Match Report | London Irish 36-33 Bath Rugby

London Irish 36 v Bath Rugby 33

Bath Rugby showed incredible fight and determination to earn two points in an eventful Gallagher Premiership encounter against London Irish.

Despite being down to 13 men - and at one stage, 12 - for the remaining 20 minutes, the Blue, Black and White grasped the game by the scruff of the neck in the closing stages to secure both try and losing bonus points.

Wing Will Muir crossed for the opening score in the first half but, following Ben Spencer and Paddy Jackson’s penalty trade, Ben Loader and Matt Rogerson went over for Irish.

Returning England international Anthony Watson scored ahead of Tom Parton, Loader and Curtis Rona dotting down in a period of ill-discipline for Bath which saw Muir sin binned and Tom Dunn and Charlie Ewels red carded.

The lack of numbers didn’t affect Bath’s spirit and they battled hard to claw their way back to within three through Josh McNally and Walker.

London Irish showed why they had such a formidable home record coming into the fixture; dominating possession for the opening two minutes, trying to find fortune on the outside.

From the kick-off they retained the ball for a consecutive two-minute spell but failed to make ground as they met a confrontational Bath defence. Jack Walker and Sam Underhill were particularly busy.

On the attack, Stuart Hooper’s men looked menacing. Number 8 Zach Mercer punched a hole for one of four first-half line breaks for the visitors whose offloading skills were sublime.

Two special pops in particular led to Muir collecting his third try in a week. Jonathan Joseph’s creativity set Tom Ellis on the charge and the ball was recycled quickly for Max Clark to carry, with the setting able to release his arm free and send the ex-England Sevens man over the whitewash.

Scrum-half Spencer cancelled out a Jackson’s three points with a long-range strike as Bath were defensively sound around the fringes, forcing Irish into mistakes.

The home side drew level on 24 minutes shortly after Ewels had received his first yellow card for unfortunate contact to Loader’s head. The Irish flyer dusted himself off to dance underneath the sticks moments later.

Spencer edged Bath back in front with a pinpoint kick at goal, however a stunning piece of play from Parton resulted in the lead changing hands again.

The full-back weaved his way 50 metres up-field and back rower Rogerson proved the beneficiary of his hard work, powering home from close range.

Bath responded well and were unlucky not to cross again before the break. The ever-impressive Spencer made ground via a cheeky snipe and Joe Cokanasiga rampaged on to his pass only to be hauled down at the last by the ankles.

The second half began as the first ended – with Bath on top. The physical duo of McNally and Juan Schoeman barrelled towards the Irish line and as the hosts scrambled, Watson hit a short line to crash underneath the sticks for his first Premiership try since December 2019. 

Spencer kept the scoreboard ticking over with another penalty before Irish broke from their own 22 and Parton sprinted in.

Former Exile Cokanasiga produced a brilliant try-saving tackle to thwart Rona on the hour, though play got called back for an incident involving Dunn and Augustin Creevy which resulted in the Bath hooker being sent off.

Irish immediately capitalised on the man advantage as Loader secured his second of the afternoon.

Fourteen men quickly became 12 for Bath. First, Muir was sin binned for taking a green shirt out in the air from the restart and then Ewels was shown a second yellow for barging an Irish player off the ball.

Though depleted on the numbers front, Bath worked tirelessly to create and late on, did just that after Rona scored from a breakaway.

Flying forward, the backs joined forces with the forwards to pile pressure on London Irish whose maul eventually parted and McNally bustled to the line.

That amazing determination continued. Spencer intercepted and counter attacked via a cute grubber to get Bath back into the Irish 22. Several phases later, hooker Walker got himself a deserved try for his efforts in the 80.

A try and losing bonus point didn’t seem possible on the hour, but it was Bath’s willpower to end the game on a positive note that saw them earn the outcome.


REACTION 


GALLERY


LINE-UPS

Bath Rugby

15. Anthony Watson, 14. Joe Cokanasiga, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Max Clark, 11. Will Muir, 10. Orlando Bailey, 9. Ben Spencer; 1. Juan Schoeman, 2. Jack Walker, 3. Henry Thomas, 4. Josh McNally, 5. Charlie Ewels ©, 6. Tom Ellis, 7. Sam Underhill, 8. Zach Mercer

Replacements: 16. Tom Dunn, 17. Beno Obano, 18. Will Stuart, 19. Will Spencer, 20. Miles Reid, 21. Will Chudley, 22. Max Ojomoh, 23. Alex Gray

London Irish

15. Tom Parton, 14. Ben Loader, 13. Curtis Rona, 12. Theo Brophy Clews, 11. Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10. Paddy Jackson, 9. Nick Phipps; 1. Will Goodrick-Clarke, 2. Matt Cornish, 3. Lovejoy Chawatama, 4. Chunya Munga, 5. Rob Simmons, 6. Ben Donnell, 7. Blair Cowan, 8. Matt Rogerson ©

Replacements: 16. Agustin Creevy, 17. Facundo Gigena, 18. Ollie Hoskins, 19. George Nott, 20. Jack Cooke, 21. Sean O’Brien, 22. Ben Meehan, 23. Will Joseph


Match details

Brentford Community Stadium
Gallagher Premiership
27 March 2021
KO 15:00

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Half Time score: 17-13

Irish:
Tries: Loader (23, 60), Rogerson (30), Parton (55), Rona (66)
Conversions: Jackson (24, 31, 55, 61)
Penalties: Jackson (11)
Bath:
Tries: Muir (7), Watson (41), McNally (72), Walker (79)
Conversions: Spencer (8, 42)
Penalties: Spencer (16, 27, 52)

New to Bath Rugby?

Join Bath Rugby for:

  • Epic, elite entertainment
  • Passionate, family-friendly atmosphere
  • Email Previews & Post-match reports

Find out more or enter your email address to get started.

Matchday Centre Powered By Dyson

MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Irish and Bath.

8'

Try for Bath! Irish 0 - 5 Bath

Will Muir scores for Bath.

9'

Conversion! Irish 0 - 7 Bath

Ben Spencer with a conversion for Bath.

12'

Penalty Goal! Irish 3 - 7 Bath

Paddy Jackson kicks a penalty goal for Irish.

17'

Penalty Goal! Irish 3 - 10 Bath

Ben Spencer kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

20'

Yellow Card!

Bath lose Charlie Ewels for ten minutes.

24'

Try for Irish! Irish 8 - 10 Bath

Ben Loader scores for Irish.

25'

Conversion! Irish 10 - 10 Bath

Paddy Jackson with a conversion for Irish.

28'

Penalty Goal! Irish 10 - 13 Bath

Ben Spencer kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

31'

Try for Irish! Irish 15 - 13 Bath

Matt Rogerson scores for Irish.

32'

Conversion! Irish 17 - 13 Bath

Paddy Jackson with a conversion for Irish.

41'

HALF TIME

Match score: Irish 17 - 13 Bath.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

40'

Substitution

Miles Reid replaces Tom Ellis for Bath.

42'

Try for Bath! Irish 17 - 18 Bath

Anthony Watson scores for Bath.

43'

Conversion! Irish 17 - 20 Bath

Ben Spencer with a conversion for Bath.

47'

Substitution

Beno Obano replaces Juan Schoeman for Bath.

47'

Substitution

Will Stuart replaces Henry Thomas for Bath.

47'

Substitution

Tom Dunn replaces Jack Walker for Bath.

50'

Substitution

Oli Hoskins replaces Lovejoy Chawatama for Irish.

50'

Substitution

Agustin Creevy replaces Matt Cornish for Irish.

50'

Substitution

Facundo Gigena replaces William Goodrick-Clarke for Irish.

50'

Substitution

Sean O'Brien replaces Blair Cowan for Irish.

53'

Penalty Goal! Irish 17 - 23 Bath

Ben Spencer kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

55'

Try for Irish! Irish 22 - 23 Bath

Tom Parton scores for Irish.

56'

Conversion! Irish 24 - 23 Bath

Paddy Jackson with a conversion for Irish.

60'

Red Card!

Tom Dunn sent off for Bath.

60'

Substitution

Jack Walker replaces Max Clark for Bath.

61'

Try for Irish! Irish 29 - 23 Bath

Ben Loader scores for Irish.

62'

Conversion! Irish 31 - 23 Bath

Paddy Jackson with a conversion for Irish.

62'

Yellow Card!

Bath lose Will Muir for ten minutes.

63'

Red Card!

Charlie Ewels sent off for Bath.

67'

Try for Irish! Irish 36 - 23 Bath

Curtis Rona scores for Irish.

69'

Substitution

Max Ojomoh replaces Jonathan Joseph for Bath.

69'

Substitution

Alex Gray replaces Joe Cokanasiga for Bath.

71'

Substitution

George Nott replaces Rob Simmons for Irish.

71'

Substitution

Jack Cooke replaces Matt Rogerson for Irish.

71'

Substitution

Ben Meehan replaces Nick Phipps for Irish.

72'

Yellow Card!

Irish lose Jack Cooke for ten minutes.

73'

Try for Bath! Irish 36 - 28 Bath

Josh McNally scores for Bath.

74'

Substitution

Will Spencer replaces Josh McNally for Bath.

78'

Yellow Card!

Irish lose Ben Donnell for ten minutes.

80'

Try for Bath! Irish 36 - 33 Bath

Jack Walker scores for Bath.

82'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Irish.

Final score: Irish 36 - 33 Bath.