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Simpson-Daniel sinks Bath
Two tries from Simpson-Daniel and one from Robinson win it for Gloucs
A James Simpson-Daniel double helped Gloucester get their Guinness Premiership campaign up and running with a 24-5 victory over Bath on Sunday.
Tries in both halves (18, 49) from the English winger and an interception try from debutant Nicky Robinson (77) ensured head coach Bryan Redpath got off to a winning start, as Bath paid for their wastefulness with the boot at Kingsholm.
Butch James' absence through a serious knee injury saw Ryan Davis employed as a kicker for the visitors, but missed chances meant it they only muster a Shontayne Hape (72) try, which proved too little too late.
The Kingsholm hosts enjoyed a good first half, but were fortunate not to fall behind in the first minute when opposition fly-half Davis erred with a penalty opportunity.
Gloucester fought their way into Bath territory, though, and were rewarded when last season's Premiership top try-scorer Joe Maddock knocked on under a high ball, offering up a penalty chance, which new signing Robinson duly converted.
Davis proved profligate with a penalty opportunity again on the quarter hour mark and the miss proved costly as former Bath centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu helped create the game's opening try.
It was Fuimaono-Sapolu's chip and chase down the left that got the Cherry and Whites deep into Bath territory and, after first employing the forwards, Gloucester moved the ball out wide through Robinson and the Samoan for Simpson-Daniel to score a converted try.
Gloucester continued to press as the half progressed, but saw Davis miss another penalty chance as the hosts went into the break 10-0 up.
Andrew Hazell was sin-binned for a cynical stamp on Julian Salvi's leg that was hanging out of the wrong side of a ruck, just before half-time, but Bath were unable to take advantage of their superior numbers as Davis turned down a kickable penalty chance in favour of a kick to the corner.
The resulting move came to nothing and Robinson then narrowly missed a three-pointer just before Hazell returned to the field of play. Salvi made a promising break into the Gloucester 22 soon after, but Michael Claassens's pass out wide was intercepted by Simpson-Daniel, who raced the length of the field to score his second converted try of the game.
Jonny Faamatuainu came up just short from a rolling maul on the hour mark for Bath and great hands from Danny Grewcock, Maddock and Matt Carraro put Hape in for the vistitors' first try. Carraro missed the conversion, but Bath at least had some points on the board.
They failed to capitalise, however, as Robinson rounded off his dream debut with a converted interception try in the dying minutes, shortly before being named Man of the Match.
|Sunday 28th December|
|14:30||Gloucester vs Wasps|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:45||Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Saracens vs London Irish|
|16:30||Exeter vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 4th January|
|14:00||Wasps vs Sale|
|14:00||Leicester Tigers vs Bath|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Harlequins|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Saracens|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:00||Sale vs Northampton|
|15:00||Bath vs Wasps|
|15:15||Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Exeter|
|Saturday 14th February|
|15:00||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Northampton vs London Irish|
|Sunday 15th February|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|15:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|Friday 20th February|
|20:00||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 21st February|
|14:00||Sale vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||London Irish vs Leicester|
|15:00||Bath vs Northampton|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Welsh|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com