Bath United were unable to kick-start their season as they came up short against a physical and workman-like Worcester Cavaliers. Final Score - Worcester Cavaliers 29 Bath United 0.
The Cavaliers started this highly physical encounter the more dominant, retaining the greater amount of possession and situating themselves for the majority of the time in the United half. Despite the early dominance from the home side, it was United that were provided with the first opportunity to get points on the board after the Cavaliers' ill-discipline. This early chance slipped by with United fly-half Freddie Gabbitass slicing the kick just wide of the uprights.
The home side were rewarded for their direct style of play with a try on the 12th minute. A cleared United kick found the hands of waiting Cavaliers winger, Josh Drauniniu, who offloaded to brother of Bath Rugby scrum half Michael Claassens, Errie. The South African showed his superb footwork, drawing two opposing defenders and offloading back to Drauniniu, who displayed a wicked turn of pace to sprint in with apparent ease down the touch line. Fly-half Danny Gray added the conversion. 7-0.
Shortly after, the Worcester side were given the opportunity at three points, Gray making no mistake to take his side ahead by 10 points.
The Cavaliers nearly added another try shortly after with a well-executed cross field kick from Gray finding centre Andy Short. Despite what seemed like a simple try, the brave covering defence of the United scrum half Warren Fury, forced a knock on and prevented the try.
However, with the Cavaliers constantly on the front foot, another try seemed likely. United were in possession and working their way out of the 22 when a charged down clearance kick disrupted the defence. With the away side failing to dive on the ball and secure possession, Short took full advantage, fly hacking the ball onwards and flopping down on it over the try line to score the Cavalier's second try of the evening. Gray was on target again. 17-0.
The Cavaliers added their third try on the 32nd minute with a confident period of possession. The home pack provided quick and clean ball for the backs, who spun the ball to the far touchline. A couple of short lines followed from the forwards, drawing in the United defence to create the space out wide. The Cavaliers, heavy in numbers on the touchline, waited patiently for the ball and as Gray looked across and chipped wide once more, flanker Tom Leach plucked the ball out the air to score from close range. 22-0.
The second half opened in a relatively quiet manner compared to the first. It wasn't until 15 minutes in that a score was achieved, once again by the well drilled Cavaliers. After a handful of replacements from both sides, the Worcester fresh legs added an extra impetus in their play. Quick hands fed Ryan Furniss, who went crashing through, sucking in a couple of defenders. Quick recycling enabled the backs to spin the ball wide and a lengthy pass from Gray fed Short who sprinted though to score his second try. Gray hit the inside of the uprights and a favourable deflection enabled a successful conversion. 29-0.
The Cavalier's had shown a dominance from the kick off. United's efforts had been admirable all game but the ferocity of the home pack alongside the speed and power of backs such as Drauniniu made defence a constant battle. United did show cohesion though a number of successful phases, however, a more powerful pack at the breakdown made quick ball an unfamiliar occurrence, limiting the attacking options.
Despite the unfavourable scoreline, the United side fronted up in every contact and played to the final whistle with passion and interest.
15. Jack Cuthbert; 14. Nick Scott, 13. Richard Lane, 12. Ben Mosses, 11. Jamie John Kilmartin; 10. Freddie Gabbitass, 9. Warren Fury (Capt); 1. Tom Dunn, 2. Will Tanner, 3. Duncan Bell, 4. Nick Morris, 5. Jamie Collins, 6. James Tyas, 7. Tom Baldwin, 8. Will Skuse
Replacements: 16. Chris Biller, 17. Max Ashcroft, 18. Sam Lewis, 19. Max Wilson, 20. Sam Weier, 21. George Drury, 22. Ed Hainsworth, 23. Brad Barnes, 24. Alex Brown
15 Errie Claassens; 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Andy Short, 12 Ravai Fatiaki, 11 Josh Drauniniu; 10 Danny Gray (c), 9 Ollie Frost; 1 George Porter, 2 Ollie Hayes, 3 Bruce Douglas, 4 James Clutterbuck, 5 Ben Gulliver, 6 Nile Dacres, 7 Tom Leach, 8 Richard Muagututia
Replacements: 16 Chris Fortey, 17 James Currie, 18 Ryan Furniss, 19 Soloman Dacres, 20 Barney Woods, 21 Joel Dudley, 22 Tom Carlisle, 23 Sione Tu'ipulotu, 24 Mike Penn