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Bath Rugby secure top six finish with spectacular comeback at Welford Road

Leicester Tigers 31 v Bath Rugby 32

Bath Rugby fought back in spectacular fashion from 26-12 down to make it back-to-back victories against Leicester Tigers this season. The bonus-point 31-32 victory sees Bath finish the 2018/19 Gallagher Premiership season in the top six, with Heineken Champions Cup rugby guaranteed for next season.

The first points of the game came after just four minutes, with Bath opening with an early try. Ruaridh McConnochie made a scintillating break on halfway leaving a number of Leicester defenders trailing in his wake before offloading inside to Max Wright in support. The centre found Will Chudley on his shoulder, with the scrum-half hauled down five metres from the line. However, Chudley showed his quick-thinking to pop the ball up to Anthony Watson, who marked his 100th appearance for the Club with a try. Freddie Burns added the extras to take Bath into an early lead. [0-7]

Leicester responded moments later, with former Bath man George Ford slotting a long-range penalty. [3-7]

It was a frantic opening 10 minutes to the game, with Leicester going over for their first try following a well-executed catch and drive from a line-out. After close consultation with the TMO, Craig Maxwell-Keys awarded the try, with Will Spencer the man to rise under a pile of bodies. Ford added the conversion to put his side three in front. [10-7]

Bath quickly got back in front two minutes with their second score of the game, with the back line taking centre stage. A half-break from McConnochie gave Bath front foot ball on the Leicester 22. The visitors quickly recycled possession from right to left and the quick hands put Joe Cokanasiga through in the corner for his ninth try of the season. [10-12]

The points kept flowing in at Welford Road, as Ford put his side back in front with a routine penalty with 18 minutes played. [13-12]

Leicester were next to strike and it was Brendon O’Connor, who scored Leicester’s second of the afternoon. Following a series of phases on the Bath line, the back rower found his way over to score. Ford added the conversion. [20-12]  

Ford maintained his 100% record from the tee with a penalty from in front of the sticks 10 minutes before the interval.  [23-12]

With the clock ticking towards half-time, Bath were reduced to 14 men with Max Lahiff shown a yellow card for taking the man without the ball. Ford stepped up and kicked a successful penalty. [26-12]

Bath had the last say of the half, with replacement Rhys Priestland getting his first points of the game from the tee.

Half-time – Leicester Tigers 26-15 Bath Rugby

Four minutes after the interval, Sam Aspland-Robinson was sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on. Bath continued to pile pressure on the Leicester defence and Beno Obano ensured Bath left the 22 with a try, as the prop muscled his way over the line. Burns’ conversion put Bath within four points on the scoreboard. [26-22]

The hosts immediately found their way back up to the other end of the field and Clayton Blommetjies was the man to profit, as the winger dived through in the corner following quick hands on the right wing. Ford’s conversion drifted right of the uprights. [31-22]

Priestland moved Bath to within seven with 14 minutes to play, following sustained pressure in the Leicester 22. [31-25]

The three point score from Priestland proved crucial come the final stages as Kahn Fotuali'i broke from the back of a scrum, midway inside the Tigers half with four minutes left to play. The scrum half took play to just metres out before the forwards took over. The attritional phases from Bath eventually led to prop Jacques van Rooyen bundling his way over to reduce the deficit to just a point. Priestland stepped up and slotted the decisive conversion to put his side ahead with less than a minute left to play. Charlie Ewels collected the restart and Bath saw out the final stages to take the victory and guarantee Champions Cup Rugby next season. [31-32]

Full-time - Leicester Tigers 31-32 Bath Rugby

Match details

Welford Road
Gallagher Premiership
18 May 2019
KO 16:00

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Half Time score: 26-15

Tigers:
Tries: O'Connor (8, 23), Blommetjies (49)
Conversions: Ford (9, 23)
Penalties: Ford (5, 16, 29, 38)
Bath:
Tries: Watson (2), Cokanasiga (11), Obano (45), Van Rooyen (77)
Conversions: Burns (3, 46), Priestland (79)
Penalties: Priestland (40, 65)

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MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Tigers and Bath.

3'

Try for Bath! Tigers 0 - 5 Bath

Anthony Watson scores for Bath.

4'

Conversion! Tigers 0 - 7 Bath

Freddie Burns with a conversion for Bath.

6'

Penalty Goal! Tigers 3 - 7 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Tigers.

9'

Try for Tigers! Tigers 8 - 7 Bath

Brendon O'Connor scores for Tigers.

10'

Conversion! Tigers 10 - 7 Bath

George Ford with a conversion for Tigers.

12'

Try for Bath! Tigers 10 - 12 Bath

Joe Cokanasiga scores for Bath.

17'

Substitution

Elliott Stooke replaces Levi Douglas for Bath.

17'

Penalty Goal! Tigers 13 - 12 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Tigers.

24'

Try for Tigers! Tigers 18 - 12 Bath

Brendon O'Connor scores for Tigers.

24'

Conversion! Tigers 20 - 12 Bath

George Ford with a conversion for Tigers.

30'

Penalty Goal! Tigers 23 - 12 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Tigers.

33'

Substitution

Rhys Priestland replaces Freddie Burns for Bath.

38'

Yellow Card!

Bath lose Max Lahiff for ten minutes.

39'

Penalty Goal! Tigers 26 - 12 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Tigers.

41'

Penalty Goal! Tigers 26 - 15 Bath

Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

41'

HALF TIME

Match score: Tigers 26 - 15 Bath.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

41'

Substitution

Freddie Burns replaces Rhys Priestland for Bath.

44'

Yellow Card!

Tigers lose Sam Aspland-Robinson for ten minutes.

46'

Try for Bath! Tigers 26 - 20 Bath

Beno Obano scores for Bath.

47'

Conversion! Tigers 26 - 22 Bath

Freddie Burns with a conversion for Bath.

50'

Try for Tigers! Tigers 31 - 22 Bath

Clayton Blommetjies scores for Tigers.

51'

Substitution

Kahn Fotuali'i replaces Will Chudley for Bath.

56'

Substitution

Semesa Rokoduguni replaces Anthony Watson for Bath.

56'

Substitution

Valentino Mapapalangi replaces Anthony Watson for Tigers.

56'

Substitution

Ben White replaces Sam Harrison for Tigers.

60'

Substitution

Tatafu Polota-Nau replaces Tom Youngs for Tigers.

62'

Substitution

Rhys Priestland replaces Freddie Burns for Bath.

62'

Substitution

Facundo Gigena replaces Ellis Genge for Tigers.

65'

Substitution

Ross Batty replaces Tom Dunn for Bath.

65'

Substitution

Jacques Van Rooyen replaces Kyle Eastmond for Bath.

65'

Substitution

Tom Hardwick replaces Kyle Eastmond for Tigers.

65'

Substitution

Harry Wells replaces Graham Kitchener for Tigers.

66'

Penalty Goal! Tigers 31 - 25 Bath

Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

70'

Substitution

Leonardo Sarto replaces Matt Smith for Tigers.

73'

Substitution

Sam Nixon replaces Max Lahiff for Bath.

77'

Substitution

Joe Heyes replaces Dan Cole for Tigers.

78'

Try for Bath! Tigers 31 - 30 Bath

Jacques Van Rooyen scores for Bath.

80'

Conversion! Tigers 31 - 32 Bath

Rhys Priestland with a conversion for Bath.

81'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Bath.

Final score: Tigers 31 - 32 Bath.

Tigers Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
George Ford024016
Brendon O'Connor200010
Clayton Blommetjies10005
Bath Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
Rhys Priestland01208
Beno Obano10005
Joe Cokanasiga10005
Anthony Watson10005
Jacques Van Rooyen10005
Freddie Burns02004
Tigers v Bath
P D C T Pos Player   Player Pos T C D P
    PEllis
Genge
1Beno
Obano
P1   
    HTom
Youngs
2Tom
Dunn
H    
    PDan
Cole
3Max
Lahiff
P    
    LWill
Spencer
4Levi
Douglas
L    
    LGraham
Kitchener
5Charlie
Ewels
L    
    FLMichael
Fitzgerald
6Tom
Ellis
FL    
   2FLBrendon
O'Connor
7Sam
Underhill
FL    
    8Sione
Kalamafoni
8Zach
Mercer
8    
    SHSam
Harrison
9Will
Chudley
SH    
4 2 FHGeorge
Ford
10Freddie
Burns
FH 2  
   1WClayton
Blommetjies
11Ruaridh
McConnochie
W    
    CKyle
Eastmond
12Max
Wright
C    
    CMatt
Smith
13Jonathan
Joseph
C    
    WSam
Aspland-Robinson
14Joe
Cokanasiga
W1   
    FBGeorge
Worth
15Anthony
Watson
FB1   
Replacements
    RHTatafu
Polota-Nau
16Ross
Batty
RH    
    RPFacundo
Gigena
17Jacques
Van Rooyen
RC1   
    RPJoe
Heyes
18Sam
Nixon
RP    
    RLHarry
Wells
19Elliott
Stooke
RL    
    RFBValentino
Mapapalangi
20Jack
Walker
R    
    RSHBen
White
21Kahn
Fotuali'i
RSH    
    RCTom
Hardwick
22Rhys
Priestland
RFH 1 2
    RCLeonardo
Sarto
23Semesa
Rokoduguni
RFB