Bath Rugby come away from Adams Park with losing bonus point

Bath Rugby secured a losing bonus point at Adams Park this afternoon, with tries from Kane Palma-Newport and Guy Mercer, and kicking points from Tom Heathcote keeping in touch with the home side. Final score 27-24.

Bath took an early lead through a penalty from Heathcote, which was quickly cancelled out by one from Nick Robinson for the home side. Robinson doubled the lead a short while later, and whilst Bath maintained both pressure and possession in the Wasps half throughout the opening quarter, it was Wasps who scored the first try. A neat chip through from fullback Hugo Southwell just escaped Michal Claassens who was looking to gather, and Christian Wade pounced, sneaking through down the line to touch down. Robinson added the extras, taking the Wasps lead to 13-3.

Bath hit back quickly though, and were soon making their way over the try line through prop Palma-Newport. A surging clean break from Michael Claassens saw the visitors clear into the Wasps 22, and the forwards drove the ball ever closer to the try line. Palma-Newport was at the back of a ruck as first receiver, and powered his way over the try line to touch down. Heathcote converted, bringing Bath back to within three points with just over 20 minutes gone.

Tom Biggs broke through again moments later, offloading to Heathcote who looked like he was going to cross for Bath's second, only to be held up on the line. The resulting scrum saw the ball spun out to Ben Williams, who crashed over the line and touched down, only for referee Andrew Small to judge he had knocked on and disallow the valid try.

Heathcote drew the sides level on the 30 minute mark with a penalty when Wasps were deemed offside, but it was the home side who next crossed the try line, with Tom Varndell pouncing from a Robinson offload. It was the final score of the half, and so as the teams ran in, Bath were adrift by five points, 13-18.

The start of the second half started in much the same way as the first, with Heathcote securing his fourth successive kick of the game, to bring Bath back to within two points of the home side. Robinson once more cancelled it out with a successful kick of his own, and the two fly-halves traded two more penalties before Robinson's kick on the 62nd minute edged Wasps eight points ahead.

Bath refused to give up the fight though, and kept attacking Wasps, and a sustained period of pressure in the final quarter led to the visitors earning the last score of the game. The forwards built up the pressure, edging closer towards the try line, and a rumbling driving maul got to within five metres, before Guy Mercer broke off the back to dart over the line. Heathcote missed the conversion, but the losing bonus was secured. Final score 27-24.

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