Five try Bath Rugby win away at Jersey

Bath Rugby finished their pre-season campaign with a 10-34 victory over Green King IPA Championship side Jersey.

The visitors scored five tries in all, Jonathan Joseph and Semesa Rokoduguni scoring a brace each, and Olly Woodburn also crossing the whitewash.

It was the home side who drew first blood, fly-half Aaron Penberthy slotting a penalty after four minutes when Bath were judged to have not rolled away from the tackle. The Bath backs were looking lively though, with Rokoduguni, Joseph and Woodburn threatening early on.

Gavin Henson levelled the scores for the visitors just after ten minutes of play, before Joseph went over for his first try of the game. Jersey had been looking to launch an attack of their own, but Rokoduguni's tackle on Jack Burroughs led to a turnover. Chris Cook got the ball quickly away, feeding Joseph who in turn offloaded to Henry Thomas who stormed away. The prop returned the ball to the centre who looped away from the covering defence to score. Henson added the extras, giving Bath a seven point lead. 3-10.

Bath were working hard, keeping a tight leash on the home side and turning possession into attacking chances. The effort paid off again five minutes later, after a speculative chip ahead by Henson was taken superbly in the air by Joseph. The ball travelled quickly through the hands of both backs and forwards, with Henson eventually finding Rokoduguni out wide. The winger blasted past the covering Jersey defence, danced along the touchline and sprinted away to score. 3-15.

Joseph's second try came shortly after. The forwards had forced the turnover from Jersey and scrum-half Cook was on hand to send the ball out at speed. Joseph gathered the ball, drew the two defenders covering him, and slid through the gap to burst away. Henson added the extras, taking the score to 3-22.

Jersey looked to try and get a hold in the game as the first-half played out, but their efforts were thwarted by some stern defence from Bath. The last few minutes saw a series of lineouts for the home side, but they were unable to capitalise on the pressure.

Half-time: Jersey 3 – Bath Rugby 22.

The away side's dominance continued early in the second-half, Leroy Houston forcing his way over from close range. The back row picked the ball up from the base of the scrum and hurtled towards the line. Jersey managed to hold him out the first time, but after attempts from two other Bath players, Houston found his hands back on the ball and he dived over a pile of bodies to score inside the post. Henson was once again on target with the conversion, extending the lead to 3-29.

The home side were intent on finding a way through the Bath defence, and they got their reward after a period of sustained pressure and a scything run from fullback Jack Burroughs led to flanker Nick Haining touching down. Penberthy was accurate from the tee, taking their points tally to 10.

The try spurred the Championship on for the next 20 minutes or so as they frustrated the visitors' attempts to forge any meaningful attacks. Eventually the pressure gave as Man of the Match Joseph found himself in space with Woodburn on his shoulder. The centre shipped the ball wide and Woodburn side-stepped the defender, shifted through the gears to score in the corner. Replacement Richard Lane stepped up for the touchline conversion, but he couldn't quite make the tricky angle.

Jersey kept looking to break the defensive walls Bath had put up, but a final infringement meant that Arscott, having switched to fly-half, could send the ball into touch to end the game and seal the win for the visitors.

Final score: Jersey 10 – Bath Rugby 34.

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