London Irish match report from the Centurions Club

5 January 2012

Junior match reporter, Ben Da Costa, writes the first of a series of match reports from the Centurions Club.

Bath Rugby started 2012 with a great victory over London Irish at the Recreation Ground with a convincing 30-3 score line. The home side put three tries past the Exiles defence scored by Anthony Perenise, Michael Claassens and a penalty try from vast pressure created at scrum time. The reliable boot of world cup hero Stephen Donald kicked three penalties and converted all three tries.

From the start Irish looked nervy with their kick-off going out on the full resulting in a strong Bath scrum that hadn't been firing on all cylinders yet this season but now is looking strong in defence and attack.

As the rain started to pour, turning the pitch into a mud bath, both teams handling became less reliable and Bath's kicking game was poor with kicks being too long and no one chasing them resulting with lost possession. Bath were the team to adapt to the weather conditions first and were rewarded with a well worked set of moves from the forwards resulting in a try scored by Anthony Perenise underneath the posts with Stephen Donald converting, the score was 7-0 to the home side.  Irish perked up a bit towards the later stages of the first half but created little pressure and only resulting with a penalty in the 28th minute scored by Tom Homer.

Half Time Score 10 - 3

The rain drenched the spectators throughout the first half and the interval offered little respite. Adults and kids alike were soaked to the bone but the boys in blue, black and white were winning and smiling faces had returned to the Rec as the second half got underway.

Bath started the second half brightly and created early pressure with boot to ball and resulted in an early penalty converted by Stephen Donald. After a great piece of defence from Bath, fullback Nick Abendanon broke from our own half with a blistering run with support from Tom Biggs and Michael Claassens, Abendanon drew the Irish defence and offloaded to the awaiting Tom Biggs who then repeated this in similar fashion and offloaded to an eager Claassens who won a forty meter sprint against the Irish defence to score in the corner. Again Stephen Donald converted making the score 20-3.

Throughout the rest of the second half, continued Bath pressure resulted in another two penalties converted by Donald. In the last 10 minutes, further  pressure at the scrum resulted in referee Martin Fox awarding the home side a penalty try which Donald converted to make the score  30-3. As the final whistle blew the home support finally had something to smile and cheer about as this win ended a four match losing streak.

The New Year has started with a bang, can Bath Rugby turn a page in this season's book and compete at the highest level in Domestic and European competitions, only one way to find out, as we face Champions Saracens, away, next week.

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