Bath just get the points over arch-rivals the Cherry and Whites.
Gloucester boss Nigel Davies said his side’s lack of discipline had cost them dear after a 15-13 defeat by Bath in the West Country derby on Friday.
Fly-half Freddie Burns, released by England to play for the Cherry and Whites against hometown club Bath, did his best to keep a Gloucester side outmuscled up front by scoring all their points, including a charged-down try.
That Bath’s winning margin was only two points didn’t reflect the balance of a match where the penalty count was 19-6 against Gloucester.
“Overall, it was a poor game of rugby,” said Davies. “I was disappointed with elements of our performance but the biggest disappointment for me was our discipline.
“If we had remained disciplined we could have sneaked something out of that game.
“There were periods of the second half where the momentum had changed, we had good field position, we could have have put pressure on Bath, but because we were undisciplined we didn’t. In the context of this game it was a huge issue for us.”
Turning to Burns, former Wales international Davies said: “He was great. He managed the game well, in the first half and in the second half.
“He managed field position very well — the trouble was that we let them off the hook when we got there.
“And you are not going to control games if you haven’t got the platform.
“We battled and battled — we do that — but we’ve got to have more control over games.
“The set-piece has to function a lot better than it is at the moment and the discipline has got to be a lot, lot better than it is now.
“It was a game where we were probably second best in most facets but one we should have won if our discipline been good enough.
“We know that if we keep the penalty count to 10 or below, we win rugby games.”
Bath’s victory in the first match of this weekend’s round of matches left them in second place and coach Mike Ford, whose son George kicked all their points but who also missed a few goalkicks too.
“I thought we dominated the game,” said Mike Ford.
“We put ourselves under pressure, though, missed a few goal kicks, conceded a charge-down try. But apart from that, I thought we were dominant in most facets.
“We are second now and we’re pleased where we are. Conditions didn’t help. But we believe we’ve only scratched the surface with this team.
“Our front five were really good, really dominant. Not just the front five — the whole eight.
“There were some pleasing things. I’m not disappointed about winning derby games!”
He added: “We kicked our goals but Freddie took his try well and we got a bit jittery towards the end. There were plenty of positives though.”