Match summary – Bath Rugby 17-71 Saracens
Bath Rugby suffered a heart-breaking 71-17 defeat to Saracens in Round 5 of the Gallagher Premiership – a result which has left the players and coaches visibly hurt in the dressing room.
Max Malins scored a hat-trick and Jamie George crossed for a double while Owen Farrell was faultless from the boot, kicking seven conversions and a penalty.
Maro Itoje, Ben Earl, Eroni Mawi, Rotimi Segun and Dom Morris were also on the scoresheet for the Men in Black.
In the second half, Tom de Glanville, Tom Ellis and Will Muir all dotted down in consolation.
Stuart Hooper made four changes for the match with Danny Cipriani making his home debut. Anthony Watson, Tom Dunn and Miles Reid also returned to the starting XV.
Saracens named a full international XV with British & Irish Lions Itoje, George, Farrell, Sean Maitland and Mako Vunipola all featuring.
Bath Rugby: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Will Muir, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Ollie Fox; 1 Beno Obano, 2 Tom Dunn, 3 Will Stuart, 4 Josh McNally, 5 Charlie Ewels ©, 6 Miles Reid, 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Josh Bayliss
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Lewis Boyce, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Mike Williams, 20 Tom Ellis, 21 Max Green, 22 Orlando Bailey, 23 Ruaridh McConnochie
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Max Malins, 10 Owen Farrell (c), 9 Aled Davies; 1 Mako Vunipola, 2 Jamie George, 3 Marco Riccioni, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Tim Swinson, 6 Nick Isiekwe, 7 Ben Earl, 8 Billy Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Tom Woolstencroft, 17 Eroni Mawi, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Andy Christie, 20 Sean Reffell, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Dom Morris, 23 Rotimi Segun
Farrell set the tone with a third minute penalty as Saracens went 10-0 up inside the opening 10 minutes.
Alex Lozowski’s arcing run launched the Men in Black deep into Bath territory and England lock Itoje found a gap to cross on his return to league action.
Bath did make in-roads of their own, entering the Sarries 22 on nine occasions in the first period but couldn’t quite deliver the killer shot.
Sarries however were clinical. Absorbing carry after carry, effort after effort from the Blue, Black and Whites, the visitors moved the ball swiftly to the wing for Malins to run in.
On 28 minutes, George flopped over the whitewash from the back of a rolling maul and moments later Malins intercepted a loose pass to sprint home from the halfway line.
Saracens took every chance that came their way with Earl and George, along with Farrell’s boot, extending their lead to 45 points at the break.
Bath came out firing at the beginning of the second half and their relentless defence earned their first try.
Josh Bayliss gathered his own charge down and found an onrushing Sam Underhill who powered to the corner. A patient couple of phases thereafter led to full-back de Glanville hitting a superb line and collecting five points.
Soon after, Saracens went back on the attack. Farrell’s line break and offload allowed Nick Tompkins to advance and prop Mawi was in support to bundle over.
Malins completed his hat-trick just shy of the hour and two further tries late on from Segun and Morris added gloss to the scoreline.
Despite the nature of the game, the home crowd remained with the Bath players and helped roar the upfield for two scores of their own.
Tightening things up, the forwards rumbled on via a strongly set maul and Ellis proved the beneficiary. Then to end the match, de Glanville’s burst created space for Bayliss to carry out wide and feed Muir who bulldozed over Malins to score on the stretch.
The hosts rallied in search of a try bonus, but it wasn’t to be. A final result that stings emotionally.
17 October 2021
Referee: Jack Makepeace
Half Time score: 0-45
- Tries: de Glanville (41), Ellis (74), Muir (76)
- Conversions: Cipriani (42)
- Tries: Itoje (5), Malins (15, 29, 57), George (27, 42), Earl (37), Mawi (54), Segun (66), Morris (70)
- Conversions: Farrell (6, 16, 27, 30, 38, 43, 55, 59), Goode (71)
- Penalties: Farrell (2)