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South West Rugby Round-Up: Gloucester defeated, a tireless derby and another defeat for Bristol

It was another jam-packed weekend of Gallagher Premiership action as all four of our south west sides were in action; Gloucester were challenged by table rivals Wasps, Exeter Chiefs took on Bath in a derby and Bristol Bears took a trip to Northampton.

First of all, Gloucester’s hopes of a top four finish took a hit as they were defeated 27-21 by Wasps at Kingsholm.

Scores from Jacob Umaga, Gabriel Oghre and Charlie Atkinson were enough to push the visitors over the line.

A five-pointer from Kyle Moyle, a penalty try and stellar goal-kicking from Adam Hastings made the game competitive, but ultimately the gap was not reduced.

While the hosts remain the favourites to take that final play-off spot with games in hand on their side, this was a missed opportunity to take a chunk out of their competitors, so picking up a losing bonus point was disappointing for Gloucester.

Further west Exeter Chiefs came from behind to secure five points in a 42-22 victory over a stubborn Bath side at Sandy Park.

Scores from Jacques Vermeulen, Dave Ewers, Patrick Schickerling, Billy Keast, Stuart Hogg and Santiago Grondona’s efforts overcame the stubborn Bath defence.

Joe Cokanasiga’s double and a try from Josh Bayliss gave the Blue, Black and White a lead, but after spending a large proportion of the game on the defensive, the side succumbed to the Chiefs’ suffocating pressure.

The bonus-point win gives Exeter a lead of four over play-off rivals Northampton Saints, and could be key in reflection.

Bath can be proud of their performance despite the loss, looking a completely different team to the one that started the season.

Finally, struggling Bristol Bears were swept aside 39-22 by play-off hopefuls Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Garden’s.

The visitors got a consolation prize of a losing bonus point thanks to tries from Semi Radradra, Callum Sheedy, Yann Thomas and Alapati Leiua, but Tom Collins’ brace, and Rory Hutchinson, Lewis Ludlam and Tommy Freeman’s scores were too much to overcome.

The result is the Bears third defeat on the trot, but director of rugby Pat Lam believes there is more at play than just poor performances.

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