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).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
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

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York