is a brilliant team man and he’s fitted in so well. He’s been brilliant in what he’s added. It was a fantastic performance. That’s the best we’ve been this season but we’ve got a long way to go.’
Gloucester started well. Jonny May raced clear and combined with Santiago Carreras and Chris Harris.
Finn Russell put his finger to his lips to tell Gloucester fans to be quiet as
Russell helped Bath to overturn a 10-point half-time deficit to earn an impressive derby win
Chris Harris and Santiago Carreras, pictured, had help the hosts establish a first half lead
Gloucester Tries: Harris, Carreras, Alemanno. Cons: Barton (2), Carreras Pens: Barton (2)
Bath Tries: Lawrence (2), Muir, Du Toit, Obano. Penalty Cons: Russell (5). Pen: Russell
Referee: Matthew Carley (RFU)
Star man: Will Muir (Bath)
Russell’s Bath half-back partner Ben Spencer tried to stop the attack illegally and was yellow carded.
George Barton and Russell swapped penalties. Gloucester did look dangerous in attack.
Carreras was at the heart of things but it was Scotland centre Harris who scored first.
Russell’s passing was still a delight to watch and Bath had Ollie Lawrence on the money.
On his first appearance since returning from the World Cup, England centre Lawrence showed impressive strength to crash over.
Outstanding Gloucester full-back Carreras responded instantly.
Russell’s penalty attempt then struck a post. Barton was more successful as Gloucester went to the break 10 points to the good.
Bath wasted a prime attacking position soon after the break, but then Will Muir showed too much power to finish in the corner. Russell’s touchline conversion was perfect.
Will Muir showed power to score in the corner as Bath stormed back in the second half
Ollie Lawrence celebrated scoring Bath’s sixth try as the visitors emerged as derby winners
Gloucester head coach George Skivington apologised after his team’s third straight defeat
Bath, all of a sudden, were running hot. Replacement Thomas du Toit won a turnover and then scored from close range. And when May ran across the field, was tackled, and then penalised, you felt the tide was turning against Gloucester. It soon got even worse for them.
Beno Obano and a penalty score then put Bath in total control and Russell rubbed salt in the wound for Gloucester’s beleaguered supporters.
Jack Clement saw yellow for trying to stop Bath’s brutality. Matias Alemanno’s try was a consolation as Lawrence wrapped up Bath’s scoring.
‘With the second half I’d like to have an answer for you,’ said Gloucester head coach George Skivington. ‘It’s definitely concerning. We’re obviously getting something wrong.
‘Something is missing that’s for sure. I’m lost for words. I can only apologise.’
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