Italian job complete for Bath Rugby

A hat-trick for Horacio Agulla and tries from Brett Sharman, Tom Biggs, Jack Cuthbert and Josh Ovens gave Bath Rugby their fourth bonus point win of the Amlin Challenge Cup, running out 5-39 winners in Italy over hosts Calvisano.

Stephen Donald added two conversions to the final score, with a clincial performance from the visitors seeing the bonus point wrapped up by half-time.

A classy touch-finder from Donald led to the first try. Caldwell secured the resulting lineout, and as the pack powered forwards, the Calvisano defence was unable to stop Sharman from crashing over from short range for his first try in a Bath jersey. Donald added the conversion from out wide, giving the visitors a seven point advantage after just three minutes.

Bath worked hard to maintain their early pressure, and it wasn't long before it paid off. Donald was chipped neatly across the pitch, and it looked as if the ball would be dealt with by Calvisano lock Jaco Erasmus. However, he palmed it backwards into the deadball area and Agulla pounced to score his first.

Cavlisano had a rare opportunity to get some points on the board shortly after as Bath were found to be offside, however Paul Griffen sent the penalty wide. 0-12.

Instead, Bath maintained their controlled grip on the game, and it was Agulla who was next to alter the scoreboard with his second try.

Simon Taylor stole a Calvisano lineout around 30 metres out, feeding the ball down to Nick Koster. The back-row made an arching run before sending the ball to Donald. The fly-half found Kyle Eastmond outside him who deftly passed to Cuthbert and the fullback sent the Argentinian winger over in the corner after a dance with the touchline. 0-17.

The visitors were putting in a clinical performance, and with three minutes left of the half Biggs went over for the bonus point try, with Donald again heavily involved. The New Zealander broke through the midfield and looked like he was going to go himself. He saw Biggs out wide unmarked however and looped a long pass overhead. Biggs collected it well and crossed the line, with Donald adding the extras.

Half-time Calvisano 0 – Bath Rugby 24.

Bath continued the second-half in much the same way they had started the first, dominating the forward battle and looking to create space for the backs to run into.

Donald continued to play a pivotal role in proceedings, and it was another of his cross-field kicks that created the fifth try. Having worked their way patiently up the field, Donald spotted Cuthbert open on the left wing and lofted the kick over for the fullback to run onto and touch down virtually unopposed. 0-29.

Man of the Match Ovens, who had an industrious game, added his own score with just over ten minutes remaining. A huge driving maul from the Bath pack took play within range of the try zone, and Ovens darted over to get the score. 0-34.

Calvisano were looking to work their way into the game, and put Bath under pressure for various periods as the second-half started drawing to a close. Their patience was finally rewarded in the 78th minute with a try for Luigi Ferraro after some good forward pressure close to the line.

Bath hit back straight away though, and with the final play of the game Agulla got his hat-trick try. A 22 drop out from Calvisano was well-read by Bath, who snaffled the loose kick. Eastmond darted through the gap in the defence and sensed Agulla on his shoulder. The winger sailed over in the corner, sealing the win for the visitors.

Final Score – Calvisano 5 – Bath Rugby 39.

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