5 months ago
22 December 2012, 5:31pm
Bath Rugby fell to a 0-22 loss at the hands of Saracens at a rain-sodden Recreation Ground this afternoon.
Whilst it was 14 minutes before Charlie Hodgson landed his first penalty, the former Champions set about controlling the game early on, using the kicking game to secure territory and possession.
A superb tackle on the line from Louw six minutes later prevented Chris Ashton from scoring, but it wasn't long after that Richard Wigglesworth managed to wriggle his way over to finish off a good break from Hodgson. The fly-half converted, giving the visitors a 0-10 lead.
Donald had the opportunity to get some points on the board for the home side after Ashton infringed, but he couldn't convert from the difficult angle.
The fly-halves traded penalty attempts as the half drew to a close, and whilst Donald's next two attempts, both long range kicks from just inside the half-way line, were short, Hodgson was on target with his, meaning Saracens had a 0-16 lead going into the half-time break.
Bath came out in the second needing a response, and looked to start breaking down the tough visiting defence. They piled on the pressure, with the driving maul in particular working to good effect at driving the Saracens back. However, they were unable to convert the pressure into points, and Saracens cleared their lines when given the opportunity.
The home side kept plugging away, and after more driving work from the forwards, it looked as if Francois Louw had a way through to the try-line, but the covering tackle dislodged the greasy ball and the chance was lost.
A final penalty from Hodgson, after a miss moments before, sealed the win for the visitors and a grim afternoon for the home side in what was only their second home loss of the season, and the first in which they haven't secured a losing bonus point.
|22/12/12||London Irish||9 - 31||Leicester|
|22/12/12||Gloucester||18 - 16||Exeter|
|22/12/12||Northampton||9 - 18||Harlequins|
|FB||Nick Abendanon||15||Chris Wyles||FB|
|W||Horacio Agulla||14||Chris Ashton||W|
|C||Kyle Eastmond||13||Joel Tomkins||C|
|C||Ben Williams||12||Owen Farrell||C|
|W||Tom Biggs||11||David Strettle||W|
|FH||Stephen Donald||10||Charlie Hodgson||FH||1||5|
|SH||Michael Claassens||9||Richard Wigglesworth||SH||1|
|P||Paul James||1||Mako Vunipola||P|
|H||Lee Mears||2||Schalk Brits||H|
|P||Dave Wilson||3||Matt Stevens||P|
|L||Stuart Hooper||4||Steve Borthwick||L|
|L||Dominic Day||5||Mouritz Botha||L|
|FL||Francois Louw||6||George Kruis||FL|
|FL||Guy Mercer||7||Will Fraser||FL|
|8||Simon Taylor||8||Kelly Brown||8|