GLOUCESTER 17 BATH 18
GLOUCESTER crashed to a last-gasp defeat as an ill-tempered West Country derby descended into chaos with a penalty try, TWO red cards and FIVE yellow cards.
It look as though the Cherry and Whites would pull off a remarkable win after Henry Trinder crossed following Sila Puafisi’s dismissal.
The tight-head prop had been on for less than ten minutes when Tim Wigglesworth displayed red for a recklessly high-tackle on Nick Abendanon.
There was plenty more drama to come in an unbelievable local derby as Trinder dummied his way over for a try.
But with Bath battling back, Gloucester lost both Mike Tindall and Huia Edmonds to the sin-bin – reducing them to 12-MEN.
Mike Ford’s men eventually took full advantage as they rumbled towards a painfully inevitable score before referee Tim Wigglesworth award a penalty try.
That cut Gloucester’s lead to a point but before Ford could even line-up his conversion a mass brawl kicked-off.
Tavis Knoyle was sent off following replays and Ford slotted the conversion to hand the visitors the most unbelievable of wins.
Davies made four changes to the side stung by London Wasps in the Amlin Challenge Cup with Tindall overcoming a calf complaint to start against his former club.
Elsewhere Martyn Thomas was preferred to Rob Cook and Gareth Evans and Will James were handed starting jerseys in the pack.
The Cherry and Whites made a commanding start in front of a electric Shed and a succession of penalties from Tim Wigglesworth allowed Twelvetrees to boot his side into the lead.
Gloucester, still seething from their European exit, demonstrated a real willingness to attack from anywhere but Bath held firm.
After soaking up the early onslaught, they earned a penalty, which was kicked to the corner. Their juggernaut pack threatened to trundle towards the line before the ball was lost when spread wide but they forced another penalty from the ensuing scrum and George Ford opened the visitors’ account.
They continued to turn the tide and it looked as though Ford had unlocked the Gloucester defence to send Horacio Agulla over the whitewash but the effort was ruled out for crossing.
And Gloucester soon went back in front as Twelvetrees slotted a penalty on 24 minutes. The England centre, playing at fly-half in the absence of Ryan Mills, kept the scoreboard ticking after a clever lineout saw Carl Fearns sin-binned for playing the ball on the floor before Ford hit-back.
Yet again Bath were penalised for infringements at the breakdown and Ross Batty was fortunate not to see yellow but both he and Bath escaped unpunished as Twelvetrees hit the left upright.
But they were once again on the wrong side of the law as Matt Garvey was shown yellow for a high tackle on Gareth Evans at the death.
Evans failed to return for the second-half but Tindall was cleared to continue after leaving the pitch for a concussion assessment following a heavy tackle just before the break.
Ford had the opportunity to cut the deficit just four minutes into the second period but he got under the ball and it fell short, and moments later he hit the posts with a drop-goal.
But the game was turned on its head when Puafisi was given his marching orders for dangerously high tackle on Abendanon.
The Tongan prop has been guilty of indiscipline on several occasions this season and could have no complaints over his dismissal.
It took Bath just three minutes to take advantage of their numerical supremacy as they kicked to the corner. They flexed their muscle with a succession of driving lineouts before Hooper rumbled over.
But the Cherry and Whites continued to battle with Rob Cook injecting pace and urgency.
A sensational break by the replacement full-back laid the foundations for a Gloucester penalty and Twelvetrees fired his side into the lead.
Bath were dealt a major blow when Dave Atwood was sent to the sin-bin and it sparked a remarkable final quarter.
The Cherry and Whites took a major stride to victory when turnover ball was spread to the right and Tindall released Trinder.
The centre had support outside him but he dummied his way past the defence to score what should have been a match-winning try.
But the encounter spiralled out of control in calamitous fashion as Bath fought back. Both Tindall and Huia Edmonds were sent to the sin-bin as the old enemy turned the screw and while Gloucester initially survived a score was inevitable.
Bath once again went to the corner and following a rolling maul Wigglesworth awarded a penalty try that sparked a mass brawl.
Tavis Knoyle was sent off before Ford slotted the match-winning conversion.
Follow all the action from 2.15pm as Gloucester take on fierce rivals Bath at a sold out Kingsholm