Bath Rugby secured their place in the Anglo-Welsh Cup Final with a tense 13-12 win over Northampton Saints in the pouring rain at the Rec.
Josh Lewis gave the home side the lead after four minutes, sending a tricky long-range penalty attempt sailing through the posts. 3-0.
Conditions had their part to play in the game, with errors coming from both sides. But Anglo-Welsh Cup Man of the Match Lewis controlled proceedings excellently in the opening stages of the game, and it was another of his probing touch-finders that led to the first try of the game.
The kick gave Saints a defensive line-out in the 22, and when the ball came down to scrum-half Cobus Reinach was well marshalled by Nathan Charles. Tom Ellis, in his first appearance of the season, pounced on the loose ball and managed to pass it back to Levi Douglas, who powered over the line. Lewis added the conversion. 10-0.
Stephen Myler chipped away at Bath’s scoreboard advantage with two penalties leading up to the half-hour mark. He added a third on 30 minutes when Lewis was shown a yellow card for his second professional foul in quick succession.
Bath weathered the sin-bin period well, ensuring that the Saints attack was kept at bay until half-time.
Half-time - Bath Rugby 10–9 Northampton Saints
As the rain continued to fall, Bath were fighting to extend their lead, but Lewis was unable to take advantage with another long-range penalty attempt.
Instead, Myler stepped up to take the lead for the visitors in the 55th minute, slotting his fourth penalty of the game after the Saints’ front row was given the decision at the scrum. 10-12.
It was nip and tuck throughout the game, with both sides evenly matched at the set-piece, but then, with 13 minutes to play, came the decisive moment. After consultation with the TMO, Teimana Harrison was shown a red card by referee Adam Jones for aiming a headbutt Nathan Catt. Lewis calmly slotted the resulting penalty, taking his side back in to the lead.
And from there, despite a late rally from Saints with time up on the clock, Bath held on to take their place in the Anglo-Welsh Cup Final at Kingsholm next Sunday.
Full-time - Bath Rugby 13-12 Northampton Saints
Anglo-Welsh Cup Final ticket information:
Pre-booking forms submitted by Season Ticket Holders in time for kick-off this evening will be process on Monday, with tickets being posted to those who requested it via next day delivery early next week. The Ticket Office will notify anyone who has not been successful in getting tickets by close of play Tuesday.
Tickets are available on general sale from the Gloucester Rugby Ticket Office by clicking here or calling 0871 871 8781.