Bath Rugby put on a strong defensive performance to edge Leicester Tigers out 13-10 in Round 9 of the Gallagher Premiership.
A brace from full-back Tom Homer provided the hosts with a crucial four points, which keeps Bath Rugby in sixth place, just two points adrift of Gloucester in fourth.
The hosts gained an early advantage with Rhys Priestland pinning Leicester in the right areas of the field and the Blue, Black and White were able to breach the whitewash just four minutes into the match. Referee Wayne Barnes played advantage to the hosts and Chris Cook saw the space out wide, with Homer benefitting in the corner. [5-0]
In a tightly contested midfield battle, both sides began to adopt a kicking game in an attempt to gain good field position.
The visitors put on the pressure during the latter end of the first-half with some good play from their forward pack, with Will Spencer carrying well. Leicester managed to keep battering the Bath try line but after some incredible defence, and 15 consecutive phases from the visitors, the hosts came away unscathed.
However, following all their hard work, Barnes went back for the penalty advantage and Tom Hardwick took full advantage, drilling his effort through the posts from 10 metres out to close the gap. [5-3]
The two sides headed down the tunnel on an even keel with Bath just edging the tie at the break.
Half-time – Bath Rugby 5-3 Leicester Tigers
The two sides came out the with the same intensity but it was the hosts again who edged themselves further into the lead with a penalty from the boot of Priestland. [8-3]
After failing to get themselves over the whitewash in the first-half, Leicester came close just 50 minutes into the game. Hardwick dictated play by pinning Bath deep into their own 22 and the forward pack did the rest in the 22, but Tigers had the ball held up over the line from a powerful driving maul with Bath’s defence holding strong.
Following the first failed attempt, the visitors kept the ball rolling from a five-metre scrum. After the forwards brought the ball close, it was scrum-half Ben White who pounced over the whitewash from close range to level the scores at the hour mark. Hardwick converted his effort to give Leicester the lead for the first time. [8-10]
Just nine minutes later the hosts responded in the best way possible: aw try in the corner as the Rec erupted. Homer was again on the scoresheet and the beneficiary of some quick play out wide. Will Chudley and Freddie Burns opened up the line allowing the full back enough space to crash through two tackles and dive over in the corner. [13-10]
Bath applied pressure in the dying moments of the game and came close to scoring a third, but the visitors held out in true fashion as the Blue, Black and White secured a crucial four-point win over their age-old rivals at the Rec.
Full-time – Bath Rugby 13-10 Leicester Tigers
Bath Rugby have a two week break from games before heading on the road to face Worcester Warriors on Saturday 15th February.
25 January 2020
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Half Time score: 5-3
- Tries: Homer (3, 69)
- Penalties: Priestland (46)
- Tries: White (59)
- Conversions: Hardwick (60)
- Penalties: Hardwick (23)