Bath Rugby returned to winning ways at the Rec with one-sided 47-7 win against London Welsh in Round One of the LV= Cup.
Seven tries were scored in all by the home side, the first within five minutes of the first half when a powerful maul from Bath enabled blinside Max Northcote-Green to score on his senior debut for the Club. Fly-half Gavin Henson's conversion rebounded off the posts. 5-0.
Henson was able to rectify that error six minutes later when Bath won a scrum penalty near enough in front of the Welsh posts, his successful kick taking the score to 8-0.
The opening quarter had just gone when Henson, in possession of the ball outside the visitors' 22, shipped to Olly Woodburn on the right wing. Woodburn scampered under the first tackle, presented the ball well enough for it to be recycled to hooker Ross Batty, whose drive allowed Woodburn to finally get the try just one phase later.
Henson's impressive touchline conversion gave Bath a 15-0 lead, which he then extended to 18-0 after his side were presented with a scrum penalty in front of the Welsh posts with just over half an hour on the clock. Tighthead Kane Palma-Newport would have felt hard done by in the 37th minute, having seemingly touched down for Bath's third try, only for the referee to bring it back for a home penalty.
That denial made little difference to the team, however, when their scrum shunted Welsh over their own tryline, giving Bath a penalty try moments later; one which Henson was never going to miss. 25-0.
That wasn't it for the first half, though. Outside centre Matt Banahan burst through the Welsh defence, and strong support work from wing Horacio Agulla and Nick Auterac put Banahan over for his side's fourth try.
Henson was unfortunate to again hit the posts with his attempt, but a 32-0 lead going into half time told its own story, with the Exiles having found themselves running into a wall of Blue, Black and White through almost the entirety of the first 40 minutes.
Half time: Bath Rugby 30-0 London Welsh
The Exiles were never going to allow themselves to concede as many points in the second half as they had in the first, and so it proved. Still, Northcote Green's second try after 52 minutes was a sight to behold: inside centre Ollie Devoto's kick finding Agulla - who somehow spun in the air to retrieve the ball - who fed the ball to the blindside. Henson's conversion took the lead to 37-0.
Welsh began to come alive in attack after that try, and frequent penalties and quick-taps in Bath's half eventually resulted in former Bath wing Nick Scott scoring in the left-hand corner. Replacement Welsh fly-half Will Robinson's difficult conversion from out wide was one of the high points of the afternoon for the Exiles. 37-7.
Bath struck back with fewer than ten minutes remaining, as if galvanised by the crowd's desire for one last try. Parked on the opposition tryline, replacement wing Rich Lane found himself unmarked for the best part of three seconds. In that time, scrum-half Micky Young, on for Chris Cook, passed Lane the ball for the penultimate try of the night. The conversion attempt was wide, and the score now stood at 42-7.
There was time for just one more try for Bath, with another fine maul allowing replacement lock Marcus Garratt to touch down. Again, the conversion was off-target, but it had been a successful return to the Rec for Bath.
Full time: Bath Rugby 47-7 London Welsh
1 November 2014
Referee: David Proctor
Half Time score: 30-0
- Tries: Northcote-Green (4, 51), Woodburn (24), Banahan (40), Lane (75), Garratt (80)
- Conversions: Henson (25, 38, 52)
- Penalties: Henson (11, 32)
- Tries: Scott (60)
- Conversions: Robinson (61)