2018-2019

by BRIAN JENKINS

1 AUGUST 2018 Bristol v Bath

Bristol Bears secured an opening day victory with a 17-10 triumph over Bath Rugby in front of a capacity crowd at Ashton Gate.
The first points of the match came in the eighth minute, as the Blue, Black and White were penalised for collapsing the Bristol maul. The hosts signalled for the sticks and Ian Madigan slotted the kick to give his side an early lead. [3-0]
Bath came within a whisker of a try seven minutes later after a flowing move from Tom Homer started on the halfway line. The full-back offloaded to Sam Underhill, with Taulupe Faletau gaining further ground into the opposition 22. Following several phases, the ball was offloaded to Priestland, who put Homer across the line. However, after intervention from the TMO, he was adjudged to have lost the ball in grounding.
The Bears were next on the attack, as winger Luke Morahan made a clean break through the Bath defence with a try looking a certainty. However, the winger was halted in his tracks by the back-tracking Joe Cokanasiga, who stepped in to make a try-saving tackle.
Bristol continued to pile the pressure on the Bath defence, and were rewarded for their efforts with another three points from the boot of Madigan, which gave the home side a six-point advantage going into the half-time interval. [6-0]
Half-time – Bristol Bears 6-0 Bath Rugby
Two minutes into the second-half, Bristol added another three points through the prolific Madigan, who extended their lead. [9-0]
Bath hit back 10 minutes later following strong work from Zach Mercer, who jinked his way into the Bristol 22. The ball was fired out quickly to Priestland, who found Homer at pace, and the full-back crossed the whitewash for Bath’s first score of the evening. Priestland converted to reduce the deficit to just two points. [9-7]
Bath started to take control of proceedings, as they tested the resolve of the dogged Bristol defence. A powerful drive at the scrum led to a try scoring opportunity, which was stopped abruptly by a deliberate knock-on by Tusi Pisi. Referee JP Doyle had no option but to send the centre to the sin-bin.
The visitors took the lead for the first time in the match on the 63rd minute. Bristol were penalised on their 10 metre line and Priestland opted for the kick at goal. The kick was successful and Bath moved in front on the scoreboard for the first time in the game. [9-10]
Bristol retook the lead five minutes later, as Bath were penalised for not releasing at the breakdown. Madigan stepped up once again to give his side a two-point lead going into the final 10 minutes.
The killer blow was landed in the 72nd minute, with Morahan causing havoc in the Bath defence once again. The winger found the juggling Alapati Leiua, who managed to grasp the ball at the second time of asking to score in the corner. [17-10]
Bath continued to look for that all important score, but were unable to bypass a well-drilled Bristol defence. Attention now turns to next Saturday’s derby, with Bath Rugby hosting Gloucester Rugby back at the Rec.
Full-time – Bristol Bears 17-10 Bath Rugby

Match details
Ashton Gate
Gallagher Premiership
31 August 2018
KO 19:45
Attendance: 26,079
Referee: JP Doyle
Half Time score: 6-0
Bristol:
Tries: Leiua (71)
Penalties: Madigan (8, 28, 42, 67

 

8 SEPTEMBER 2018 Bath v Gloucester

Bath Rugby fought back from 21 points down to claim a 31-31 draw against West Country rivals Gloucester Rugby at the Rec.

It was end to end action in the opening quarter, but the game remained scoreless until the 15th minute.

It was Danny Cipriani, who opened the Bath defence, as the fly-half sent a clever grubber kick through from halfway. Billy Twelvetrees collected the ball and offloaded in the tackle to Lewis Ludlow, who carried the ball into the Bath 22. Play was spread to Henry Trinder, before Matt Banahan charged through to five metre line. Following several phases, Ruan Ackerman was able to bundle his way over from close range. Cipriani added the conversion to give his side the early lead. [0-7]

The visitors doubled their lead just over 10 minutes later, with Cipriani pulling the strings once again. The England international drew the Bath defence before sending a perfectly weighted pass to Ackerman, who went through the gap to score his and Gloucester’s second try of the match. [0-14]

Gloucester increased their lead to 21 points, six minutes before the interval. It was Callum Braley, who went over under the posts after good work from Billy Twelvetrees at the breakdown. Cipriani extended Gloucester’s lead with the conversion. [0-21]

In the last action of the first half, Bath got their first points of the afternoon. The Blue, Black and White put pressure on the Gloucester line, and their patience was rewarded. The ball was recycled to the right wing and Freddie Burns sent a long pass to Rokoduguni, who finished in the corner. Burns’ touchline conversion went straight through the uprights to reduce the deficit. [7-21]

Half-time – Bath Rugby 7-21 Gloucester Rugby

The home side came out of the blocks quickly in the second-half, with Joe Cokanasiga coming within touching distance of a try. Nathan Catt released the winger out wide, but was agonisingly bundled into touch just short of the line. However, Bath managed to steal subsequent line-out, and Tom Dunn crashed over from close range. Burns’ conversion took Bath to within seven points on the scoreboard with just 42 minutes played. [14-21]

It got even better for the Blue, Black and White, as they levelled the scores with just over 15 minutes to play. An intelligent kick on halfway from Max Green, was gathered by Rokoduguni, with the winger making strides into the Gloucester 22. The forwards ground out the hard metres before Dunn crashed over for his second of the game. Replacement Rhys Priestland brought the scores level with the successful conversion attempt. [21-21]

Gloucester hit back with Jason Woodward showing his attacking intent with a 50 metre dart into the Bath 22. Moments later, Referee Luke Pearce signalled for the penalty and the reliable Twelvetrees put Gloucester three in front with just 10 minutes to play. [21-24]

The drama continued from the restart, as Rokoduguni leapt highest to put Bath back on the attack close to the Gloucester line. Bath continued to press the Cherry and White defence, and a penalty soon followed for the hosts. Priestland stepped up once again to draw the sides level once again. [24-24]

Bath struck again soon after, with the forwards setting up another scoring opportunity. Jackson Willison found space in the Gloucester 22, before sending a looping pass to Elliott Stooke to finish in the corner. Priestland gave Bath a seven-point advantage with five minutes left. [31-24]

Gloucester weren’t ready to give in without a fight and struck two minutes before the final whistle through none other than Matt Banahan. Gloucester worked their way up into the Bath’s 22, earning a penalty which Cipriani sent into the corner. The visitors kept plugging away at the Bath defence before Cipriani sent Banahan through for a try on his return to the Rec. Twelvetrees kept his composure from the tee to see the game finish all square in a thrilling derby encounter.

Full-time – Bath Rugby 31-31 Gloucester

22nd September Bath v Northampton

Bath Rugby claimed their second win on the bounce with a hard-fought 17-15 victory over Northampton Saints at the Rec.
It was a pretty scrappy opening first quarter of the game, with the torrential conditions impacting on both sides. Northampton got the first points on the scoreboard through Cobus Reinach for the first try of the afternoon. Piers Francis capitalised on a loose ball in the midfield before storming into the Bath 22, with Reinach pouncing on his own kick through to open the scoring. Dan Biggar added the conversion to put Saints into the lead with 19 minutes on the clock. [0-7]
Northampton continued to press the Bath defence, as they looked to extend their advantage 10 minutes later with the attacking scrum on the 22. Reinach looked for Andrew Symons from the set-piece, but the pass was intelligently read by Burns. From then on it was a foot race, but there was only one winner, as the playmaker ran the length of the pitch to finish under the sticks. The fly-half converted his own try to bring the sides level. [7-7]
Neither side were able to take advantage of any openings in the closing 10 minutes first half, with the score deadlocked at 7-7 going into the interval.
Half-time – Bath Rugby 7-7 Northampton SaintsBurns made no mistake from the tee, giving his side a three-point lead after 55 minutes. [10-7]
Bath extended their advantage in the 63rd minute to the delight of the 14,150 crowd packed into the Rec. It was Burns, who was at the centre of the move once again, as he opened up the space to attack out wide. Despite skewing his chip over the top, the fly-half re-gathered the ball and offloaded to the supporting Elliott Stooke. The second rower showed his passing range, launching a ball into the hands of Joe Cokanasiga, who ran in his third try in two games. [17-7]
Northampton weren’t ready to give up without a fight, as they went through multiple phases in the Bath 22. The pressure paid off, as Dan Biggar slotted three points to take his side within seven points on the scoreboard. [17-10]
The visitors continued to mount attack after attack, and 30 seconds before the final whistle, Saints found their way back in the game. Alex Mitchell darted through the Bath defence and found Tom Collins, with the winger crossing in the corner to leave Biggar with the difficult conversion from the touchline. The Bath support held their breath as the Welsh international stepped up, and fortunately his kick hit the post, which gave the Blue, Black and White their second victory on the trot.
Full-time – Bath Rugby 17-15 Northampton Saints
Burns added to his tally 15 minutes into the second half, to put Bath in front for the first time in the game. It was Semesa Rokoduguni, who setup the scoring opportunity with a chip over the Saints defence on the right wing. A solid chase from Taulupe Faletau saw Bath bundle Saints into touch before referee Karl Dickson awarded the penalty at the resulting breakdown.

29TH SEPTEMBER SARACENS V BATH

A clinical second half performance from Saracens gave them a 50-27 victory over Bath Rugby at Allianz Park.

The Blue, Black and White went into the lead with an early penalty, following good work from the forwards. Rhys Priestland looked to the sticks and put Bath ahead after two minutes.

Saracens scored the first try of the game through Liam Williams. Saracens worked the ball out wide to the right wing, with a clever cross-field move. Goode broke though the Bath defence before offloading to the winger. The conversion was unsuccessful and the home side had a two-point lead after 12 minutes. [5-3]

The home side scored their second try just three minutes later. A line-out just outside the Bath 22 was utilised well, the ball was spread wide and Alex Lozowski sent Alex Goode through on a clever line to score. Farrell converted to give Saracens a nine point lead. [12-3]

Bath closed the gap to six points on the 26th minute mark. Priestland slotting a monstrous penalty kick from 47 metres out. [12-6]

Saracens responded just four minutes later, following a scrum penalty against Bath led to a five-metre line-out for the hosts. The set piece was neatly worked and Saracens went over for their third try of the match. Farrell made no mistake with the touchline conversion. [19-6]

Bath responded moments later courtesy of a opportunistic effort from Chris Cook. The scrum-half rushed out from the Saracens line-out just outside the Bath 22 and intercepted. Cook showed his pace and ran the length of the pitch to score Bath’s first try of the game. Priestland converted from the touchline to narrow the gap to six points once again. [19-13]

Saracens showed patience and worked their way up the field and into the Bath 22, to open up another scoring opportunity. The hosts continued to go through the phases before the ball was distributed to Nick Tompkins who beat the defender and ran into score the bonus-point try on the 38th minute mark. Farrell extended Saracens lead from the tee. [26-13]

The half wasn’t over just yet with Bath next on the scoreboard with Tom Homer finishing a flowing attacking move. Bath turned the ball over on halfway and the ball was spread out wide and found Darren Atkins. The full-back charged up the field beating his defender, before drawing in the last man, providing a no look pass to Homer, who ran in to score in the corner. Priestland made no mistake with the touchline conversion. [26-20]

Half time – Saracens 26-20 Bath Rugby

Saracens started the second half strongly with Prop Titi Lamositele breaking out of a tackle on the right wing before unselfishly giving the ball to Williams who went in to score his second try. Farrell added the extras and the hosts led by 13 points after 41 minutes. [33-20]

Saracens continued to apply pressure after the break and Williams went in for his third try after 53 minutes, with Alex Goode the architect of the move. The full-back sidestepped his man on the Bath 22 and drawing in several defenders before cleverly offloading to the winger. Farrell failed to add the extras. [38-20]

Come the 62nd minute, Saracens found themselves in a good attacking position once again, but this time it was Bath who struck. Tom Homer read Farrell’s pass as he tried to distribute wide and the winger outran the Saracens defence to score his second in spectacular fashion. Burns made no mistake with the extras, slotting the touchline conversion. [38-27]

Saracens landed the killer blow four minutes later. The home side found themselves camped inside the Bath 22, before the ball was distributed out wide to the influential Goode. The full-back found Sean Maitland on the left wing, with the Scottish international beating the defender to score. [43-27]

The final try of the match came in the 78th minute. Following a scrum penalty, the hosts found themselves with a line-out five metres out. A powerful rolling maul from the home side sent Christopher Tolofua over the whitewash to complete the victory for the reigning Gallagher Premiership champions. [50-27]

Full-time – Saracens 50-27 Bath Rugby

27TH 0CTOBER BATH V HARLEQUINS
Harlequins recorded a narrow 19-27 victory over Bath Rugby in the first round of the Premiership Rugby Cup at the Rec.

It was the home side who got the first points on the board after 13 minutes, with Jack Walker scoring the opening try. After conceding a host of penalties in their 22, Harlequins were reduced to 14 men, with Stan South bring down a rolling maul close to his own line. Bath persisted with the catch and drive, and their patience was rewarded with Walker crossing the whitewash. Alex Davies was unable to add the conversion. [5-0]

The visitors hit back five minutes later through the boot of Demetri Catrakilis, who took his side back within two. The fly-half was back amongst the points six minutes later with another successful penalty attempt. [5-6]

Bath continued to test the resolve of the Harlequins defence and nearly found their way over the try line for a second time with 10 minutes to play in the first half. Despite going over the line, Harlequins managed to stand firm as they held the Blue, Black and White over the line.

With the clock drifting into the final 30 seconds of the half, it was Harlequins who increased their lead. After taking a quick free-kick, Harlequins went for a counter attack out wide. Alex Dombrandt found full-back Aaron Morris with a clever offload, and the full-back put a grubber kick into space. Charlie Walker was the quickest in the chase, as the winger pounced on the ball over the try line to send his side into the interval with a six-point lead.

Half-time – Bath Rugby 5-11 Harlequins

Harlequins continued to gather momentum in the second half and increased their advantage on 44 minutes. The visitors progressed through the phases in the Bath 22 before Dombrandt cut through the Bath defence to finish under the posts. Catrakilis added the conversion to put his side in firm control on the scoreboard. [5-18]

Catrakilis was back in action 13 minutes later, adding a further three points to his tally following a high tackle from the Bath defence. [5-21]

Bath continued to plug away in attack and reduced arrears with just under 15 minutes to play at the Rec. After Dombrandt was sent to the sin-bin, Bath continued to gather momentum with the catch and drive, a strong point throughout the game. Their efforts were rewarded, as Ross Batty went over from the rolling maul. Davies made it a seven-point score to take the score to 12-21.

The prolific Catrakilis continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over with another three points, to leave Bath two scores adrift going into the final 10 minutes. [12-24]

The hosts, didn’t give up however and moments later Batty added his second of the game. In what was almost a replica of his first effort, the hooker used his experience to dot down from another well-worked move from the pack. Bath close the gap further with a successful conversion making it a five-point difference. [19-24]

Harlequins closed out the game in the closing stages, with James Lang putting his side out of reach with four minutes to play slotting a straight forward penalty from in front of the posts. [19-27]

Bath will now travel to Sandy Park next weekend to face Exeter Chiefs in the second round of the Premiership Rugby Cup.

Full-time – Bath Rugby 19-27 Harlequins  

MATCH DETAILS

Recreation Ground
Premiership Rugby Cup
27 October 2018
KO 15:00

Attendance: 14,509
Referee: Greg MacDonald
Half Time score: 5-11

Bath:

Tries: Walker (13), Batty (65, 72)

Conversions: Davies (66, 73)

Quins:

Tries: Walker (39), Dombrandt (43)

Conversions: Catrakilis (44)

Penalties: Catrakilis (17, 23, 56, 69), Lang (75)

 

 

5th January Worcester v Bath

There was late drama at Sixways, as Worcester Warriors scored in the 98th minute to secure a 21-19 victory against Bath Rugby.
It was a cagey start to the game, with Worcester dominating the early exchanges. However, it was Bath who got the first points of the game when Worcester were penalised for offside just outside their 22. Freddie Burns pointed to the uprights and gave his side an early three-point lead inside 10 minutes. [0-3]
The visitors increased their lead with six minutes later. Bath were awarded a penalty mid-way inside the Worcester half after Sam Lewis was penalised at the scrum. Burns made no mistake from the tee and in doing so doubled his side’s lead. [0-6]
After Michael Fatialofa was shown a yellow card on the 19th minute mark for a shoulder charge on Tom Ellis, Bath kept the scoreboard ticking over. After putting pressure in the 22, Worcester conceded another penalty for going off their feet at the breakdown. Burns added another successful penalty kick, to give the Blue, Black and White a nine-point lead going into the second quarter. [0-9]
Worcester responded with a penalty of their own six minutes later, as Duncan Weir reduced arrears with his first kick at goal of the afternoon. [3-9]
Bath looked to have scored the first try of the game eight minutes from the interval with superb breakaway move. Jamie Roberts sent a looping pass to James Wilson who made a good break before finding Cooper Vuna outside him. The winger in turn charged into the 22 before sending the ball back inside to Wilson who looked like he’d gone over the whitewash. However, after consultation with the TMO, the referee disallowed the try with Ted Hill providing the crucial intervention.
It wasn’t long before Bath did get their reward, as they continued to pile on the pressure at the resulting scrum. A couple phases later, Zach Mercer bundled his way over from close range to score. Burns continued his 100% record, extending the visitors lead to 13 points with six minutes left to play in the half. [3-16]
Three minutes later Bath were awarded another penalty and Burns duly added the routine conversion from in front of the sticks.
Half-time – Worcester Warriors 3-19 Bath Rugby
The first points of the second half came after 48 minutes and they went Worcester’s way. After Bath for a high tackle, Weir doubled his tally for the afternoon with another successful penalty attempt. [6-19]
Worcester stepped up the gears in the second half and the momentum began to shift the way of the home side. With 58 minutes played, Francois Venter made a devastating break on the left flank, drawing the last man before offloading to Heem on his left shoulder. The Worcester winger ran in to reduce the gap to eight points going into the final quarter. [11-19]
With just over 15 minutes to play, Bath were reduced to 14 men when Ian Tempest showed Ross Batty a red card for a neck roll at the breakdown.
With the man advantage, Worcester continued to ramp up the pressure with the prolific Weir adding another penalty to put his side within touching distance on the scoreboard. [14-19]
With three minutes to play of normal time, Worcester went for the corner, as they sought out the crucial score. A series of scrums followed before replacement Max Lahiff was sent to the sin-bin. With the numerical advantage, Worcester continued to test the resolve of the Bath scrum and another yellow card followed. This time, it was Lucas Noguera, who was shown his marching orders. Jacques van Rooyen and Henry Thomas returned to the field to take the front row up to its full complement.
After holding up a 94th minute scrum, it appeared that Aled Brew may have made the telling tackle to bring the game to a halt. However, the flurry of cards continued as Tempest pulled the yellow card from his pocket for offside to leave Bath with 11 going into another scrum.
With 98 minutes on the clock, Worcester used the numbers out wide from the scrum, and Heem ran in to score his second of the game. Weir successfully converted to give the Warriors the most dramatic of victories. [21-19]
Full-time – Worcester Warriors 21-19 Bath Rugby
Match details
Sixways
Gallagher Premiership
5 January 2019
KO 15:00
Attendance: 8,724
Referee: Ian Tempest
Half Time score: 3-19
Worcester:
Tries: Heem (57, 97)
Conversions: Weir (98)
Penalties: Weir (27, 47, 66)
Bath:
Tries: Mercer (32)
Conversions: Burns (33)
Penalties: Burns (8, 16, 20, 37)

12th January Wasps v Bath Euro

Bath Rugby came away with a last-minute victory over Wasps Rugby, courtesy of a 78th minute penalty from fly-half Rhys Priestland. Giving them a 18-16 victory against a strong Wasps side at the Rec, in the 5th Round of the Heineken Champions Cup.
The visitors got off to a good start, with the first points of the game going their way, seven minutes in as Bath were penalised for offside on their own 10 metre line. Fly Half, Lima Sopoaga slotted the ball cleanly through the posts, giving his side an early lead. [0-3]
It didn’t take long for the hosts to respond, just two minutes later Darren Atkins offloaded to the returning Taulupe Faletau who showed his class, beating off two defenders on halfway, the Welsh International was brought to ground by Wasps Rob Miller, but was able to pop the ball up to Max Green on his way down, the scrum half showed his pace and powered over the whitewash in the corner. Rhys Priestland conversion drifted wide of the left upright. [5-3]
Wasps got back in front with 14 minutes on the clock, a multitude of penalties against the hosts saw them defending their own try line, Wasps with a line-out five metres out. A well-set maul from Wasps took them to just centimetres out, and after a couple of phases Nathan Hughes crossed the whitewash. The TMO was called into action for a potential knock on, but following deliberation the try was awarded. Sopoaga converted to give his side a five-point lead. [5-10]
In a game of what seemed to be cat and mouse, Bath retook the lead on the 21stminute mark. A Bath line-out just inside their own half was utilized well, Max Green providing fast ball from the first phase to Max Wright, the centre drawing in two defenders before releasing Zach Mercer outside him with a clever, pop pass. The number eight going in to score on a superb attacking line. This time Priestland made no mistake from the tee, adding the extras and putting his side into the lead.
End to end action followed in the second quarter, with neither side able to capitalise on any points. Sopoaga had the opportunity to put his side into the lead going into the interval, however the kick fell short of the uprights. Bath taking a two-point lead into half-time.
Half-time: Bath Rugby: 12-10 Wasps
Wasps came out of the blocks quickly in the second half, attacking the Bath half early on. Bath were penalised for not rolling away just outside their own 22, and Sopoaga added three points to his tally, giving his side a narrow lead after 44 minutes. [12-13]
The Wasps fly-half was shown a yellow card on the 60th minute following a no arms tackle on replacement Jackson Willison. The infringement occurred just inside the Wasps 22, Priestland took the opportunity well and sent the ball through the uprights, his side taking a narrow lead going into the final quarter. [13-12]
Despite being down to 14 men, Wasps managed to collect three points. Rob Miller covering for Sopoaga and slotting a penalty from around 35 metres out, the kick enough to put the visitors back into the lead. [15-16]
Wasps looked to extend their lead on the 72nd minute mark, with Billy Searle taking over kicking duties. His kick fell short of the posts and Bath went on the attack, searching for the valuable points.
The points came, just two minutes from time. Bath picked up a penalty advantage following a scrum, just outside the Wasps 22, the attack came to nothing, so play went back. Priestland didn’t hesitate, pointing straight to the uprights, the penalty sailed through the uprights, to give his side an important lead, with just a minute to go. [18-16]
The full whistle blew as Wasps knocked forward in the midfield, Bath Rugby coming away with an impressive 18-16 victory over a full-strength Wasps side.
Full-time: Bath Rugby 18-16 Wasps Rugby

16 FEBRUARY 2019 Bath v Newcastle

Bath Rugby flexed some of their muscles but left room for improvement as they delivered the bonus point win when they sorely needed against Newcastle Falcons.

Rhys Priestland opened the scoring with a penalty in front of the posts, soon cancelled out by his opposite number Toby flood.

Attacking off the back of a scrum Priestland found Tom Homer behind Johnathan Joseph’s hard line and the full back found Semesa Rokoduguuni in plenty of space with a lovely looped pass over the top of Simon Sinoti.

After Flood slotted another penalty Rokoduguni was the instigator for Bath’s second.Louw found him on the right touchline and even though he wascovered by three defenders, he cut inside and made 20 meters .

Dave Attwood took the attack on with a piercing carry, quick ball found it’s way to Johnathan Joseph whose grubber to the corner was so perfect joe Cokanasiga was able to dive and do tit down in extravagant single motion.

The next came when Priestland and Joseph ghosted left and Will Chudley used them as a decoy before showing strength to squeeze over.

Bath began to get some territory and a nudge on the scrums, and a Priestland penalty made it two score game once more.

Bath were a little bit edgy as play entered the final ten minutes and they still needed another try for the bonus point. That came when hooker Santiago Socino dropped a clanger in his 22m. the scrum was solid battering carries from the tireless Elliott Stooke, Cokanasiga and  Jamie Roberts took play to the Falcons line before Louw snuck over.

Bath Homer, Rokoduguni, (McConnochie 40) Joseph, Roberts, Cokanasiga, Preistland,(Burns 75) Chudley (cc) (Green63) Catt (vanRooyen60) Dodunn (Walker58) Thomas (lahiff65) Attwood (Ewels 50) Charteris (cc) Stooke, Louw,|Mercer (Grant70)

Tries Rokoduguni, Cokanasiga Chudley Louw. Con. Preistland 2 Pens Preistland 2

Falcons Hammersley, Kibrige,  Harris, Bettencourt, Sinot, Flood, Young, Lockwood, Cooper, Mulipola, Green, Davidson, Welch, {C) Graham, Nagusa, Subs Socino,Brocklebank, Payne, Witty, Hardie, Takulua, Connon, Stevenson.

Tries: Nagusa, Cons Flood, Pens Flood 2.

Referee: J P Doyle

STAR MAN TOM HOMER

Attendance 14,331

 

23RD FEBRUARY 2019 NORTHAMPTON V BATH

A last minute try snatched a 27-26 victory for Northampton Saints over Bath Rugby, in a hard-fought contest at Franklin’s Gardens.

The hosts came out firing in the first five minutes of the game but all attempts were met and quashed by the Bath defence. Saints looked like they crossed the whitewash early on however referee Ian Tempest used the TMO to reveal a Bath Rugby hand stopped the grounding.

Whilst the game started with gusto it took 16 minutes before the first points were found. A penalty awarded at the scrum allowed Northampton an opportunity to kick for goal. Positioned over 40 meters out and on the wing, fly-half James Grayson sent the ball through the posts to give his side the three point lead. [3-0]

Bath secured the first try of the half, 30 minutes into the game following some exceptional offloading from Dave Attwood and Jonathan Joseph (who were celebrating 150 and 100 appearances for their club respectively). Fly-half Rhys Priestland made good ground before sending Ruaridh McConnochie clear. The winger charged up the left flank, leaving defenders in his wake, dotting the ball firmly down in the corner. Priestland added the extras. [3-7]

Half-Time – Northampton Saints 3-7 Bath Rugby

It didn’t take long in the second half for the first points to be scored, Bath extended their lead three minutes in. A penalty at the scrum gave Priestland the opportunity to further his sides lead, he slotted the ball through the uprights to give Bath a seven point buffer. [3-10]

Northampton responded immediately with their first try of the game coming just three minutes later. The hosts made an impressive break down the right flank, bringing play to just meters out from the try line. As Bath’s defence attempted to regather, the ball was spread out wide to Rory Hutchinson who went over in the right corner. Grayson’s kick from out wide was good and the scores were level. [10-10]

In a game of cat and mouse, Bath responded two minutes later. Powerful carries from Attwood and Nathan Catt took play deep inside Saints half, Mercer received the ball at pace on the Northampton 22, the number eight showed his versatility, slicing through Northampton’s defence, and showing his turn of pace to run in to score. Priestland made no mistake with the extras. [10-17].

Saints won a penalty at the set piece and Grayson kept his 100% kicking record clean and added another three for his team with 56 minutes on the clock. [13-17]

The next points of the game came three minutes later as Bath were awarded a penalty after Jackson Willison was taken without the ball. Priestland continued his clean record from the tee to take Bath to seven in front. [13-20]

The home side did well from the restart, Northampton Saints were patient in the build-up, good carries from the forwards and moments of magic from the hosts back-line brought play to 15 metres out. Alex Mitchell dummied a pass from the base of the ruck and sneaked through a gap in Bath’s defensive line to score. The conversion was good, and the scores were level again. [20-20]

Joseph showed his class following the set piece, breaking through the Northampton defensive line, taking play to just five metres out. Referee Ian Tempest awarded Bath a penalty at the resulting breakdown and Priestland sent the ball through the uprights to give Bath a narrow lead with 10 minutes remaining. [20-23]

The lead was doubled three minutes later, Priestland sending another penalty over after another breakdown penalty, the fly-half clearly had his kicking boots on. [20-26]

It was Northampton who had the last say however, spending the final five minutes of the game camped just out from the Bath try-line, the hosts picked up a penalty advantage. Lock David took the penalty quickly, catching the Bath defenders unaware and crashing over to score under the posts. The kick from in front sailed over, Saints snatching it at the death. [27-26]

Full-time – Northampton Saints 27-26 Bath Rugby

MATCH DETAILS
Franklin’s Gardens
Gallagher Premiership
23 February 2019
KO 14:45

Attendance: 12,289
Referee: Ian Tempest

 

2nd MARCH 2019 BATH V HARLEQUINS
Harlequins scored with the last play of the game to secure a 29-31 victory over Bath Rugby at the Rec.

The visitors controlled the opening 10 minutes with 99% of the possession, which eventually resulted in the first try of the game. Bath fought valiantly in defence, as Harlequins went through multiple phases on the Bath line. It was Chris Robshaw who broke through from close range to score. James Lang increased his side lead to seven points from the tee with eight minutes played. [0-7]

The North London based side doubled their lead just four minutes later through Joe Marchant. Alex Dombrandt capitalised on the loose ball in the midfield and hacked forward and Marchant gave chase to score under the posts. Lang added the extras to give his side a commanding lead with just 12 minutes on the clock. [0-14]

A penalty kick from distance from Rhys Priestland put Bath on the scoreboard on the 16-minute mark to reduce the deficit. [3-14]

After the penalty, Bath began to fight their way back into the game, as they started to take control of possession and territory. A lightning break from Freddie Burns, was the catalyst for the Blue, Black and White’s first score. The full-back stepped two defenders on halfway before shipping the ball inside to Will Chudley. The scrum half hacked the ball into the Harlequins 22 and pressure at the breakdown secured turnover ball. Bath shipped the ball out quickly and the ball found its way to Jonathan Joseph to score his first try of the season. [8-14]

Bath closed the gap further with 10 minutes left in the half, as Priestland found his target once again from the tee. [11-14]

Harlequins hit back four minutes later with their third try of the game with a flowing move finished by the in-form Alex Dombrandt. With play on the Bath 10 metre line, the London side recycled the ball out wide with Ben Tapuai combining with Mike Brown. The full-back cleverly offloaded to Marchant, who found Dombrandt on his inside to score under the posts. [11-21]

Bath had the final say of the half, as some late pressure paid off with a crucial score. The home side remained patient through the phases and their efforts were rewarded as Nathan Catt burrowed his way over from close range. Priestland’s kick missed the target, but Bath went in to the interval just five points adrift. [16-21]

Half-time – Bath Rugby 16-21 Harlequins

Bath continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Some good work from replacement Miles Reid at the breakdown force a penalty, and Priestland made no mistake with the boot. [19-21]

Bath took the lead for the first time in the game seven minutes later and it was Priestland who added to his tally with another successful penalty. [22-21]

The lead was extended with 15 minutes to play, as Ross Batty crossed the whitewash on his return to action. Ruaridh McConnochie made a scintillating break down the right wing from halfway, but was stopped a metre short of the line. However, the former sevens man showed great awareness to pick out Batty to score. Priestland extended the lead to eight with his conversion. [29-21]

Harlequins were not going to let their winning streak end without a fight, and six minutes later they closed the gap. Brown was at the heart of the move once again as he found Marchant out wide, and the centre continued his rich vein of scoring form. [29-26]

It was heartbreak for Bath Rugby, as Nathan Earle went over with the clock deep in the red. The visitors disrupted the ball at the line-out mid-way inside the Bath half and quickly found their way into the 22. After some patient work through the phases, the ball was spread wide to the right wing, where Nathan Earle stepped his man, to ensure his side left with the points.

Bath will welcome reigning champions Saracens to the Rec next Friday, as they look to bounce back from an agonising defeat.

Full-time – Bath Rugby 29-31 Harlequins

MATCH DETAILS
Recreation Ground
Gallagher Premiership
2 March 2019
KO 15:00

Attendance: 14,509
Referee: Matthew Carley
Half Time score: 16-21

Bath:
Tries: Joseph (25), Catt (40), Batty (63)
Conversions: Priestland (64)
Penalties: Priestland (15, 30, 43, 50)
Quins:
Tries: Robshaw (7), Marchant (11, 70), Dombrandt (32), Earle (80)
Conversions: Lang (8, 11, 33)

 

 

 

8TH MARCH 2019 BATH V SARACENS

Rhys Priestland scored six penalties, as he helped Bath Rugby record a hard-fought 18-9 victory over reigning Gallagher Premiership Champions Saracens at the Rec.
It was a strong start from Bath, with Elliott Stooke showing his intent from the outset with a barnstorming run through the Saracens defence. Bath remained patient through the phases in the 22, which resulted in a penalty. Rhys Priestland took the opportunity to put his side in front with just four minutes on the clock. Saracens responded six minutes later, with Lozowski levelling the scores with a penalty of his own. [3-3]
Wet and windy conditions tested both sides at the Rec in a hugely attritional contest. Saracens continued to test the resolve of the home defence, but the Blue, Black and White held firm. Bath took their opportunity when it arose, with Priestland slotting a straight forward kick from in front of the posts. [6-3]
The Blue, Black and White continued to keep the champions at bay, with the competition’s highest scorers unable to break through the resolute Bath defence. It was in fact Bath who kept the scoreboard ticking over with another penalty to send his side into the interval with a six-point lead.
Half time – Bath Rugby 9-3 Saracens
Saracens quickly reduced the deficit after the interval, with Bath penalised at the scrum shortly after the restart. Lozowski pointed for the posts and his kick sailed through the uprights. [9-6]
Saracens continued to apply the pressure and after missing an earlier attempt, Lozowski’s brought his side level with another penalty with just under 30 minutes to play. [9-9]
After a slow start to the half, Bath needed a response. Two successive penalties saw Bath move to within five metres of the Saracens line. A further infringement in the 22 gave the referee no option but to show replacement Ben Earl the yellow card. Priestland put Bath back into the ascendancy, adding another three points to his tally. [12-9]
Despite being down to 14 men, Saracens drew another penalty, but Lozowski missed his mark, as his kick drifted right of the posts. However, the tie took another turn with Ross Batty sent to the sin-bin for blocking Alex Lewington, as Saracens looked to capitalise on a kick over the top. Lozowski eyed up another kick at goal, but couldn’t convert the points, with Bath holding a narrow advantage going into the final 10 minutes. [12-9]
With Saracens back up to their full compliment, they continued to rally but Bath were not ready to surrender their lead. It was fitting that Man of the Match Elliott Stooke came up with a crucial play, as the second row turned back rower secured possession following a line-out in the opposition half. With penalty advantage looming, replacement Kahn Fotuali’i showed his experience to slow the ball down to give Priestland another chance at goal. The fly-half kept his composure and found his target to further extend Bath’s lead. [15-9]
Priestland put the game out of reach with two minutes to go to prevent Saracens coming away with a losing bonus-point. Bath closed out the final stages to record a memorable victory in front of a 14,055 crowd at the Rec.
Full-time – Bath Rugby 18-9 Saracens

 

MARCH 24TH 2019 EXETER V BATH

Exeter Chiefs produced a strong second half showing to record a 29-10 victory over Bath Rugby at Sandy Park.

It was a positive start from the visitors, with Ruaridh McConnochie making a blistering run from halfway into the Exeter 22. The hosts did well to retreat in defence, but Bath continued to mount the pressure in attack. The persistence paid off and Rhys Priestland slotted the first points of the game from the tee with five minutes played. [0-3]

Exeter hit back three minutes later with a penalty of their own after Bath were penalised for not rolling away in their 22. Joe Simmonds kicked a routine penalty to draw his side level. [3-3]

Former Bath man Olly Woodburn nearly crawled his way over the line moments later, but after intervention from the TMO the try was ruled out. The Blue, Black and White showed great presence to turn defence into attack with a piece of individual brilliance from Jonathan Joseph. The centre broke through from halfway finding Tom Ellis outside him to take his side to just a few metres out. Nathan Catt was on hand to bundle over and score following several phases. Priestland added the extras, increasing his sides lead to seven points with 15 minutes played. [3-10]

Chiefs showed their resilience to hit back 15 minutes before the interval. Exeter dislodged the ball from Bath hands as they looked to attack from inside their 22. The ball was quickly recycled to the right wing and Jack Nowell made further in roads. The ball then came back inside, with Simmonds making the crucial break before offloading to Ollie Devoto to score. [10-10]

Two minutes from the break, the hosts struck again, with Dave Ewers making a blistering break into the Bath 22. Play was spread from right to the left, before Don Armand popped a clever pass to captain Jack Yeandle running on his inside shoulder. The hooker did the rest and crossed the whitewash to put his side into the lead for the first time. Simmonds extended the lead to seven. [17-10]

Half-time Exeter Chiefs 10-17 Bath Rugby

The opening stages of the second half proved to be frantic to say the least, with play moving from one end to the field to the other. Bath held the majority of the territory and possession, but were unable to break down an irrepressible defensive line.

It took 20 minutes in the second half before the next points came. After a prolonged spell of pressure, and several penalties awarded to Exeter, referee Karl Dickson signalled a penalty try as the home side’s scrum rumbled towards the line. To make matters worse for the visitors, prop Beno Obano was shown a yellow card and Bath were reduced to 14 men. [24-10]

Bath showed tenacity to survive being one man down, but Chiefs dealt the killer blow five minutes from time. Exeter kept the pressure on in the 22 and took full advantage. Despite Tom Homer’s best efforts to intercept, the home side had the weight in numbers with Woodburn dotting down in the corner for the bonus point. [29-10]

Full-time Exeter Chiefs 29-10 Bath Rugby

MATCH DETAILS
Sandy Park
Gallagher Premiership
24 March 2019
KO 15:00

Attendance: 12,800
Referee: Karl Dickson
Half Time score: 17-10

Exeter:
Tries: Devoto (25), Yeandle (37), Woodburn (74)
Conversions: Simmonds (27, 39)
Penalties: Simmonds (8)
Bath:
Tries: Catt (14)
Conversions: Priestland (15)
Penalties: Priestland (4)

 

 

6TH APRIL 2019 BATH V BRISTOL

Bath Rugby claimed a bonus-point 26-19 victory over West Country rivals Bristol Bears in front of aRhys Priestland scored six penalties, as he helped Bath Rugby record a hard-fought 18-9 victory over reigning Gallagher Premiership Champions Saracens at the Rec.
It was a strong start from Bath, with Elliott Stooke showing his intent from the outset with a barnstorming run through the Saracens defence. Bath remained patient through the phases in the 22, which resulted in a penalty. Rhys Priestland took the opportunity to put his side in front with just four minutes on the clock. Saracens responded six minutes later, with Lozowski levelling the scores with a penalty of his own. [3-3]
Wet and windy conditions tested both sides at the Rec in a hugely attritional contest. Saracens continued to test the resolve of the home defence, but the Blue, Black and White held firm. Bath took their opportunity when it arose, with Priestland slotting a straight forward kick from in front of the posts. [6-3]
The Blue, Black and White continued to keep the champions at bay, with the competition’s highest scorers unable to break through the resolute Bath defence. It was in fact Bath who kept the scoreboard ticking over with another penalty to send his side into the interval with a six-point lead.
Half time – Bath Rugby 9-3 Saracens
Saracens quickly reduced the deficit after the interval, with Bath penalised at the scrum shortly after the restart. Lozowski pointed for the posts and his kick sailed through the uprights. [9-6]
Saracens continued to apply the pressure and after missing an earlier attempt, Lozowski’s brought his side level with another penalty with just under 30 minutes to play. [9-9]
After a slow start to the half, Bath needed a response. Two successive penalties saw Bath move to within five metres of the Saracens line. A further infringement in the 22 gave the referee no option but to show replacement Ben Earl the yellow card. Priestland put Bath back into the ascendancy, adding another three points to his tally. [12-9]
Despite being down to 14 men, Saracens drew another penalty, but Lozowski missed his mark, as his kick drifted right of the posts. However, the tie took another turn with Ross Batty sent to the sin-bin for blocking Alex Lewington, as Saracens looked to capitalise on a kick over the top. Lozowski eyed up another kick at goal, but couldn’t convert the points, with Bath holding a narrow advantage going into the final 10 minutes. [12-9]
With Saracens back up to their full compliment, they continued to rally but Bath were not ready to surrender their lead. It was fitting that Man of the Match Elliott Stooke came up with a crucial play, as the second row turned back rower secured possession following a line-out in the opposition half. With penalty advantage looming, replacement Kahn Fotuali’i showed his experience to slow the ball down to give Priestland another chance at goal. The fly-half kept his composure and found his target to further extend Bath’s lead. [15-9]
Priestland put the game out of reach with two minutes to go to prevent Saracens coming away with a losing bonus-point. Bath closed out the final stages to record a memorable victory in front of a 14,055 crowd at the Rec.
Full-time – Bath Rugby 18-9 Saracens
crowd of 60,152 at Twickenham Stadium.

It could not have been a better start for Bath Rugby, as they took the lead through a Jonathan Joseph score after just two minutes. Bristol looked to play from deep and Bath capitalised on a loose pass, which secured an attacking five metre scrum. From the set piece, Kahn Fotuali’i spotted numbers out wide with Rhys Priestland picking out Joseph on his outside. The centre skipped around the Bristol defence and buried his way over the line. Priestland converted from out wide to give Bath the early lead. [7-0]

Bristol responded with some attacking flair of their own, which resulted in their first points of the afternoon. After Bath were penalised for offside, Callum Sheedy kicked over a straight forward penalty from in front of the posts. [7-3]

It didn’t take long for Bath to get back on the scoreboard, with Ruaridh McConnochie rising highest to win back possession from straight from the restart. The backs worked their magic once again and Joseph turned from try scorer to provider, with a clever kick in behind the Bears defence. Jamie Roberts watched the ball patiently before collecting to score Bath’s second of the afternoon. Priestland’s kick drifted wide of the uprights. [12-3]

Bath made it three tries with just 22 minutes on the clock. A scrum in the midfield saw Zach Mercer sear through the Bears’ defensive line. Fellow back rower Sam Underhill was on his shoulder and a clever offload sent him deep inside the 22. The Bristol defence regathered, but Bath maintained composure deep in the 22. It was Joe Cokanasiga with the finishing touch, as the winger powered his way over from close range. Priestland added the extras to give his side a 16-point advantage. [19-3]

Bristol made Bath pay in the closing 10 minutes of the half conceding a number of penalties. Bristol were able to reduce arrears through the boot of Sheedy, who scored three successful penalties to take the sides into the interval closely poised at 19-12.

Half time – Bath Rugby 19-12 Bristol Bears 

It was a tentative opening to the second half at Twickenham, with neither side able to make any headway into the opposition territory.

The deadlock was finally broken with 56 minutes played. Bristol looked to play the ball from inside their half, but it cost them dearly. Priestland got his boot on to a loose pass just outside the Bristol 22 and gave chase towards the try line. The fly-half finished off a try out of nothing to secure a bonus-point for the Blue, Black and White. The fly-half converted his own try to extend his side’s lead to 14. [26-12]

With a large share of possession, Bristol continued to test the resolve of the Bath defence. With just over 10 minutes to play, Bristol reduced the gap with their second of the afternoon. Quick hands saw the Bears mount an attack on the left wing, and the numbers out wide proved pivotal. Alapati Leiua sent Dan Thomas clear, with the flanker charging down the touchline to run in for a vital score. The successful conversion put the visitors to within a score. [26-19]

However, Bristol were unable to bridge the gap on their local rivals and Bath came away with the victory that takes them up to sixth in the Gallagher Premiership.

13th April 2019 Gloucester v Bath 

A strong second half showing saw Gloucester Rugby fight back to claim a 27-23 win over Bath Rugby at Kingsholm.
Bath came out of the blocks firing with their first try coming inside the first five minutes. Jamie Roberts made the first scything break into the Gloucester 22, before the Blue, Black and White built over 20 phases in the opposition danger zone. Spotting the space out wide, Freddie Burns put in a superbly weighted cross-field kick, to find Ruaridh McConnochie, who did the rest. Burns went from provider to scorer, as the fly-half slotted the extras. [0-7]
Bath continued to mount pressure from the restart and were quickly back on the Gloucester line. Their efforts were rewarded as Burns kicked his side further in front after the Cherry and Whites were penalised for offside. [0-10]
It got better for the visitors, with Tom Dunn adding a second try on the 18 minute mark. Bath had controlled almost all of the territory in the early stages and it was Joe Cokanasiga, who showed his attacking intent powering his way into the 22. A sublime pass from Kahn Fotuali’i sent Dunn through, who crossed with Sam Underhill in support. Burns added the extras from out wide. [0-17]
It was a half of two halves, with Gloucester dominating the closing 15 minutes of the first period. However, Bath showed their strength in defence, as they managed to withstand a lengthy passage of pressure.
With the clock in the red, Gloucester finally got their reward with their first points of the afternoon. The hosts secured quick ball from the line-out, before Danny Cipriani stepped into the line to provide the crucial pass. The in-form fly-half dummied a pass out the back, before finding his intended target Josh Hohneck on his shoulder. The prop crashed through to score, with Billy Twelvetrees added the conversion to reduce their deficit to 10 going into the interval. [7-17]
Half-time Gloucester Rugby 7-17 Bath Rugby
The momentum continued to swing in favour of Gloucester, with Beno Obano sent to the sin bin for a no arms tackle a minute into the half. With the numerical advantage, Ruan Ackermann showed quick thinking from the free-kick to put his side to within three points with 44 minutes played. [14-17]
Bath looked to stem the flow and just four minutes later they were back on the scoreboard. After McConnochie was taken in the air under the high ball, Burns kept a cool head to slot a long range penalty. [14-20]
However, it didn’t take long for Gloucester to register their third of the West Country derby. Former Bath man Matt Banahan instigated the move, as the ball was spread out wide to the right wing. The full-back looked to have enough pace to go in to score himself, but unselfishly sent Henry Purdy through to touch down in the corner. Twelvetrees’ missed conversion ensured Bath held on to a narrow lead. [19-20]
Intelligent thinking from Burns took Bath’s further in front. With Bath losing forward pressure in the attack, the fly-half put boot to ball and fired over a drop goal from 30 metres out. This gave Bath a four-point lead going into the last 20 minutes. [19-23]
Gloucester picked up their fourth and bonus-point try after 63 minutes. With the attack just outside the Bath 22, Twelvetrees and Cipriani combined to put Matt Banahan into space on the right wing. The full-back drew in the last man before sending Tom Seabrook over the try line. Twelvetrees’ conversion drifted wide, with the score closely poised. [24-23]
The hosts extended their lead with a Twelvetrees penalty, as Bath were adjudged to have infringed at the maul. Twelvetrees slotted the routine penalty in front of the posts and Gloucester held out the remaining 10 minutes to claim the derby victory. [27-23]
Full-time Gloucester Rugby 27-23 Bath Rugby
Match details
Kingsholm
Gallagher Premiership
13 April 2019
KO 15:00
Attendance: 16,115
Referee: Matthew Carley
Half Time score: 7-17
Gloucester:
Tries: Hohneck (43), Ackermann (44), Purdy (55), Seabrook (62)
Conversions: Twelvetrees (44, 45)
Penalties: Twelvetrees (68)
Bath:
Tries: McConnochie (3), Dunn (17)
Conversions: Burns (4, 19)
Penalties: Burns (10, 48)
Drop goals: Burns (58)

26TH APRIL SALE V BATH
Sale Sharks and Bath Rugby battled it out in challenging conditions a cold, wet and windy evening in Manchester. It was a hard-fought game for both teams but the hosts came out on top in the low-scoring encounter.
Freddie Burns gave his side the early lead within 10 minutes of the game, Sale were penalised in the midfield for offside, the fly-half lined up the tee and send a penalty kick soaring through the uprights for the first points of the game. [0-3]
Burns was handed a second opportunity nine minutes later. Bath picked up another penalty in the midfield and the fly-half was given a shot at goal from 30m out. The kick drifted wide of the right upright, and the lead remained three. [0-3]
It was clear from early on, under the challenging conditions that it was to be a low scoring affair, both sides having their chances but neither able to capitalise with points.
It took 29 minutes before Sale registered points on the scoreboard. The Sharks won a penalty on the Bath 22 and it was fly half AJ MacGinty who drew his side level. His kick from directly in front sailed though the sticks. [3-3]
With one minute left of the half Sale got the chance to take the lead but it wasn’t to be as MacGinty’s kick sailed wide of the posts.
Half-time – Sale Sharks 3-3 Bath Rugby
With the torrid conditions continuing into the second half, it was a slow start, with neither side able to register any points in the third quarter of the match, and much of the play in the midfield.
Sale began to build momentum with 60 minutes on the clock, winning consecutive penalties to take them deep inside the Bath half. Bath were penalised once more for an offside decision and this time MacGinty was in a position to go for goal. The American international stepped up and put his side ahead for the first time in the match with 15 minutes remaining.
Priestland had the opportunity to level from the restart as Sale were penalised for offside. The kick was wide of uprights and Sale held their narrow lead. [3-3]
A Solomona intercept came seven minutes later as the winger looked to rush away to score. Joe Cokanasiga did well to get back and make the crucial tackle, however at the resulting ruck, Zach Mercer was adjudged to have gone off his feet warranting a yellow card from referee Tom Foley. Bath did well however to escape their own 22 without conceding. [3-3]
Jonathan Joseph made an incredible break through the Sale defence with two minutes remaining in the match. The centre found Will Chudley who was stopped well by the back tracking Sale defence.
Bath never gave up and continued to attack with intent, and with an attacking scrum inside the Sale 22 as the clock went into the red, it looked as if Bath could have potentially secured a late opportunity to snatch points. However, the ball went forward from the back of the scrum and Sale kicked out to secure the victory. [6-3]
Full-time – Sale Sharks 6-3 Bath Rugby
9 Bristol Bears

 

 

18th May 2019 Leicester v Bath 

Bath Rugby fought back in spectacular fashion from 26-12 down to defeat Leicester Tigers at Welford Road for just the second time in 14 years. The bonus-point victory sees Bath finishing the 2018/19 Gallagher Premiership season in the top six, with Champions Cup rugby guaranteed next season.
The first points of the game came after just four minutes, with Bath opening with an early try. Ruaridh McConnochie made a scintillating break on halfway leaving a number of Leicester defenders trailing in his wake before offloading inside to Max Wright in support. The centre found Will Chudley on his shoulder, with the scrum-half hauled down five metres from the line. However, Chudley showed his quick-thinking to pop the ball up to Anthony Watson, who marked his 100th appearance for the Club with a try. Freddie Burns added the extras to take Bath into an early lead. [0-7]
Leicester responded moments later, with former Bath man George Ford slotting a long-range penalty. [3-7]
It was a frantic opening 10 minutes to the game, with Leicester going over for their first try following a well-executed catch and drive from a line-out. After close consultation with the TMO, Craig Maxwell-Keys awarded the try, with Will Spencer the man to rise under a pile of bodies. Ford added the conversion to put his side three in front. [10-7]
Bath quickly got back in front two minutes with their second score of the game, with the back line taking centre stage. A half-break from McConnochie gave Bath front foot ball on the Leicester 22. The visitors quickly recycled possession from right to left and the quick hands put Joe Cokanasiga through in the corner for his ninth try of the season. [10-12]
The points kept flowing in at Welford Road, as Ford put his side back in front with a routine penalty with 18 minutes played. [13-12]
Leicester were next to strike and it was Brendon O’Connor, who scored Leicester’s second of the afternoon. Following a series of phases on the Bath line, the back rower found his way over to score. Ford added the conversion. [20-12]
Ford maintained his 100% record from the tee with a penalty from in front of the sticks 10 minutes before the interval. [23-12]
With the clock ticking towards half-time, Bath were reduced to 14 men with Max Lahiff shown a yellow card for taking the man without the ball. Ford stepped up and kicked a successful penalty. [26-12]
Bath had the last say of the half, with replacement Rhys Priestland getting his first points of the game from the tee.
Half-time – Leicester Tigers 26-15 Bath Rugby
Four minutes after the interval, Sam Aspland-Robinson was sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on. Bath continued to pile pressure on the Leicester defence and Beno Obano ensured Bath left the 22 with a try, as the prop muscled his way over the line. Burns’ conversion put Bath within four points on the scoreboard. [26-22]
The hosts immediately found their way back up to the other end of the field and Clayton Blommetjies was the man to profit, as the winger dived through in the corner following quick hands on the right wing. Ford’s conversion drifted right of the uprights. [31-22]
Priestland moved Bath to within seven with 14 minutes to play, following sustained pressure in the Leicester 22. [31-25]
The three point score from Priestland proved crucial come the final stages as Kahn Fotuali’i broke from the back of a scrum, midway inside the Tigers half with four minutes left to play. The scrum half took play to just metres out before the forwards took over. The attritional phases from Bath eventually led to prop Jacques van Rooyen bundling his way over to reduce the deficit to just a point. Priestland stepped up and slotted the decisive conversion to put his side ahead with less than a minute left to play. Charlie Ewels collected the restart and Bath saw out the final stages to take the victory and guarantee Champions Cup Rugby next season. [31-32]
Match details
Welford Road
Gallagher Premiership
18 May 2019
KO 16:00
Referee: Craig Maxwell-keys
Half Time score: 26-15
Tigers:
Tries: O’Connor (8, 23), Blommetjies (49)
Conversions: Ford (9, 23)
Penalties: Ford (5, 16, 29, 38)
Bath:
Tries: Watson (2), Cokanasiga (11), Obano (45), Van Rooyen (77)
Conversions: Burns (3, 46), Priestland (79)
Penalties: Priestland (40, 65)

This page was added on 07/05/2019.

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