Bath Rugby failed to see off the in-form Wasps at the Recreation Ground this afternoon, a late Amanaki Mafi try earning them a losing bonus point in the 18-24 loss.
The big boot of Elliot Daly was on display for Wasps with a fifth-minute penalty kick from just outside the Bath 10m line opening the scoring. 0-3.
Two missed penalties from Daly and fly-half Ruaridh Jackson followed in the interim, before a patient build-up of phases for Wasps culminated in wing Frank Halai crashing over for a try shy of the half-hour mark. 0-8.
In the minutes that followed, Bath began to string some purposeful phases together, before Wasps were penalised for infringing at the breakdown. Rhys Priestland punished the indiscretion with a penalty. 3-8.
Numerous re-set scrums on Wasps' 5m line led to the referee awarding Bath a penalty with time up on the clock for the first half. Priestland again struck three points to ensure Bath finished the first act within touching distance of the visitors.
Half-time: Bath Rugby 6-8 Wasps
Halai got his name on the scoresheet once again within the first 10 minutes of the second half. A Daly kick up the left wing saw the ball stay improbably in touch for the winger to dot down in the corner, although Jackson missed the conversion attempt. 6-16.
Two minutes after the hour, Wasps went over for a third try through a close-range Simon McIntyre effort. Replacement fly-half Jimmy Gopperth failed to add the extras, but 6-21 on the scoreboard didn't make good reading for the home crowd.
But no sooner had Wasps pulled convincingly ahead than Bath's consistently impressive Matt Banahan had gone wide in Wasps' 22 and put in a well-judged kick through for Tom Homer to touch down over the line.
Homer converted his own try, yet Wasps only needed to wait a couple of minutes before being allowed another shot at goal, which Gopperth took well. 13-24.
The clock showed 80 minutes when Bath struck a consolatory note, as Japan number eight Mafi, on his home debut, crossed the line for the final play of the match.
Full time: Bath Rugby 18-24 Wasps
20 February 2016
Referee: Tom Foley
Half Time score: 6-8
- Tries: Homer (65), Mafi (80)
- Conversions: Homer (66)
- Penalties: Priestland (33, 42)
- Tries: Halai (28, 47), McIntyre (61)
- Penalties: Daly (5), Jackson (42), Gopperth (69)