Bath denied perfect end to week in Aix

Bath Rugby were thwarted in the final moments of their opening pre-season fixture in France tonight as Aix scored twice in quick succession to snatch victory 29 - 24.

Whilst the result will not be of great concern to Steve Meehan, coming as the game did after a hard week's training in France, his staff will need to assess injuries to Scott Hobson and Aaron Jarvis as they return to Bath over the weekend.

Bath, who were coming off the back of a week-long training camp in Provence, took the lead on nine minutes through a Tom Cheeseman try, although Sam Vesty missed the conversion. Pays d'Aix fought back to within two points with a penalty after Stuart Hooper was penalised for not releasing, before a Ross Batty try on 35 minutes gave Bath a 10-3 half-time lead.

Bath fielded a mixture of new signings, emerging youngsters and established first-teamers - but introduced a raft of replacements and soon found themselves 20-10 down after the break. They rallied, though, to take a 24-23 lead through tries from Andy Beattie and Tom Biggs, with Vesty and Paul Roberts claiming a conversion apiece, only for the French side to steal victory with a penalty and drop goal late on.

Bath face Ulster in Belfast on Friday, before rounding off their pre-season preparations with a home match against Edinburgh on August 21.

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