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Bath Rugby make it two from two with victory in Wales

Scarlets 17 v Bath Rugby 32

Bath Rugby made it two wins from two in their pre-season campaign with a 17-32 victory over Scarlets at Parc Eirias.

Scarlets were quick to apply pressure from the kick-off, but it was a former-Scarlets man who got the first points on the board – Rhys Priestland scoring a penalty after 10 minutes.

Scarlets scrum-half, Gareth Davies, was a livewire throughout the half, and a break by him from the base of the scrum gave the home side another attacking platform. The resulting passage of defence saw Bath down to 14 men after Henry Thomas was shown a yellow card for a side entry, but whilst Scarlets had the man advantage, it was Bath who came closest to scoring. A loose ball was hacked on by Jonathan Joseph, and it looked as if the England centre had beaten Steff Evans to the touch down, but the referee ruled no try had been scored.

Rhys Patchell levelled the scores for the home side on 33 minutes with a penalty, and swiftly followed it up by crossing the line for the first try of the game. Evans chipped and gathered down the left wing, Davies collected the bobbling ball, and quick hands sent it to Patchell to run the score in. The fly-half converted his own try to give the home side the lead for the first time in the game. 10-3.

But the lead was short lived as minutes later Bath hit back with a try from Jeff Williams, the winger somehow finding gaps in the Scarlets defence to dance through, and dashing his way to the line. George Ford, on for Priestland, added the conversion to get the teams back on equal terms going into the break.

Half-time score: Scarlets 10 – Bath Rugby 10.

Whereas in the first half Scarlets had enjoyed the larger periods of possession and attack, that changed almost from the kick-off in the second half - the set piece in particular becoming a dominant factor for the visitors.

Dave Attwood powered over for Bath’s second try on 46 minutes after a strong driving maul had taken the pack within inches of the line. Scarlets’s defence crumbled under the pressure and the second row crashed over under a pile of bodies. Ford added the extras. 10-17.

Just under ten minutes later, and another powerful surge from the forwards saw them rumble towards the line. The surge drove them on, and Thomas grounded the ball for the try. Ford was again on target for the conversion. 10-24.

Scarlets took advantage of a rare error at the Bath scrum on 66 minutes, David Bulbring bundling over the line after breaking from the set-piece. Patchell converted to take the home side back within seven points. 17-24.

Bath continued to work their way patiently up the pitch and into the opposition’s territory, and a penalty from Ford with eight minutes left to play was followed up with another superb set-piece score. Replacement tighthead Kane Palma-Newport was on hand to get the ball down over the line, sealing the win for the visitors and meaning Bath go into their final pre-season game against Leinster next week with two wins from two.

Final score: Scarlets 17 – Bath Rugby 32.

Bath Rugby team to face Scarlets

15. Tom Homer

14. Jeff Williams

13. Jonathan Joseph

12. Max Clark

11. Matt Banahan

10. Rhys Priestland

9. Kahn Fotuali’i

1. Nick Auterac

2. Tom Dunn

3. Henry Thomas

4. Dave Attwood

5. Charlie Ewels

6. David Denton

7. Guy Mercer ( c )

8. Taulupe Faletau

Replacements

16. Ross Batty

17. Nathan Catt

18. Kane Palma-Newport

19. Luke Charteris

20. Matt Garvey

21. Tom Ellis

22. David Sisi

23. Will Homer

24. George Ford

25. Dan Bowden

26. Anthony Watson

27. Harry Davies

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