Charlie Ewels led out his team for the first home game of the season, as Bath Rugby secured a bonus-point 36-28 victory over Worcester Warriors at the Rec.
The line-up saw new signings Christian Judge, Josh McNally, Lewis Boyce, Will Stuart and Mike Williams all make their debuts in a game which resulted in a well-earned home win and a performance that provided some great challenge and learnings across the board.
Stuart Hooper’s men opened the scoring with just five minutes on the clock, with Worcester penalised for not rolling away. Rhys Priestland signalled for the kick at goal and the fly-half made no mistake from in front of the posts. [3-0]
Just six minutes later, the hosts added the first try of the afternoon through Will Chudley. Full-back Tom Homer made a strong break down the right wing fending off the tackles, before offloading to Will Chudley who was ready and waiting to run the ball in under the posts. Priestland added the extras. [10-0]
Worcester looked dangerous in possession, but Bath’s defence kept the visitors at bay with some hard tackling.
Bath continued their strong start getting over the line once again with 16 minutes played. A dominant rolling maul following the line-out gave Chudley the opportunity to work the ball out to the short side. The impressive Max Clark made a quick and accurate pass to Levi Davis who shot down the wing at speed and crashed over the line for his second try in as many weeks. Priestland was flawless once again from the tee to take the scores to 17-0.
Bath kept the pressure on and Worcester were unable to match the physicality of the Blue, Black and White. With 15 minutes to play in the half, the hosts found themselves in the visitors' red zone. A massive drive from the maul saw Bath go over the line, but agonisingly the ball was held up over the line.
Following the five metre scrum, Bath found their way over the line again, but with no TMO in play, the forwards were denied once again.
Bath didn’t relent and the sustained pressure paid off as Stooke powered over the whitewash at close range, just over 10 minutes before the interval. Priestland maintained his 100% kicking record to add some clear daylight between the two sides. [24-0]
It looked like that's the way the half would finish, but Worcester hit back with three minutes left on the clock. Alan Solomons' side went through the phases and were rewarded with skipper Marco Mama stepping in side from close range to score. Duncan Weir reduced arrears with the conversion. [24-7]
Half time – Bath Rugby: 24 – 7 Worcester Warriors
The teams came out after half-time with Lewis Boyce coming on for his Bath Rugby debut, with Max Green and Freddie Burns also entering the fray.
Just two minutes into the second half Green was forced off with an injury to his forearm, which saw the versatile de Glanville take to the field in the number nine position.
It was a strong start to the second period for Worcester, who spent large periods camped out in the Bath 22. Some resilient defending saw Bath maintain their 17-point advantage.
With 50 minutes on the clock Hooper made a few more changes to his side which saw Tom Dunn and Will Stuart make their first appearances of the season.
With 20 minutes remaining, Melani Nanai capitalised on a loose ball and ran the length of the field. It looked as though he had the score in the bag but de Glanville was hot on his heels and made a spectacular last-ditch tackle, which received a standing ovation from the crowd.
The visitors didn’t have to wait long and two minutes later they got their score, with Ollie Lawrence crashing over the line under the uprights. Weir made it a seven-point score with the resulting conversion. [24-14]
Bath stayed composed and played the game their way, with the forward pack continuing to dominate the set-piece. Following a couple of penalties at the scrum, the referee had no option but to blow for the penalty try - Bath's bonus-point score. [31-14]
The Blue, Black and White added a fifth of the afternoon through Aled Brew, to all but put the result beyond doubt. Following an attacking scrum, Burns launched a monstrous pass out wide, which found the grateful hands of Brew, to extend Bath's advantage. [36-14]
With the game drifting into the red, Worcester added two consolation scores. First replacement Ted Hill got in on the act with a solo effort in the Bath 22. The visitors secured their bonus-point, with Francois Hougaard managing to scramble his way over the whitewash.
Full-time - Bath Rugby 36-28 Worcester Warriors
Premiership Rugby Cup
28 September 2019
Referee: Simon Harding
Half Time score: 24-7
- Tries: Chudley (8), Davis (16), Stooke (28), Brew (77)
- Conversions: Priestland (8, 17, 29)
- Penalties: Priestland (5)
- Tries: Mama (36), Lawrence (61), Hill (79), Hougaard (82)
- Conversions: Weir (38, 61), Shillcock (79, 83)