A late try from Semesa Rokoduguni secured a 9-25 victory for Bath Rugby in an edgy encounter with Wasps at the Ricoh Arena.
Rokoduguni’s fifth try in as many games came in the 77th minute and whilst Bath led by nine points at the time, the winger’s crossing of the whitewash guaranteed the result for the visitors.
A gritty, absorbing first 40 minutes yielded nine points apiece, with the tight, nervy encounter on the pitch being reflected on the scoreboard.
Jimmy Gopperth opened the scoring for the home side after a big scrum from his pack presented the first opportunity to go for goal after five minutes. Rhys Priestland drew level for the first time some six minutes later after Nathan Hughes was penalised for a challenge on his opposite number, Taulupe Faletau. 3-3.
Gopperth landed another three points straight after, with Bath infringing at the re-start, before Faletau went on a powerful run from half-way and Wasps were caught offside. Priestland slotted the penalty to draw level once more. 6-6.
A further score each from Priestland and Gopperth cancelled each other out as half-time drew near, Priestland adding another three with an assured drop goal and Gopperth tying the scores with a third penalty.
Half-time: Wasps 9 – Bath Rugby 9
Minutes into the second-half and Bath were in the ascendancy and piling on the pressure in the 22, ultimately forcing Wasps to infringe at the breakdown. Priestland’s penalty from in front of the posts edged the visitors into the lead once more. 9-12.
Freddie Burns replaced the Welshman at pivot minutes later, and with almost his first act of the game stepped up to secure another three points from out wide. 9-15.
Whilst both sides were still trying to find fluidity in attack, it was the stubborn defence of Bath that was coming out on top. A scrum penalty in the last 10 minutes saw Burns advance the lead to nine, before Rokoduguni beat all comers to touchdown following a neat grubber kick through from Jonathan Joseph. Burns added the conversion to seal the win and take Bath up to fifth in the Aviva Premiership table.
Final score: Wasps 9 – Bath Rugby 25.
1 October 2017
Referee: Matthew Carley
Half Time score: 9-9
- Penalties: Gopperth (5, 12, 32)
- Tries: Rokoduguni (76)
- Conversions: Burns (77)
- Penalties: Priestland (11, 17, 44), Burns (48, 73)
- Drop goals: Priestland (28)