Bath Rugby came away from a very wet Adams Park with a losing bonus point after a closely fought match saw London Wasps sneak an 18-16 victory in the second round of the LV= Cup.
After both sides had paid their respects in memory of those who had lost their lives in the line of duty, the atmosphere was tense in anticipation for a fiercely contested match.
It was the home side who had the first shot at goal after Bath were pinged for not retreating to on-side, however, Wasps fly half Mark van Gisbergen hit the upright.
With just under fifteen minutes gone, Wasps gave Bath a chance to get some points on the board, after they were guilty of pulling down Peter Short in the lineout. Bath's fly half, Sam Vesty, found his angle, taking the visitors ahead by three points. 3-0.
The deficit was cancelled out after the restart, when Bath were penalized for hands in the ruck. Van Gisbergen didn't miss this time, leveling the scores 3-3.
With an internationally experienced back row driving from behind, the Wasps pack exerted great pressure on Bath in the scrum, causing the referee to blow up for the visitors to be charged with pulling away from the scrum. Van Gisbergen again stepped up and found the middle of the posts. 3-6.
A rally of kicks from within each others half occurred and it was Bath full-back, Jack Cuthbert, who showed his strong attacking abilities making considerable ground from his own 22. Bath were provided with quick ball by Mark McMillan and in turn awarded a kickable penalty when Wasps were penalized for entering the ruck incorrectly. Vesty slotted the kick to tie the scores once more. 6-6.
With two minutes left in the half Wasps went surging into Bath territory, and a well-placed kick put Cuthbert under pressure, forcing him to take the ball into touch. Wasps went for the quick lineout and Vesty was penalized for interfering with play, providing van Gisbergen the chance to take the lead once more, which he did, making the half time score 9-6.
The margin as small as it was gave both teams a real incentive as the second half began, with each team taking their turn to attack the other but staunch defence prevented either side crossing the line.
However, Bath let the home side increase their advantage to six points after infringing in the ruck. Van Gisbergen slotted a long range kick to take the scores to 6-12.
In quick reply Bath powered their way towards the try line and after they were given the advantage by the referee, play was brought back and Vesty took Bath to within three points of Wasps. 9-12.
An exchange of penalties came about, as Bath let Wasps regain their six point lead after being punished for not releasing the tackler. Van Gisbergen, Wasps sole provider of points, added another three to take his personal and his team's score to 15. 9-15.
Bath again increased their penalty count for not rolling away, and a consistent van Gisbergen again made his kick. 9-18.
However, as the clock ticked away, Bath held their composure and retained the ball. The visitors sucked in Wasps defence, and quick ball enabled Ben Skirving to storm over the line for his second ever try in Bath colours. Vesty added the extra two points. 16-18.
With time up on the clock, Bath stringed multiple phases together, showing their excellent ball retention in the most important of times. A late hit on Ignacio Fernandez-Lobbe, provided Bath with a do or die penalty attempt at goal. Cuthbert bravely stepped up to have a go at goal from nigh on fifty metres away. A great strike drifted just wide of the left upright, letting Wasps off with the win in penalty ridden game in which both teams showed determined defence.