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Bath Rugby dazzle at Donnybrook

Leinster Rugby 19 v Bath Rugby 39

Bath Rugby finished their pre-season campaign with a 100% success rate, beating Leinster 19-39 in a breathtaking encounter at Donnybrook Stadium.

Clever hands from Bath following Leinster's kick-off, including a neat draw-and-pass from outside centre Max Clark, took the men in Blue, Black and White up to the opposition 22 where they earnt themselves a penalty at the breakdown. Fly-half Rhys Priestland knocked the ball over from outside the 22. 0-3.

In the fourth minute, a well-crafted move from Bath allowed lock Dave Attwood to cruise over for the opening try, which Priestland converted from the most difficult of angles. 0-10.

Priestland had little time to take breath between that and his next kick at goal, as Leinster infringed at the breakdown a matter of metres in front of their own posts. 0-13. 

Leinster were jolted into life by Bath's early dominance on the scoreboard, crafting a try of their own off the back of a scrum through wing Adam Byrne - although fly-half Joey Carbery failed with his conversion attempt. 5-13. 

Ireland international Garry Ringrose then hurtled into the Bath 22, with the ball moving infield for captain Ross Molony to touch down. Byrne made no mistake this time: 12-13.

A magical moment of the first half came not long before half time, when Anthony Watson showed a phenomenal sleight-of-hand under pressure to find inside centre Dan Bowden, who made the scoring pass out wide to wing Jeff Williams for the try. Priestland converted. 

HALF TIME: Leinster 12-20 Bath Rugby

Bath were more than able to soak up wave after wave of Leinster attack in the third quarter - the hosts admittedly unlucky one occasion not to score with a chip into Bath's 22. 

The deadlock was broken just after the hour, however, as a raft of Bath Rugby replacements made a telling impact. The newly-invigorated Bath pack worked the visitors into a commanding position in the Leinster 22, from where replacement inside centre Rory Jennings unleashed the awaiting Rokoduguni on the wing for the England international's try.

Replacement fly-half George Ford went mighty close from a difficult touchline position with his conversion attempt, but it bounced off the post. 12-25. 

Bath had to see out the final ten minutes of the match with 14 men, with try-scorer Rokoduguni sin-binned for illegal handling of the ball. Leinster made their man advantage count straight away, hitting back through replacement fullback Barry Daly. With Byrne's conversion successful, Leinster looked onto a comeback. 19-25.

Except that Bath's young replacement wing, Harry Davies, had other ideas. The Welshman latched onto a kick through on halfway, showing the pace to beat the chasing defender for an excellent solo try, which Ford converted. 19-32. 

Just when one thought Bath would be happy to defend till the whistle blew for full time, Ford turned a Leinster try-scoring opportunity into one of his own: blocking a kick, taking possession of the ball and sprinting the length of the field to not only touch down, but then convert his own try.

FULL TIME: Leinster 19-39 Bath Rugby

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