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Rugby Union: Robinson on the brink.

GLOUCESTER 23 BATH 7

TWO-try Chris Catling left Bath coach Andy Robinson facing the sack this week.

Catling produced two stunning first-half scores to condemn the European champions to their sixth straight Allied Dunbar Premiership defeat - and almost certainly end Robinson's reign.

Gloucester's inspirational playmaker Mark Mapletoft said: "That's the worst Bath performance I've ever seen. We were up for the job but they weren't. The display was pretty poor. They didn't seem to have much of a game plan."

Robinson admitted: "This is the lowest ebb in all my years at Bath.

"I've never felt a worse moment in sport. I'm not a quitter and even though I am being criticised I'll keep going. I enjoy the job - but losing is a habit we've got to break."

Mike Catt, still in the England set-up, must take some of the blame. His naive play handed Gloucester a mountain of possession.

Bath paid the ultimate penalty for that, and now Robinson may have to pick up the tab. They haven't won in the league since October, and the way things are going they may have to wait even longer for their next victory.

The writing was on the wall from the moment Mapletoft connected with an 18th-minute penalty. And after losing Nigel Redman midway through the first half, Bath were in total disarray.

On the half-hour, an intelligent Mapletoft kick was missed by the sliding Iain Balshaw. Catling fell on the loose ball and went over.

When Mapletoft added a penalty 10 minutes later, Bath were doomed.

Five minutes into injury time, Richard Tombs and Terry Fanolua combined sweetly to allow Catling to crash over under the post. Mapletoft converted for a 18-0 half-time lead.

And two minutes into the second half, things got even worse for Bath.

Trevor Woodman caught a loose Jeremy Guscott kick and Catling hammered through Bath's defence, releasing Fanolua for another top score.

At least in the 48th minute Bath got on the board, as Scott Benton's clearance was charged down and Adedayo Adebayo went over.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 3, 1999
Words:340
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