Priestland inspires Bath Rugby to victory over Scarlets

Rhys Priestland kicked six penalties as the fly-half inspired Bath Rugby to a 13-18 victory over his former club Scarlets in the European Rugby Champions Cup.

Played under torrential conditions at Parc y Scarlets, it was Priestland who broke the deadlock with a penalty after six minutes. Scarlets hit back three minutes later with a penalty of their own, with Leigh Halfpenny slotting the kick through the uprights. However, Bath fought back into the lead straight from the restart, and it was that man again Priestland, who notched another three points from the boot. 3-6

The game sprung into life with the first try of the evening and it was Scarlets who were on the end of a superb counter-attacking move. Fly-half Rhys Patchell sent Steffan Evans through a gap on his own 10m line, before offloading to his halfback partner Gareth Davies who surged deep into the Bath 22. The scrum-half was stopped just short of the line by Anthony Watson, but managed to pop the ball back to the supporting Evans, who finished off a flowing Scarlets attack.  10-6

10 minutes before the interval, Priestland had another shot at goal and the 48-time capped Welsh international showed his composure to put his side within a point. Priestland and his half-back partner Kahn Fotuali'i were influential throughout, but it was the number 10 who ensured his side would go into the break in the lead, making it four out of four from the boot.

Half-time score – Scarlets 10-12 Bath Rugby

Bath started the second-half in strong fashion and Priestland came agonisingly close from adding a try to his tally. The 30-year-old charged down a kick from his opposite number Rhys Patchell and gathered the ball to bundle his way over the line. Unfortunately for Bath, Priestland’s effort was ruled out by the TMO for a knock-on.  

Bath continued to pile the pressure on the Scarlets defence with Taulupe Faletau making a mini-break into the home side's 22. Their patience was rewarded, with referee Romain Poite signaling for a penalty, which Priestland duly converted to maintain his 100% record for the evening. 10-15

Despite a considerable amount of possession, Scarlets were unable to get through a resilient Bath defence, with the Blue, Black and White nullifying any progress up field with tackle after tackle.

With 12 minutes left on the clock, Bath put further distance on the scoreline, as Priestland slotted a routine penalty from the Scarlets 22. Halfpenny ensured a tense last seven minutes with another three points to take the tie within a score. 13-18

As time ticked away, Priestland lined up a long-range kick from halfway, but this time his effort fell short of the posts. However, Bath closed out the final moments to make it two wins out of two, with Toulon the next opponents in the competition in December. 

Full-time – Scarlets 13-18 Bath Rugby

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