In a game which crackled from start to finish, the home side went back to their roots of surging, uncompromising forward play. But they also showed that they have pace and penetration behind a pack which just about lasted the full 80 minutes. Gloucester's director of rugby, Barrie Corless, is right to say that, with the right motivation, his players can deliver.
The Bristol eight fear no other unit in the First Division, but they provide oceans of old-enemy motivation to Gloucester, who came back from barely being able to win line-out scraps to their coach, Viv Wooley, saying that Richard West had done enough to warrant representational selection.
It was not until late in the game that Derek Eves managed to dart down the blind-side touchline to score Bristol's only try and they still looked as if they could snatch the points.
They had their chance when, with two and a half minutes of time added to the second half, Mark Tainton stepped up for a penalty against Dave Sims. It was his 11th kick of the afternoon and, in contrast to Mark Mapletoft, who landed everything, he had four penalties from 10 and had missed the touchline conversion.
Ten seconds later, his score was still the same and an 8,000 Kingsholm crowd was already talking of roasting the lame ducks Northampton next week at Franklin's Gardens.
Gloucester: Try Sims; Conversion Mapletoft; Penalties Mapletoft 4. Bristol: Try Eves; Penalties Tainton 4.
Gloucester: M Mapletoft; P Holford, S Morris, B Maslen, L Osborne; M Kimber, B Fenley; P Jones, D Kearsey, A Deacon (capt), D Sims, R West, M Teague, C Raymond, I Smith.
Bristol: P Hull; D John, R Knibbs, D Wring, G Sharp; M Tainton, K Bracken; A Sharp, M Regan, D Hinkins, S Shaw, A Blackmore, C Barrow, I Patten, D Eves (capt).
Referee: A Spreadbury (Bristol).Reuse content