Cherry and Whites' raid of the Rec masterminded by Robinson

Bath 3 Gloucester 18

History tells us that Gloucester regard the Recreation Ground in the way a cat regards a kennel: unwelcoming, unrewarding and far more trouble than it is worth.

Last night, in front of a sodden derby crowd of more than 12,000, they finally bared their claws and, largely through an excellent first-half performance cleverly managed by Nicky Robinson, left their scratch marks all over the place.

Whatever rain had not fallen on the poor bedraggled souls at the Ryder Cup descended on the Georgian City a few miles to the east of Celtic Manor, and it did nothing for the chances of the home side. Bath's renowned off-loading game was close to non-existent in the opening half, and with good reason: they could barely hang onto the ball even when they were not attempting passes out of the tackle. Gloucester, encouraged by the early handling errors, were sharply opportunistic in making the hosts pay for their sins.

Matt Carraro's fumble allowed the visitors their first sight of the line, and when Robinson cut a beautiful line from deep in support of Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, the last remnants of the Bath defence were in no position to stop Lesley Vainikolo receiving the scoring flick and touching down in the left corner. Robinson converted handsomely from the touchline to maximise the return.

The Welsh outside-half had already attempted a penalty from the best part of 60 metres and could hardly be castigated for dropping a few feet short. Yet Robinson also missed from 40 metres, striking the outside of the right post with a shot well within his range, and although he made amends at the start of the second quarter when Wayne Barnes, the referee, spotted Bath hands in a ruck, Olly Barkley answered in kind to keep Bath within seven points.

They did not stay that close for long. On 24 minutes, Mike Tindall's clever pass allowed Robinson to kick ahead for Fuimaono-Sapolu, who gathered safely on the slippery turf and fed Vainikolo off the floor. The big wing looked likely to claim his second try, but made sure of the points by feeding Robinson on the loop. When the scorer added another penalty a minute before the break – Pieter Dixon was adjudged offside in playing the ball after a big rebound off his colleague Nick Abendanon – the men from Kingsholm were more than halfway home.

Gloucester being Gloucester, they did not make life easy for themselves. Robinson's failure to reappear for the second period was not the end of their world – Freddie Burns, his young replacement, is quite a talent – but Jim Hamilton's indiscipline in kicking the ball out of an unthreatening Bath ruck while laying flat on his back was very definitely an issue. The Scotland lock was packed off to the sin bin, leaving his club-mates to work overtime in manning the barricades.

Much to their frustration, Bath could not make this numerical advantage pay. For all their possession and territory – the introduction of the young forwards Nathan Catt and Josh Ovens drove up the energy levels in the loose – they could find no way through a Gloucester defence built on the exceptional tackling on Alasdair Strokosch and Brett Deacon. Vainikolo was every bit as impressive in this regard, but then, there were no shirkers. Only once before had the Cherry and Whites managed a league victory here. Their second signalled wild celebrations from the travelling supporters.

Bath: Penalty Barkley; Gloucester: Tries Vainikolo, Robinson; Conversion Robinson, Pens Robinson 2.

Bath: N Abendanon (J Cuthbert, 81); M Carraro, S Hape, O Barkley, M Banahan (T Biggs, 84); S Vesty, M Claassens (M McMillan, 87); D Barnes (N Catt, 53), P Dixon (R Batty, 74), D Bell (D Wilson, 51), S Hooper, D Grewcock, A Beattie, L Moody (J Ovens, 45), L Watson (capt, B Skirving h-t).

Gloucester: C Sharples; J Simpson-Daniel, M Tindall (capt), E Fuimaono-Sapolu (T Molenaar, 63; J Pasqualin 86), L Vainikolo; N Robinson (F Burns, h-t), D Lewis; N Wood (A Dickinson, 83), O Azam (S Lawson, 67), P Doran-Jones (P Capdevielle, 79), J Hamilton (D Attwood, 57), A Brown, A Strokosch, A Hazell (L Narraway, 67), B Deacon.

Referee: W Barnes (London).

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
News
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
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

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam