Bath Rugby fell to a 27-23 defeat to play-off rivals Wasps at the Rec on the August Bank Holiday Monday in Round 17 of the Gallagher Premiership.
It was tense battle at the Rec which saw the visitors capitalise on a converted penalty try for a collapsed maul just five minutes before the death.
The game started with gusto as Bath secured ten points in as many minutes. Wasps worked hard to climb up the scoreboard but failed to get in front in the first 40. The key moment which changed the course of the game came after 34 minute when scrums were designated as uncontested following a Wasps’ appeal.
At the break it was 13 a piece and all to play for.
In the second 40 Bath continued to fight for every point, and it looked as though they had crossed the whitewash not once, but twice, however, referee Wayne Barnes disallowed both efforts.
Ultimately, Wasps secured the W in a heart-breaking battle by delivering a strong counter-attack, and capitalising on the call for uncontested scrums as well as Bath’s errors.
As early as 34 minutes into the contest, the game took a turn with uncontested scrums. Wasps' Tommy Taylor and then Gabriel Oghre suffered injuries and with the two hookers not being able to play on, the games set piece changed. This was a hugely impactful difference for Bath Rugby as they pride themselves on a strong unyielding scrum.
Tries: Ruaridh McConnochie (2'), Jack Walker (69')
Conversions: Rhys Priestland (2', 69')
Penalties: Rhys Priestland (6', 11', 49')
Tries: Jacob Umaga (27'), Tom West (58'), Penalty Try
Conversions: Jacob Umaga 28', 59')
Penalties: Lima Sopoaga (12'), Jacob Umaga (39')
PERFORMANCE OF THE MATCH
Rhys Priestland wins the Pol Roger Performance of the Match having scored 13 of Bath's 23 points this afternoon. A bitterly disappointing defeat at home but solid performance from the fly-half.
31 August 2020
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Half Time score: 13-13
- Tries: McConnochie (1), Walker (66)
- Conversions: Priestland (3, 68)
- Penalties: Priestland (6, 10, 48)
- Tries: Umaga (26), West (56)
- Conversions: Umaga (27, 57)
- Penalties: Sopoaga (12), Umaga (39)