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Bath Rugby move up to second with victory over league leaders

Bath Rugby 14 v Saracens 11

Bath Rugby clung on for a 14-11 Aviva Premiership win over Saracens in front of a record crowd at the Recreation Ground this afternoon.

A sold-out Rec was witness to a tense encounter between the two sides, with Bath’s defence eventually closing out the game.

The home side took an early lead after a stunning break from Taulupe Faletau. The Welsh international turned the ball over when Saracens were in possession and surged down the field. The ball found its way to Brew on the wing, and though he was bundled into touch, the resulting breakdown gave Bath put-in at the scrum. The pack heaved forward and a penalty was quickly signalled by referee Greg Garner. Tom Homer lined up the angled kick, and sent it neatly through the posts. 3-0.

Alex Lozowski drew level for Saracens on the 19th minute, but Homer quickly returned the favour for Bath, taking them back in front a minute later.

A huge kick from the left boot of Ben Tapuai on the next penalty gave Bath a five metre lineout. The ball was moved swiftly through the hands, first one way across the pitch and then back again, frantically drawing the Saracens defence. Dan Bowden sent a miss-pass firing out to Tapuai who jinked his way towards the try line. The centre couldn’t quite make it to the line himself, but his offload found Tapuai’s midfield partner Max Clark, who caught the ball sumptuously with one hand before sliding over the line. 11-3.

The Aviva Premiership and European Champions weren’t about to let Bath have it all their own way however, and they cranked up the pressure as the first-half drew to a close.

Bath were forced into some frantic defending of their own, and it looked as if the Saracens forwards had forced their way over the line – only the arm of Tom Ellis prevented the score. The visitors came again though, and having drawn the defence in tight, the spread the ball wide to Sean Maitland who crossed despite the attentions of Aled Brew.  

Half-time: Bath Rugby 11 – Saracens 8

The visitors started the second-half in much the same manner as they had started – pressing Bath back and making the home side defend, and Lozowski levelled the scores on the 46th minute with a drop goal. 11-11.

Bath were firing from the re-start, working aggressively up the pitch into the Saracens 22. Max Lahiff went closest to scoring, but the loosehead prop agonisingly dropped the ball over the line. Play was brought back for a Bath penalty after Lozowski committed a high tackle on Bowden. A quick consultation with the TMO ended with the Saracens playmaker being shown a yellow card, and Homer continued his strong afternoon from the tee, adding the three points to Bath’s tally. 14-11.

A missed penalty from Alex Goode could’ve seen the visitors draw level, but Saracens kept up the intensity, time and again forcing Bath in to defending. But the defence was magnificent, holding wave after wave of attack back as the Champions tried all possible routes to score.

With just 24 seconds left on the clock, the visiting side were awarded a penalty. Opting for the draw, Lozowski lined-up the kick from inside his own half. A collective breath was held by all 14,509 people at the Rec as he connected with the ball, before rapturous cheers greeted the ball falling short of the posts. Tapuai gathered the ball and kicked it out to seal the win for the home side.

Final score: Bath Rugby 14 – Saracens 11

Match details

Recreation Ground
Aviva Premiership
3 December 2016
KO 12:15

Attendance: 14,509
Referee: Greg Garner
Half Time score: 11-8

Bath:
Tries: Clark (24)
Penalties: Homer (5, 20, 50)
Saracens:
Tries: Maitland (37)
Penalties: Lozowski (18)
Drop goals: Lozowski (46)

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MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Bath and Saracens.

6'

Penalty Goal! Bath 3 - 0 Saracens

Tom Homer kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

9'

Substitution

Vincent Koch replaces Juan Figallo for Saracens.

17'

Substitution

Juan Figallo replaces Vincent Koch for Saracens.

19'

Penalty Goal! Bath 3 - 3 Saracens

Alex Lozowski kicks a penalty goal for Saracens.

21'

Penalty Goal! Bath 6 - 3 Saracens

Tom Homer kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

21'

Substitution

Jared Saunders replaces Schalk Brits for Saracens.

23'

Substitution

Zach Mercer replaces Taulupe Faletau for Bath.

25'

Try for Bath! Bath 11 - 3 Saracens

Max Clark scores for Bath.

34'

Substitution

Taulupe Faletau replaces Zach Mercer for Bath.

37'

Substitution

Zach Mercer replaces Taulupe Faletau for Bath.

38'

Try for Saracens! Bath 11 - 8 Saracens

Sean Maitland scores for Saracens.

41'

HALF TIME

Match score: Bath 11 - 8 Saracens.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

47'

Drop Goal! Bath 11 - 11 Saracens

Alex Lozowski scores for Saracens.

47'

Substitution

Vincent Koch replaces Juan Figallo for Saracens.

47'

Substitution

Richard Barrington replaces Titi Lamositele for Saracens.

47'

Substitution

Richard Wigglesworth replaces Ben Spencer for Saracens.

50'

Yellow Card!

Saracens lose Alex Lozowski for ten minutes.

51'

Penalty Goal! Bath 14 - 11 Saracens

Tom Homer kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

51'

Substitution

Paul Grant replaces Dave Attwood for Bath.

56'

Substitution

Marcelo Bosch replaces Nick Tompkins for Saracens.

56'

Substitution

Dave Attwood replaces Paul Grant for Bath.

61'

Substitution

Kane Palma-Newport replaces Max Lahiff for Bath.

61'

Substitution

Ross Batty replaces Tom Dunn for Bath.

66'

Substitution

Nathan Earle replaces Sean Maitland for Saracens.

70'

Substitution

Adam Hastings replaces Dan Bowden for Bath.

70'

Substitution

Beno Obano replaces Nathan Catt for Bath.

79'

Substitution

Dan Bowden replaces Adam Hastings for Bath.

79'

Substitution

Kelly Brown replaces Jim Hamilton for Saracens.

81'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Bath.

Final score: Bath 14 - 11 Saracens.

Bath Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
Tom Homer00309
Max Clark10005
Saracens Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
Alex Lozowski00116
Sean Maitland10005
Bath v Saracens
P D C T Pos Player   Player Pos T C D P
    PNathan
Catt
1Titi
Lamositele
P    
    HTom
Dunn
2Schalk
Brits
H    
    PMax
Lahiff
3Juan
Figallo
P    
    LLuke
Charteris
4Maro
Itoje
L    
    LDave
Attwood
5Jim
Hamilton
L    
    FLMatt
Garvey
6Michael
Rhodes
FL    
    FLTom
Ellis
7Schalk
Burger
FL    
    8Taulupe
Faletau
8Jackson
Wray
8    
    SHKahn
Fotuali'i
9Ben
Spencer
SH    
    FHDan
Bowden
10Alex
Lozowski
FH  11
    WAled
Brew
11Chris
Wyles
W    
    CBen
Tapuai
12Brad
Barritt
C    
   1CMax
Clark
13Nick
Tompkins
C    
    WSemesa
Rokoduguni
14Sean
Maitland
W1   
3   FBTom
Homer
15Alex
Goode
FB    
Replacements
    RHRoss
Batty
16Jared
Saunders
RH    
    RPBeno
Obano
17Richard
Barrington
RP    
    RPKane
Palma-Newport
18Vincent
Koch
RP    
    RLPaul
Grant
19Mark
Flanagan
R    
    R8Zach
Mercer
20Kelly
Brown
RL    
    RDarren
Allinson
21Richard
Wigglesworth
RSH    
    RFHAdam
Hastings
22Marcelo
Bosch
RC    
    RJack
Wilson
23Nathan
Earle
RW