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Bath Rugby bite back against Sharks

Bath Rugby 32 v Sale Sharks 26

Bath Rugby avenged last weekend's defeat at the AJ Bell Stadium by seeing off Sale Sharks 32-26 in thrilling fashion at a sunny Recreation Ground this afternoon.

Thanks to some sharp lines of attack from tighthead Henry Thomas and David Denton, Bath made inroads into the Sale 22 in the first few minutes. In the shadow of the posts, George Ford stepped his way out of danger and popped to Ollie Devoto, who evaded two tacklers to score. Ford converted for a 7-0 lead. 

A little over ten minutes after the opening whistle, Bath took a tap-and-go with a free-kick from a scrum in Sale's 22 that allowed the combined strength of Rob Webber and Charlie Ewels to pile over from close range and the lock to score. Ford again converted to double Bath's lead. 

Bath's fly-half kept the scores ticking over a couple of minutes later with a good penalty kick that took the score to 17-0. 

The visitors' forays into the Bath 22 were infrequent during the first half - indeed, Bath spent the lion's share of the 40 minutes in the away end - and when Sharks did finally threaten with a 5m attacking lineout, the home pack was able to repel their mauling advances and win back possession to end the half. 

Half time: Bath Rugby 17-0 Sale Sharks

Sale were the quicker side out of the blocks in the second half, their fly-half Danny Cipriani kicking straight to the corner with a 43rd-minute penalty. From that strong position, inside centre Johnny Leota was on hand to take a quick pick-and-go and touch down in the corner. Cipriani converted to draw the scores closer. 17-7.

Sharks lock Andrei Ostrikov followed up Leota's try with one of his own, and from a similar position, only minutes later - with Cipriani adding the extras. The Sale fightback was on. 17-14.

Ford extended Bath's lead to 20-14 with a penalty in the 54th minute, but it was four minutes later that the home team truly broke free as wing Semesa Rokoduguni started and finished an attacking phase into the Sale 22 that ended with him crossing the whitewash in the right corner. 25-14. 

Replacement scrum-half Will Homer, not long on the field as a replacement for Chris Cook, then made a scintillating break down the right wing to score the first Premiership try of his career. The flourish was added by Ford's touchline conversion: 32-14. 

Bath now had their try bonus point - and the result - in the bag, but Sale's never-say-die attitude saw the men from Manchester claw back a bonus point of their own with tries in the 78th and 80th minute, through TJ Ioane and Leota respectively. 

Bath's penultimate home match of the season proved an entertaining one, with Leicester Tigers to come in a fortnight's time. 

Full Time: Bath Rugby 32-26 Sale Sharks

Match details

Recreation Ground
Aviva Premiership
23 April 2016
KO 15:15

Referee: Ian Tempest
Half Time score: 17-0

Bath:
Tries: Devoto (1), Ewels (11), Rokoduguni (57), Homer (71)
Conversions: Ford (2, 12, 72)
Penalties: Ford (15, 53)
Sharks:
Tries: Leota (42, 83), Ostrikov (47), Ioane (77)
Conversions: Cipriani (43, 48), Ford (83)

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MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Bath and Sharks.

2'

Try for Bath! Bath 5 - 0 Sharks

Ollie Devoto scores for Bath.

3'

Conversion! Bath 7 - 0 Sharks

George Ford with a conversion for Bath.

12'

Try for Bath! Bath 12 - 0 Sharks

Charlie Ewels scores for Bath.

13'

Conversion! Bath 14 - 0 Sharks

George Ford with a conversion for Bath.

16'

Penalty Goal! Bath 17 - 0 Sharks

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

31'

Substitution

Eifion Lewis-Roberts replaces Ross Harrison for Sharks.

34'

Substitution

David Wilson replaces Henry Thomas for Bath.

41'

HALF TIME

Match score: Bath 17 - 0 Sharks.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

43'

Try for Sharks! Bath 17 - 5 Sharks

Johnny Leota scores for Sharks.

44'

Conversion! Bath 17 - 7 Sharks

Danny Cipriani with a conversion for Sharks.

48'

Try for Sharks! Bath 17 - 12 Sharks

Andrei Ostrikov scores for Sharks.

49'

Conversion! Bath 17 - 14 Sharks

Danny Cipriani with a conversion for Sharks.

54'

Substitution

Tom Dunn replaces Rob Webber for Bath.

54'

Penalty Goal! Bath 20 - 14 Sharks

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

56'

Substitution

Jonathan Mills replaces Andrei Ostrikov for Sharks.

56'

Substitution

Tom Brady replaces Neville Edwards for Sharks.

56'

Substitution

Cameron Neild replaces Mark Easter for Sharks.

58'

Try for Bath! Bath 25 - 14 Sharks

Semesa Rokoduguni scores for Bath.

59'

Substitution

Max Lahiff replaces Nathan Catt for Bath.

59'

Substitution

Dominic Day replaces Charlie Ewels for Bath.

63'

Substitution

Neil Briggs replaces Tommy Taylor for Sharks.

63'

Substitution

Brian Mujati replaces Vadim Cobilas for Sharks.

63'

Substitution

Will Homer replaces Chris Cook for Bath.

72'

Try for Bath! Bath 30 - 14 Sharks

Will Homer scores for Bath.

72'

Substitution

Levi Douglas replaces David Denton for Bath.

73'

Substitution

Max Clark replaces Ollie Devoto for Bath.

73'

Conversion! Bath 32 - 14 Sharks

George Ford with a conversion for Bath.

74'

Substitution

James Mitchell replaces Peter Stringer for Sharks.

74'

Substitution

Joe Ford replaces Danny Cipriani for Sharks.

77'

Substitution

Jeff Williams replaces Jonathan Joseph for Bath.

78'

Try for Sharks! Bath 32 - 19 Sharks

TJ Ioane scores for Sharks.

82'

Yellow Card!

Bath lose David Wilson for ten minutes.

84'

Try for Sharks! Bath 32 - 24 Sharks

Johnny Leota scores for Sharks.

84'

Conversion! Bath 32 - 26 Sharks

Joe Ford with a conversion for Sharks.

84'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Bath.

Final score: Bath 32 - 26 Sharks.

Bath Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
George Ford032012
Charlie Ewels10005
Ollie Devoto10005
Semesa Rokoduguni10005
Will Homer10005
Sharks Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
Johnny Leota200010
Andrei Ostrikov10005
TJ Ioane10005
Danny Cipriani02004
Joe Ford01002
Bath v Sharks
P D C T Pos Player   Player Pos T C D P
    PNathan
Catt
1Ross
Harrison
P    
    HRob
Webber
2Tommy
Taylor
H    
    PHenry
Thomas
3Vadim
Cobilas
P    
   1LCharlie
Ewels
4Bryn
Evans
L    
    LDave
Attwood
5Andrei
Ostrikov
L1   
    FLDavid
Denton
6TJ
Ioane
FL1   
    FLGuy
Mercer
7David
Seymour
FL    
    8Leroy
Houston
8Mark
Easter
8    
    SHChris
Cook
9Peter
Stringer
SH    
2 3 FHGeorge
Ford
10Danny
Cipriani
FH 2  
    WMatt
Banahan
11Neville
Edwards
W    
   1COllie
Devoto
12Johnny
Leota
C2   
    CJonathan
Joseph
13Sam
James
C    
   1WSemesa
Rokoduguni
14Will
Addison
W    
    FBRhys
Priestland
15Mike
Haley
FB    
Replacements
    RHTom
Dunn
16Neil
Briggs
RH    
    RPMax
Lahiff
17Eifion
Lewis-Roberts
RP    
    RPDavid
Wilson
18Brian
Mujati
RP    
    RLDominic
Day
19Jonathan
Mills
RL    
    RFLLevi
Douglas
20Cameron
Neild
R8    
   1RSHWill
Homer
21James
Mitchell
RSH    
    RCMax
Clark
22Joe
Ford
RFH 1  
    RCJeff
Williams
23Tom
Brady
RW