Burns proves too hot for smouldering Bath

Gloucester 16 Bath 10: Fly-half leads Gloucester's second-half comeback amid TMO controversy

kingsholm

The Television Match Official experiment raises more hackles than a full moon during a werewolves' convention, even when it is not directly implicated in an incorrect decision. Video replays showed the Gloucester wing Shane Monahan was wrongly judged by the assistant referee Robin Goodliffe to put have a foot in touch as he passed for Henry Trinder to ground what would have been a crucial try.

Under the current trial in the Premiership, the TMO can be called in for many misdemeanours – and a series of reviews did both delay this match and right a couple of potential wrongs – but he cannot tell the touch judge 'Er, sorry old chap, you got that wrong'.

The scoreline at the time Trinder went over with about 10 minutes left was a precarious 13-10 to Gloucester. For the sake of justice and the nerves of the majority in a packed Kingsholm, an unimpeachable score followed soon afterwards. Bath fumbled a line-out, Gloucester won two penalties at the subsequent scrums as they went for the kill but the home side's replacement prop Dan Murphy blew that position by sticking his hand in where it was not allowed.

Soon enough, though, an insistent Gloucester had their reward when Freddie Burns chipped over a drop goal from behind a ruck on the 22. Burns may only be in England's second-string Saxons squad but the 22-year-old fly-half is stringing together performances that make a good case for promotion. His pair of first-half penalties and conversion of full-back Rob Cook's first try for the club after 51 minutes helped Gloucester overturn an early 10-point deficit and move above Saracens to fourth in the table.

That fourth placing would have been Bath's had they won. Their South African head coach, Gary Gold, shouted "cheats" during the first half and it was clear Gloucester going off their feet after the tackle was the subject getting his goat.

This was the last match for the experienced Test referee Dave Pearson before he takes a coaching job with the Six Nations, and Bath will not remember it fondly. An alternative view was that they did not do enough over the ball, such as when their wing Tom Biggs made a final-quarter break upfield but Stephen Donald, following up, made no impact on the developing ruck.

To be fair to Donald, the All Black who reassumed the Bath No 10 jersey after Olly Barkley's midweek departure to Racing in Paris, he is working his way to full fitness. He may sidestep like a drunk looking for a wall to lean against, but he was devastating in a straight line with a try to rock Gloucester back after just 33 seconds. The Bath props, Paul James and David Wilson, made charges to suck defenders in and Donald picked a lovely line of least resistance past Gloucester's loosehead prop Nick Wood.

When the Gloucester tighthead Rupert Harden was penalised for slipping his binding after 19 minutes, Donald added a penalty to the conversion of his try and Bath could begin to think about avoiding a ninth defeat in 10 league matches against their local rivals.

In between times the TMO, David Grashoff, had correctly ruled against a "try" by Nick Abendanon due to Bath's Kyle Eastmond having a foot in touch. "From a coach's and a team's point of view, we want facts, so we encourage the TMO trial," said Toby Booth, one of Gold's assistants. "The bigger problem is we don't have it in every game." Perhaps it just was a tribute to the 50th anniversary of James Bond that the Gold finger was pointed so demonstrably at Mr Goodliffe at the end.

After Donald's kick for 10-0, Bath might have had another penalty against Harden for turning in but they chose to attack. They look like a team gradually marrying the wide game with a much-needed improvement in the tight. Gradually, though, Gloucester got on top with the latter, perhaps due to second-half changes from the bench.

Monahan's 40-metre burst after a loose Bath kick narrowly failed to produce a try when he grounded the ball short and took too long to place it over the goalline – another correct TMO call. Cook's finish in the left corner was deemed worthy of another review. It was fine, and the way James Simpson-Daniel completely foxed Donald before passing to Cook emphasised the crying shame that "Sinbad" has given up on England ever recalling him. Simpson-Daniel should have won many more caps. Others such as Burns have much more to look forward to.

Nigel Davies, Gloucester's director of rugby, said: "It's been quite evident for a couple of years Freddie has a fantastic skillset but it is about managing games, kicking goals and pulling it all together. He's certainly doing that at the moment."

Gloucester R Cook; S Monahan, H Trinder, B Twelvetrees, J Simpson-Daniel; F Burns, D Robson (J Cowan, 58); N Wood (D Murphy, 62), H Edmonds (K Britton, 62), R Harden (S Knight, 58), T Savage (W James, 46), J Hamilton (capt), S Kalamafoni, B Morgan, A Qera.

Bath N Abendanon; K Eastmond, D Hipkiss (J Cuthbert, 69), S Vesty, T Biggs; S Donald (O Devoto, 78), M Claassens (M McMillan, 52-56, 69); P James (N Catt, 69), L Mears (capt; R Batty, 63), D Wilson (A Perenise, 63), D Day (W Spencer, 60), D Attwood, C Fearns, S Taylor (W Skuse, 52), B Skirving.

Referee D Pearson (Northumberland).

Attendance 15,677.

Gloucester

Try: Cook

Con: Burns

Pens: Burns 2

Drop goal: Burns

Bath

Try: Donald

Con: Donald

Pen: Donald

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
Sport
football
News
i100
Life and Style
Virtual reality headset: 'Essentially a cinema screen that you strap to your face'
techHow virtual reality is thrusting viewers into frontline of global events and putting film-goers at the heart of the action
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
News
advertisingVideo: The company that brought you the 'Bud' 'Weis' 'Er' frogs and 'Wasssssup' ads, has something up its sleeve for Sunday's big match
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Environment
Dame Vivienne Westwood speaking at a fracking protest outside Parliament on Monday (AP)
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness