Bath Rugby prevailed in an intense nine-try encounter with Wasps to win 39-26.
With 10 minutes just gone, Bath spurned a kickable penalty and opted for a lineout in the visitors' 22. They justified turning down the three points when, helped by strong yards by inside centre Sam Burgess and tighthead Henry Thomas, Francis Louw dotted down under the posts. Ford's conversion made it 7-0 the home side.
It remained scoreless until the 26th minute, when Wasps launched a threatening attack and Bath had too few defenders out wide to stop wing Alapati Leiua from scoring. Wasps fly-half Andy Goode failed with his attempt to convert. 7-5.
Near the half hour mark, Ford slotted a neatly-struck penalty to make it 10-5. The next score came shortly after, starting with a Henry Thomas steal inside his own 22. The ball shipped wide and Ford made a perfect offload for Semesa Rokoduguni to race away for the try, which the fly-half converted.
Half time: Bath Rugby 20-5 Wasps
Five minutes into the second half, Burgess again showed great impact with the ball in hand, bursting into the visitors' 22. He was brought down short of the line, but the wall was quickly distributed out wide, before coming back into midfield for an expectant Burgess to cut inside and score his maiden Premiership try. From in front of the posts, Ford gave Bath a 27-5 lead.
Wasps then struck back through their impressive number eight Nathan Hughes, who broke through one tackle to score a close-range try in the right corner. Goode converted this time to make it 27-12.
An hour gone, Bath's imposing maul was inching up the left wing. Scrum-half Chris Cook flicked a cute pass to Matt Banahan who swatted away a Wasps defender with seeming ease to score. The conversion attempt from Ford was unfortunate to bounce off the post, and Bath led 32-12.
Bath piled on the misery within a matter of minutes thereafter, with Devoto crossing in the right corner after some heavy work from the forwards -including a tenacious Matt Garvey- in Wasps' 22. The touchline conversion was taken with aplomb by Ford. 39-12.
Just when you thought Wasps were dead and buried, and with almost 10 minutes left to play, they came alive with a scintillating length-of-the-field movement, finished by centre Ben Jacobs, which Goode converted. 39-19.
Wasps followed that with a marvellous individual effort from replacement fly-half Alex Lozowski, who converted his own try to narrow the gap to 13 points. The match ended minutes later with Wasps looking for a further try, but they were bundled into touch after some fine Bath defending.
Full time: Bath Rugby 39-26.
10 January 2015
Referee: Andrew Small
Half Time score: 20-5
- Tries: Louw (10), Rokoduguni (31), Burgess (44), Banahan (59), Devoto (64)
- Conversions: Ford (11, 32, 45, 65)
- Penalties: Ford (28, 37)
- Tries: Leiua (25), Hughes (52), Jacobs (72), Lozowski (74)
- Conversions: Goode (52), Lozowski (72, 74)