DAVE Attwood reckons Bath’s miserable Premiership record at Gloucester in recent years should be a source of embarrassment to the squad as they prepare to enter the Kingsholm cauldron again tomorrow (3.15pm).
While they have tasted success at the home of their west country rivals in the LV= Cup, Bath’s winless streak in the league stretches back to February 2006 and, with their play-off place yet to be secured, Attwood and co need to end that record this weekend.
Attwood, who joined Bath from Gloucester at the start of the 2011-12 campaign, said: “I think it gets brushed over sometimes that that really matters.
“That (winless record at Kingsholm) has got to smart for a club like this, especially playing the way we’re playing. We don’t like to let little wrinkles like that go and we’re very keen to get the result up there.
“For me, it’s one of the first games I look for on the fixture list but in terms of this organisation, it’s an opportunity to put a bit more of a padlock down on that top four position.’’
Attwood celebrated his 27th birthday last Saturday by captaining this side to their Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final success over Brive 24 hours later but while Bath were comfortable 39-7 winners in that tie, the England lock knows the intensity level will go up a notch this time.
Gloucester bowed out of Amlin tournament at Wasps on the same day and Attwood said: “They are going to be smarting from a loss at the weekend and we’re going to have an awful lot of work to do to quell that before we can start playing.
“We need to match their emotion and their intensity and all the hype around the derby fixture so that we can start expressing ourselves in the way we are able to when we are firing.
“It’s a local derby and they will raise the temperature a little bit and before you know it, they are simmering nicely.
“It’s important we don’t get up there and get blown away by their emotion for the first 10 minutes and end up chasing the game. We need to start well, with really good intent, climb on top and stay there.
“I love playing at Kingsholm, I think it’s one of the best stadiums we play at, partly due to the facilities but particularly due to the crowd and their involvement in the game.
“They’ve got some very vocal and knowledgeable support. They get involved in the game a lot and it’s quite important from our point of view we don’t let them get too involved because they can get on top of referees and your decision makers if you let them.’’
NEWS & REACTION FROM GLOUCESTER V BATH AT WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT