Bath Rugby U18s fought back with an impressive second half display to secure a high-scoring 52-48 victory over Wasps U18s at Allianz Park. 19 points down at the break, the Blue, Black and White showed great character to complete a second half dramatic comeback.
Wasps applied some early pressure to the Bath 22, the ball was spread out to the left corner and Felix Connolly was adjudged to have deliberately knocked the ball on, the winger was shown an early yellow card just a minute in.
From the resulting line-out, Wasps crashed over for their first try of the game in the fifth minute following a powerful attacking maul, Barbeary the scorer. The conversion drifted wide. [0-5]
Wasps doubled their lead just minutes later. An impressive counter attack paved the way for winger, Bacon going in to score in the corner for their second try in five minutes. [0-10]
Bath hit back almost instantly after some poor discipline found Wasps defending their own try line. Good forward play allowed for a strong attacking platform for the back-line, Orlando Bailey found a gap in the defence and bundled his way over to score from close range. The fly-half converted his own try to bring Bath back to within three points. [7-10]
Bath went into the lead after 11 minutes following a powerful rolling maul which allowed Bradley Law to drive his way over the whitewash. The conversion drifted wide of the uprights. [12-10]
Wasps lock Pichardie got his side back in front, showing his pace, beating two Bath defenders and going into score in the corner. [12-17]
Bath regained the lead just two minutes later in a game of cat and mouse. The ball went loose in the midfield and Max Ojomoh used his quick reactions to gather and run in to score. Bailey put his side in front with the conversion. [19-17]
Wasps hit back with their fourth try on 19 minutes to restore their lead through good forward play. The conversion took them to five points in front. [19-24]
The lead continued to switch hands, Bath regathering the lead just a few minutes later, as Nahum Merigan took the ball from the base of the scrum inside the Wasps 22, before neatly offloading to George Worboys who went over for Bath’s fourth of the game. The scores were tied as the conversion went astray. [24-24]
Wasps picked up the gears in the final stages of the first half, going over in the 25th minute through Ricky Ma’asi. A successful conversion from Atkinson took them to seven points in front. [24-31]
Wasps Hooker Barbeary crashed over five minutes later, the score beginning to drift away from Bath. [24-36]
Wasps U18s took an impressive lead going into the break with a final first half try coming from Bacon as the whistle blew for the interval. Wasps taking a comfortable 19-point lead going into the break. [24-43]
Half-time Bath Rugby U18s 24-43 Wasps U18s
A big second half was needed for the Blue, Black and White. After a lengthy defensive period after the break, John Stewart was the one to break the deadlock and put Bath Rugby back into the game with 25 minutes left on the clock. [31-43]
The momentum continued for the Blue, Black and White, a sublime offload from Frankie Read created space for George Worboys who was able to beat the last defender and run in for his second of the game, the kick was good from Bailey and Bath came to within five points of Wasps. [38-43]
The determination was visible from Bath as they forced Wasps to make errors in attack. After several phases in possession, Nat Arnold provided some individual brilliance to beat a hosts of Wasps defenders and weave his way in to score. The conversion was good from Bailey as Bath took the lead in remarkable fashion. [45-43]
It got better for Bath, Gabriel Hamer-Webb the scorer of the next try, the momentum from Bath showed with abrasive running lines taking Bath up to the Wasps try line. Hamer-Webb darted over from close range to give Bath a bit of breathing room for the first time in the match with eight minutes to go. [52-43]
Wasps had not given up the fight and applied some late pressure to the Blue, Black and White defence. They got over with two minutes left on the clock with an impressive length of the field score. [52-48]
As the clock went into the red, it looked as though Wasps could snatch victory from the claws of defeat. A line-out five metres out was defended well by Bath. The ball became unplayable as the final whistle blew.
Full-time Bath Rugby U18s – 52 - 48 Wasps U18s