Bath Rugby earn dramatic try bonus win against Montpellier

Bath Rugby 32 v Montpellier Hérault Rugby 12

Bath Rugby left it fashionably late in the match to secure a bonus point 32-12 victory against Montpellier in Round Four of the European Rugby Champions Cup.

Much pre-match talk had centred around Bath earning the try bonus point in this fixture, having just failed to do so at the Altrad Stadium last week. This prospect looked highly likely as Bath scored within the opening two minutes through Matt Banahan, which had its roots in a Leroy Houston chargedown. The try wasn't awarded by Italian referee Marius Mitrea without much deliberation from the TMO but once given, George Ford converted to give Bath a 7-0 lead.

Montpellier allowed their opponents to edge further ahead in the seventh minute, failing to release a Bath player and gifting Ford a penalty and three points. 10-0.

A decoy run by Sam Burgess (on his first start for the Club) after 14 minutes was the launchpad for his centre partner Jonathan Joseph to dash upfield and put Banahan away for his second try in less than 15 minutes. Again, Ford converted.

With Bath holding a 17-point lead, it was Montpellier who enjoyed all the territory and most of the possession in the second quarter of the first half. It was only the quick wit of the Bath pack in the 40th minute which stifled a likely Montpellier score, disrupting their scrum near the Bath 5m enough to win back the ball and kick to touch to end the first half.

Half time: Bath Rugby 17-0 Montpellier

The second half started precisely as the first, with Bath charging down Montpellier in the visitors' 22. Although it wasn't to result in a try, the position from which the penalty was given was perfect for a three-pointer from Ford. 20-0.

In the 52nd minute, Bath made a wholesale change in the front row, and it instantly paid dividends. Nick Auterac, Rob Webber and Henry Thomas were part of a maul which put Banahan over from close range, the winger securing his hat-trick for the evening after stiff-arming the defender to go over for the try. 25-0.

Shortly after the hour mark, Montpellier made their attacking lineout count, with number eight Alex Tulou barging over for an unconverted try. 25-5.

Montpellier scored another close-range effort six minutes from time through replacement prop Mickael Ivaldi, converted by replacement scrum-half Benoit Pail Iaugue. 25-12.

By now, time was running out for Bath to score that crucial bonus point. It all looked very unlikely until the 78th minute when, in Montpellier's 22, replacement wing Horacio Agulla cut a remarkable angle to run in untouched for Bath's fourth try. Ford, of course, converted from in front of the posts to give the crowd further reason to cheer at the denouement of this Anglo-French Champions Cup clash.

Final score: Bath Rugby 32-Montpellier 12

Match details

Recreation Ground
European Rugby Champions Cup
12 December 2014
KO 19:45

Referee: Marius Mitrea
Half Time score: 17-0

Bath:
Tries: Banahan (2, 13, 51), Agulla (78)
Conversions: Ford (3, 14, 78)
Penalties: Ford (6, 43)
Montpellier:
Tries: Tulou (61), Ivaldi (73)
Conversions: Paillaugue (74)

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MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Bath and Montpellier.

3'

Try for Bath! Bath 5 - 0 Montpellier

Matt Banahan scores for Bath.

4'

Conversion! Bath 7 - 0 Montpellier

George Ford with a conversion for Bath.

7'

Penalty Goal! Bath 10 - 0 Montpellier

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

10'

Substitution

Stuart Hooper replaces Dave Attwood for Bath.

14'

Try for Bath! Bath 15 - 0 Montpellier

Matt Banahan scores for Bath.

15'

Conversion! Bath 17 - 0 Montpellier

George Ford with a conversion for Bath.

33'

Substitution

Rene Ranger replaces Robert Ebersohn for Montpellier.

44'

HALF TIME

Match score: Bath 17 - 0 Montpellier.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

44'

Penalty Goal! Bath 20 - 0 Montpellier

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

49'

Substitution

Benoit Paillaugue replaces Enzo Selponi for Montpellier.

49'

Substitution

Alexandre Bias replaces Akapusi Qera for Montpellier.

49'

Substitution

Tom Donnelly replaces Thibault Privat for Montpellier.

51'

Substitution

Rob Webber replaces Ross Batty for Bath.

51'

Substitution

Nick Auterac replaces Paul James for Bath.

51'

Substitution

Henry Thomas replaces David Wilson for Bath.

52'

Try for Bath! Bath 25 - 0 Montpellier

Matt Banahan scores for Bath.

52'

Yellow Card!

Montpellier lose Benoit Paillaugue for ten minutes.

57'

Substitution

David Attoub replaces Patrick Cilliers for Montpellier.

59'

Substitution

Micky Young replaces Chris Cook for Bath.

62'

Try for Montpellier! Bath 25 - 5 Montpellier

Alex Tulou scores for Montpellier.

63'

Substitution

Benoit Sicart replaces Pierre Berard for Montpellier.

63'

Substitution

Mickael Ivaldi replaces Charles Geli for Montpellier.

67'

Substitution

Horacio Agulla replaces Semesa Rokoduguni for Bath.

73'

Substitution

David Sisi replaces Alafoti Faosiliva for Bath.

74'

Try for Montpellier! Bath 25 - 10 Montpellier

Mickael Ivaldi scores for Montpellier.

75'

Conversion! Bath 25 - 12 Montpellier

Benoit Paillaugue with a conversion for Montpellier.

79'

Try for Bath! Bath 30 - 12 Montpellier

Horacio Agulla scores for Bath.

79'

Conversion! Bath 32 - 12 Montpellier

George Ford with a conversion for Bath.

81'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Bath.

Final score: Bath 32 - 12 Montpellier.