Bath Rugby lost 19-13 to Saracens this afternoon at Allianz Park, having been unable to capitalise on an impressive first-half display.
Rhys Priestland opened Bath's account within the first three minutes, after the fly-half had put Matt Banahan into space for a surging run into Saracens' 22. Bath appeared to have rumbled over for a try, but instead had to make do with three points from the Welsh fly-half. 0-3.
Bath were quick to re-emerge as a threat deep in Saracens territory and, thanks to pressure from chasing tighthead Henry Thomas, the home team were forced into making a short kick into touch from their 22. From there, Bath won the lineout and soon went wide, before debutant Dan Bowden gave a delayed pass to fullback Tom Homer for the try.
Priestland made a remarkable conversion from out wide to give Bath a 0-10 lead. Bath then repelled wave after wave of attack from the men in red and black, punctuated by some probing kicks into Saracens territory.
On the stroke of half-time, Saracens infringed at the maul as Bath rolled forwards in the home 22, allowing a grateful Priestland to take an extra three points into the break.
Half-time: Saracens 0-13 Bath Rugby
It took until the 45th minute for Saracens to register any points, when fly-half Charlie Hodgson struck a penalty kick in front of Bath's posts. 3-13.
Hodgson followed that up with another as Bath's discipline started to let the visitors down. 6-13.
In the final ten minutes, a deflected Bath kick put Saracens onside. The home team piled behind the ball and Schalk Brits touched down for a try that was converted by Hodgson to level the scores. 13-13.
Thirteen-all quickly became 16-13 as Hodgson kicked a further penalty not long after. Bath were then found guilty of impeding Saracens' lineout and Hodgson succeeded again with the boot. 19-13.
Bath couldn't stymie the referee's whistle thereafter and Saracens closed out what had been a lop-sided contest between the two sides.
Full time: Saracens 19-13 Bath Rugby
30 January 2016
Referee: Dean Richards
Half Time score: 0-13
- Tries: Brits (70)
- Conversions: Hodgson (71)
- Penalties: Hodgson (45, 48, 73, 77)
- Tries: Homer (12)
- Conversions: Priestland (13)
- Penalties: Priestland (4, 40)