Bath Rugby 47 , Benetton Treviso 7
Five tries and twenty-two points from the boot of full back Olly wrapped up the victory which also secured an all important bonus point which will be crucial if they are to look for a place in the quarter-finals. It was a remarkable achievement considering the injury crisis that continues to mount at the Rec.
Such was the severity of Bath Rugby's injury blight during the week that Head Coach John Connolly was unable to name a full squad of twenty-two players. England centre Mike Tindall headed up an extensive list of some fifteen players who are injured or unavailable for tomorrow's game. David Flatman (Achilles), Robbie Fleck (calf), Chris Loader (ankle), Zak Feaunati (fractured eye socket), Danny Grewcock (back), Rob Hawkins (shoulder), Mike Tindall (shoulder and foot), Matt Perry (hamstring), Joe Maddock (hamstring), Martyn Wood (hamstring), Lee Best (groin), Jonathan Humphreys (heel) and Gareth Delve (foot) are all currently injured. Prop Heinrich Kok and Winger Frikkie Welsh are not registered for the Heineken Cup as they signed after the registration deadline.
With pride at stake, Bath Rugby came out in determined mood and took just three minutes to make their intentions clear when Olly Barkley stroked over a penalty after Treviso were penalised at the breakdown. Three points became six when full back Barkley added his second penalty of the afternoon six minutes later as Bath Rugby began to make use of their superiority up front to get into their stride.
Bath's opening try was a gem. Following a five metre scrum, Chris Malone stood the ball up well for Andrew Higgins, who cut a beautiful angle to score under the posts. Barkley converted and added a third penalty shortly afterwards to extend the lead to thirteen points after Treviso were penalised yet again in a contact area where they were subjected to considerable pressure.
Bath's second try was more about power. Olly Barkley looked to have made a hash of a simple overlap near the Treviso line, but after the ball was recycled, the Bath forwards drove over the line for a try and Andy Beattie emerged from the bottom of the pile to claim the score. Barkley added the conversion to give the home side a 23-0 advantage.
However, on the stroke of half time Treviso hit back. After a period of sustained pressure inside the Bath twenty-two, the Italians were awarded a penalty try after Bath were penalised at the scrum. Goosen added the simple conversion. It was a decision which clearly outraged the Bath players who appeared to have the better of the first half scrums and hookers Lee Mears and Fabio Ongaro were sent to the bin for the resulting dust-up.
After the interval, Bath took control and Barkley added a fourth penalty before Rob Fidler scythed through the Treviso defence to score a try under the posts that was converted by Barkley. Three tries became four and a bonus point was secured when Bath's forwards drove Michael Lipman over the line to score a try that was converted by Barkley.
15 Olly Barkley (5c, 4p), 14 Andrew Higgins (1t), 13 Alex Crockett, 12 Spencer Davey (rep Baxter), 11 Brendon Daniel, 10 Chris Malone, 9 Nick Walshe (Scaysbrook), 1 David Barnes (Ovens), 2 Lee Mears (yellow card), 3 Matt Stevens (Bell), 4 James Hudson, 5 Rob Fidler (1t) (Borthwick), 6 Andy Beattie (Ward) (1t) (c), 7 Michael Lipman (1t), 8 Geraint Lewis
Reps: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Duncan Bell (1t), 18 Steve Borthwick, 19 James Scaysbrook, 20 Mike Baxter, 21 Laurence Ovens.
15, Brendan Williams, 14, Tommaso Visentin, 18, Walter Pozzebon, 12, Marius Goosen, 11, Gonzalo Canale, 10, Franco Smith, 9, Alessandro Troncon (capt), 1, Gianluca Faliva, 2, Fabio Ongaro, 3, Salvatore Constanzo, 4, Gerhard Klerck, 5, Andrea Gritti, 6, Enrico Pavanello, 7, Silvio Orlando, 8, Scott Palmer.
Reps: 16, Alvaro Tejeda, 17, Juan Pablo Mauro, 18, Franco Sbaraglini, 19, David Dal Maso, 20, Sergio Parisse, 21, Simon Picone, 22, Stuart Legg.
Ref: Franck Marciello