Bath Rugby edged out in classic at Welford Road

Leicester Tigers 36 v Bath Rugby 31

Bath Rugby were edged out 36-31 by old rivals Leicester Tigers in a thrilling encounter at Welford Road.

Round five of the Gallagher Premiership saw the Blue, Black and White score three tries through Beno Obano, Ben Spencer and Cameron Redpath but it was a 21-point haul from Leicester's George Ford that proved decisive. 

Bath started well and scored following a good turnover at the maul through Josh McNally before Beno Obano claimed and scrambled over from close range. Rhys added the extra two. 

The visitors soon added a second on 14 minutes - Ben Spencer finished off a fine move from Bath with a wonderful individual run, a chip kick over the last defender and managed to dribble the ball under the posts to dot down. Priestland added the extra two points. 

Tigers then added six points of their own. The first coming on 20 minutes following a scrum penalty as Ford converted from 23 metres out and the second came from Tom Dunn being adjudged to be on the wrong side of the tackle with the England fly-half adding a further three points after 26 minutes. 

As the pendulum swung, it was Leicester who benefitted with a huge rung from Ellis Genge giving the hosts the momentum to reload and restore patience to find the whitewash through youngster Freddie Steward. Ford added the conversion. 

In a bizarre run of play, Tigers looked to add another score just before half-time but as Leicester slowed down the play, Bath's defensive line caught them off guard as Jonathan Joseph intercepted and kicked downfield. Bath then won a crucial penalty and Priestland put his side four points clear heading towards half-time.  

However, Tigers had the final laugh of the half as Ford nailed his effort through the posts with a kick from the wide channel to bring the hosts back two within a point at the half. 

Tigers continued their intent going into the second-half. After exchanging kicks, the ball went through the hands out wide as Harry Wells powered his way over from five metres out. Ford added the extra points.

Following this, a period of exchanging kicks came with Priestland on 48 minutes to put the visitors back within three points before Ford added another of his own to keep the gap at six. Priestland then added another from the tee, this time from a scrum penalty to narrow the gap once more on 55 minutes. 

As the game progressed, Priestland nailed his opportunity, again from the tee, to level the scores on 64 minutes but just two minutes later Tigers delivered a decisive blow. After the interaction of the TMO, replacement Cameron Henderson crashed over from close range to give Leicester a significant lead. Ford converted to make the score 33-26.

But the game wasn't done there. On 74 minutes Ford nailed his kick from the tee to give the hosts a huge 10-point lead. Bath continued with their efforts to the final seconds of the game and gave themselves hope with four minutes left to play as young centre Cameron Redpath scored his first try for the Blue, Black and White.  

A classic between these two age-old rivals, but the points went Leicester's way as the final whistle came to a close. A hard-fought encounter as Bath Rugby head back to the Rec next Friday to face an in-form Wasps side. 


REACTION 


GALLERY 

Match details

Welford Road
Gallagher Premiership
3 January 2021
KO 15:00

Referee: Wayne Barnes
Half Time score: 16-17

Tigers:
Tries: Steward (36), Wells (41), Henderson (64)
Conversions: Ford (37, 42, 65)
Penalties: Ford (23, 27, 44, 50, 73)
Bath:
Tries: Obano (2), Spencer (15), Redpath (76)
Conversions: Priestland (3, 16)
Penalties: Priestland (39, 47, 54, 62)

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Matchday Centre Powered By Dyson

MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Tigers and Bath.

3'

Try for Bath! Tigers 0 - 5 Bath

Beno Obano scores for Bath.

4'

Conversion! Tigers 0 - 7 Bath

Rhys Priestland with a conversion for Bath.

8'

Substitution

Josh Bayliss replaces Taulupe Faletau for Bath.

14'

Yellow Card!

Tigers lose Jasper Wiese for ten minutes.

16'

Try for Bath! Tigers 0 - 12 Bath

Ben Spencer scores for Bath.

17'

Conversion! Tigers 0 - 14 Bath

Rhys Priestland with a conversion for Bath.

19'

Substitution

Taulupe Faletau replaces Josh Bayliss for Bath.

23'

Penalty Goal! Tigers 3 - 14 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Tigers.

28'

Penalty Goal! Tigers 6 - 14 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Tigers.

37'

Try for Tigers! Tigers 11 - 14 Bath

Freddie Steward scores for Tigers.

38'

Conversion! Tigers 13 - 14 Bath

George Ford with a conversion for Tigers.

40'

Penalty Goal! Tigers 13 - 17 Bath

Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

45'

Penalty Goal! Tigers 16 - 17 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Tigers.

45'

HALF TIME

Match score: Tigers 16 - 17 Bath.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

42'

Try for Tigers! Tigers 21 - 17 Bath

Harry Wells scores for Tigers.

43'

Conversion! Tigers 23 - 17 Bath

George Ford with a conversion for Tigers.

48'

Penalty Goal! Tigers 23 - 20 Bath

Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

51'

Penalty Goal! Tigers 26 - 20 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Tigers.

52'

Substitution

Jack Walker replaces Tom Dunn for Bath.

53'

Substitution

Charlie Clare replaces Tom Youngs for Tigers.

53'

Substitution

Joe Heyes replaces Dan Cole for Tigers.

55'

Penalty Goal! Tigers 26 - 23 Bath

Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

58'

Substitution

Miles Reid replaces Sam Underhill for Bath.

61'

Substitution

Elliott Stooke replaces Josh McNally for Bath.

61'

Substitution

Jack Van Poortvliet replaces Ben Youngs for Tigers.

63'

Substitution

Cameron Henderson replaces Calum Green for Tigers.

63'

Substitution

Kini Murimurivalu replaces Jaco Taute for Tigers.

63'

Penalty Goal! Tigers 26 - 26 Bath

Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

65'

Try for Tigers! Tigers 31 - 26 Bath

Cameron Henderson scores for Tigers.

66'

Conversion! Tigers 33 - 26 Bath

George Ford with a conversion for Tigers.

66'

Substitution

Josh Matavesi replaces Rhys Priestland for Bath.

66'

Substitution

Josh Bayliss replaces Zach Mercer for Bath.

67'

Substitution

Luke Wallace replaces George Martin for Tigers.

68'

Substitution

Nephi Leatigaga replaces Ellis Genge for Tigers.

74'

Penalty Goal! Tigers 36 - 26 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Tigers.

74'

Substitution

Will Chudley replaces Ben Spencer for Bath.

74'

Substitution

Juan Schoeman replaces Beno Obano for Bath.

74'

Substitution

Christian Judge replaces Will Stuart for Bath.

77'

Try for Bath! Tigers 36 - 31 Bath

Cameron Redpath scores for Bath.

85'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Tigers.

Final score: Tigers 36 - 31 Bath.