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Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Saturday, 10 May 2008 16:51 UK
Premiership final day
10 May, 2008, 1500 BST

Gloucester (8) 8
Tries: Simpson-Daniel Cons: Lamb
Bath (6) 6
Pens: Barkley 2

James Simpson-Daniel
Simpson-Daniel touches down a sparkling Gloucester backs move

A first-half try from winger James Simpson-Daniel earned Gloucester a home draw in the Premiership semi-finals after a bruising win over rivals Bath.

The England international finished off a brilliant sweeping backs move on 33 minutes, while fly-half Ryan Lamb added three points from a penalty.

Centre Olly Barkley scored Bath's points with two penalties.

The victory ensured Gloucester top the Premiership table, while the defeat means Bath finish in third.

Gloucester also earned themselves a home semi-final draw and a chance to avenge last year's championship final defeat to Leicester, while Bath take on Wasps at Adams Park.

Despite the low scoreline, the west country derby was high on entertainment as Gloucester produced one of the most ferocious defensive displays ever seen at Kingsholm.

The home side made an incredible 71 tackles in just 30 first-half minutes, including try-saving efforts from Iain Balshaw and Simpson-Daniel.

Full-back Balshaw brought down strapping wing Matt Banahan 10 metres short of the line on 13 minutes before Simpson-Daniel's last-ditch tackle prevented prop Matt Stevens from capping off a brilliant 20m run.


A penalty from Lamb put Gloucester in front on 16 minutes, but Kingsholm-bound Barkley levelled the scores 12 minutes later with a penalty.

But the Gloucester faithful were brought to their feet four minutes later by a wonderful sweeping backs move, where Akapusi Qera's beautifully weighted offload allowed Simpson-Daniel to burst through for a superb try.

Ryan satisfied after 'great game'

But Lamb failed to add the extras, a miss which was compounded minutes later when Barkley reduced the arrears to two points with a penalty from 40 metres.

The second half lost none of the intensity of the first 40 minutes as Bath kept the ball alive with a series of wonderful offloads, but their adventure was quelled by the water-tight Gloucester defence.

Bath's attacking endeavours were severely dented when they were forced to withdraw Stevens and hooker Lee Mears because of injury scares.

The Kingsholm faithful were in full voice when Qera went over on 68 minutes - only to see referee David Pearson disallow the try because of an earlier knock-on from Willie Walker in midfield.

But neither side could find their way through each other's defences before the final whistle.

Gloucester boss Dean Ryan:
"There is no special recipe for success. "We have got to work hard during the week. Wasps play a certain way and Bath have a pretty unique style.

"We will need to look at how Leicester have played the last few games, looking at their strengths and weaknesses."

Bath coach Steve Meehan:
"We are disappointed with the result, we didn't execute things as we should have done.

We need to execute better - Meehan

"We will have to play the breakdown area a lot better against Wasps. We will need to throw everything at them.

"There is an eight-day turnaround so the players have a chance to recharge and get this out of their system.

"Clearly, it would be a tremendous result to go to Wasps and win, it is a tremendous challenge."

Bath: Maddock; Higgins, Cheesman, Barkley, Banahan; James, Claassens; Flatman, Mears, Stevens, Borthwick (capt), Grewcock, Faamatuainu, Lipman, Browne.
Replacements: Dixon, Bell, Short, Goodman, Walshe, Berne, Crockett.

Gloucester: Balshaw; Vainikolo, Tindall, Allen, Simpson-Daniel; Lamb, Lawson; Wood, Titterell, Nieto, Bortoloami (capt), Brown, Strokosch, Qera, Delve.
Replacements: Azam, Dickinson, James, Narraway, Cooper, Walker, Foster.

see also
Premiership play-off line-up
10 May 08 |  English
Bath 66-21 Saracens
04 May 08 |  English
Wasps 17-25 Gloucester
04 May 08 |  English

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