Bath Rugby forwards dominate to defeat Wasps

Bath Rugby's tremendous forward pack laid the platform for the West Country men to defeat London Wasps 5-28 in an ultimately convincing encounter at Adams Park.

In their first victory at High Wycombe in several seasons, Bath drew first blood in the third minute after Wasps were penalised for bringing down the visitors' maul, Ford's penalty kick making it 0-3. 

Both Ford and Wasps fly-half Andy Goode - two of the most precise kickers in the Premiership - struggled from the tee early on, but the former found more joy with a drop goal in the 27th minute to take Bath six points clear. 

A muted first half was brought alive in the 39th minute. Wasps had paid the price for persistently infringing on their 5m line as Bath plugged away patiently. With Wasps' tighthead prop Phil Swainston in the sin bin, Bath attacked from the lineout and scrum-half Peter Stringer sent the ball wide. With Wasps in their renowned defensive blitz mode, first receiver Ford immediately offloaded to Jonathan Joseph. The outside centre span out of the would-be tackler's grasp and sent Semesa Rokoduguni over in the corner with room to spare. The conversion was missed, but Bath went into half-time with a decent eleven-point buffer.

Half-time: London Wasps 0 - Bath Rugby 11

A three-pointer from a George Ford penalty kick aside, the first 20 minutes of the second half brought very little to write home about - until, that is, Leroy Houston received the ball out wide and, instead of going back inside for support from his forwards, palmed off Wasps lock Tom Palmer and sprinted 20m down the wing before feeding inside man Rokoduguni for his second try of the match. This time, in front of the posts, Ford converted the Fijian’s touchdown and put Bath 18 points ahead.

Wasps responded ten minutes later through wing Jonah Holmes, who ran strongly onto fullback Elliot Daly’s pass to score his team's first and only try. Replacement fly-half Joe Carlisle missed the conversion, however, and Bath led 5-18. 

With four minutes left, a Bath penalty took them into the visitors' 22. From the lineout, Matt Garvey showed surprising agility for such a big man to work his way over the line for Bath's third and final try of the match. Tom Heathcote, who had come onto the field only two minutes earlier for Ford, repeated his recent feat against Sale Sharks to kick a masterful touchline conversion in the dying minutes of the game, making it 5-28 to Bath. 

The highly impressive inside centre Ollie Devoto closed out the game with a second desperate tackle into touch of a Wasps player in as many minutes. 

Final Score: London Wasps 5 - Bath Rugby 28

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