3 March 2012, 5:37pm
Bath Rugby produced a five try winning performance to beat Worcester Warriors for the second time this season at the Recreation Ground, 36-17.
It was the home team that looked most dangerous with ball in hand, making good headway deep into the Warriors 22. Despite the Blue, Black and Whites stringing together a promising series of phases, strong Worcester rucking resulted in turnovers which ended the attack.
And it was a turnover that proved costly for Bath as a change in possession just outside of Bath's 22 was quickly recycled by Shaun Perry who found Tom Arscott, who touched down for the first try of the game. Andy Goode added the conversion. 0-7.
Bath came back quickly and it wasn't long until they were once again inside the Worcester half. Slick hands and good interplay saw the gain line broken by Sam Vesty and as the forwards rumbled forwards, the attacking side came within 20 metres of the try line. Olly Barkley found Matt Carraro who subsequently slipped the ball onto a flying Tom Biggs. With Biggs dragged to the ground metres shy of the line the forwards recycled, and with no one at home on the blind side, Carraro showed some quick thinking to put Biggs in from close quarters. Tom Heathcote slotted a magnificent conversion from the touch line. 7-7.
The Rec didn't have to wait long for Bath's second try, which came courtesy of solid team play. With the forwards bullying their counterparts in the contact, the backs were stretching the defence as they utilised the dry conditions.
Patience in the Bath ranks was rewarded as they edged closer and closer to the try line. Francois Louw picked up the ball from the back of a ruck and popped the ball blindly to his left to Matt Banahan who crashed over in style from close range. Heathcote added a simple conversion. 14-7.
Worcester clawed back three points after Bath were pinged at the breakdown, allowing Goode to slot the simple penalty.14-10.
The home side added their hat trick try with just under ten minutes remaining. Once again the team effort saw Bath force their way towards the Worcester try line and sensing a sleeping fringe defence, Michael Claassens sniped and scored. Heathcote struck well again making the half time score 21-10.
The bonus point try was secured just ten minutes into the second half with some well sustained pressure. Great hands in the backs nearly put Biggs in for his second try but he was held up short. Some quick recycling looked to have put in for his second, but referee Greg Garner ruled no try after getting caught up in the move. The attacking scrum for Bath held strong and Claassens struck with a quick dart to score his second try of the game. Heathcote was once again successful with the conversion. 28-10.
Worcester initiated another direct period of attack and were rewarded for their persistence with Miles Benjamin taking an inside pass to score. Replacement Danny Gray converted. 28-17.
Bath finished the game on top though, with a dominant period of possession accompanied with solid defence. Heathcote added a penalty in the dying minutes to extend the lead to 17-31.
The game seemed over but there was still a little bit of magic left in the Bath ranks. Replacement Jack Cuthbert attacked from the re-start and broke through with an explosive run. With Biggs in support, Cuthbert offloaded perfectly to release the winger flying down the touchline to score the Bath's fifth and final try. Final Score Bath Rugby 36 – Worcester Warriors 17.
By Rob Breckon
Referee: Greg Garner
Half Time score: 21-10
Tries: Biggs (17,78), Banahan (24), Claassens (29,50)
Cons: Heathcote (19,25,30,51)
Pens: Heathcote (77)
Tries: Arscott (11), Benjamin (69)
Cons: Goode (12), Gray (69)
Pens: Goode (33)
|03/03/12||London Wasps||18 - 13||London Irish|
|03/03/12||Exeter||37 - 12||Sale|
|FB||Sam Vesty||15||Chris Pennell||FB|
|1||W||Matthew Banahan||14||Tom Arscott||W||1|
|C||Matthew Carraro||13||Alex Grove||C|
|C||Olly Barkley||12||Dale Rasmussen||C|
|2||W||Tom Biggs||11||Miles Benjamin||W||1|
|1||4||FH||Tom Heathcote||10||Andy Goode||FH||1||1|
|2||SH||Michael Claassens||9||Shaun Perry||SH|
|P||Charlie Beech||1||Matt Mullan||P|
|H||Lee Mears||2||Ed Shervington||H|
|P||Duncan Bell||3||Tevita Taumoepeau||P|
|L||Dave Attwood||4||Chris Jones||L|
|L||Ryan Caldwell||5||Craig Gillies||L|
|FL||Ben Skirving||6||Sam Betty||FL|
|FL||Francois Louw||7||Jake Abbott||FL|
|8||Simon Taylor||8||Blair Cowan||8|