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A disappointing defeat for a young Bath side

Bath United

TRY | Michael van Vuuren (3)  Levi Davis (1)  

CONVERSION | Alex Davies (1) 

Saracens Storm 

TRY | Tom Griffiths (1) Sione Vailanu (2) Dom Morris (1)  Tom Woolstencroft (1) Elliot Obatoyinbo (1) Joe Gray (1) 

CONVERSION | Manu Vunipola (7) 

Bath United suffered a defeat at Allianz Park despite multiple periods of sustained pressure and four tries scored. “We came out here and we really got stuck into the game, we conceded a number of points quite cheaply but the guys competed extremely well and imposed themselves in certain areas. No-one is happy with the result but we came here with a clear focus around certain areas of our game, the driving maul being one. We really came out on top there and got some great outcomes and scored points.” said Andy Rock in his post match review.

It took just four minutes for the first points to go on the board. Some strong defence from the hosts forced Bath United into touch giving them the chance to launch their attack. Tom Griffiths burst through multiple tackles to crash over next to the posts. The extra points were added by Manu Vunipola. [7-0]

Moments later Bath United recovered possession from the kick-off and came close to scoring but were held off by the hosts. Bath forced a penalty however and kicked to touch. The men in white then set up a powerful driving maul providing space for Michael van Vuuren to crash over in the corner. Alex Davies' kick went marginally wide. [7-5]

Saracens got their second try of the half in minute 21 when their no.8 Sione Vailanu broke through the Bath defence in a Saracens first phase strike following a line out. Vailanu broke through the Bath backline from the five-man line out and dotted over the line in the middle of the uprights. Vunipola’s kick was solid. [14-5] 

Bath United returned the favour five minutes later and it was a second for van Vuuren. He broke off the back of the driving maul to get over the whitewash in the corner. The kick was missed however. [14-10] 

Bath began to build some attacking momentum, and were now creating space around the half-way line. Saracens however kept the pressure on and came out of the line to intercept an Alex Davies pass for try number three. Dom Morris followed up the initial intercept to score. The conversion from Vunipola was good. [21-10]

Just five minutes later the hosts capitalised again. Storm launched their attack straight off the line-out, Anthony Maka found space through the Bath defensive line giving Vailanu his second score of the game with a pass inside to beat the Bath full back. Vunipola was clinical with his kicking adding the extra with ease. [28-10]

Half-time - Saracens Storm 28 - 10 Bath United

Bath had the majority of possession for the first five minutes of the second half but it was the hosts who crossed the line first. With 50 minutes on the clock Tom Woolstencroft got over following a neatly executed long range, multi-phase attack. Vunipola didn’t disappoint from the tee. [35-10] 

Eight minutes later and following some huge hits from both sides Bath added to the board. Van Vuuren crossed the line for a third time following another strong driving maul from the blue, black and white. Davies added the extras with 58 minutes on the clock. [35-17] 

Just one minute later Sam Nixon turned the ball over in the Bath 22, a little chip from Davies gave Levi Davis the chance to power down the left touchline, beating two Saracens defenders on his way to the line. The kick was missed. [35-22]

Two minutes later Sarries responded with a try of their own. Elliot Obatoyinbo made his way through the Bath defence and dived over the line providing try number six for his team. The kick was good with 62 on the clock. [42-22]

Saracens finished the game strongly as they built their attack. Bath conceded two penalties providing opportunities for the hosts to go over for a seventh time. Joe Gray added his name to the tally as Sarries used the maul to drive over the line. Vunipola kicked seven from seven to close out the game. [49-22]

Whilst Saracen’s Storm managed to get the win, there were some great moments for a young Bath side. "We came here to go out there and give some some young guys a chance to learn and compete at that level and we certainly achieved that. We had 18 year olds on the pitch today that really put their hand up and never stopped looking to solve problems and unpick the defence in particular and there were some really great moments” concluded Andy Rock.

Full-time - Saracens Storm 49 - 22 Bath United 

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