Seven’s the magic number for Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby scored seven tries for the second week running in a bonus point win over Worcester Warriors at the Recreation Ground. Final Score 46-13.

With just five minutes played, a powerful Bath scrum set the tone and intention of the home pack, putting their opponents under immense pressure who in turn conceded a penalty. Fly-half Tom Heathcote started well and slotted the 30 metre kick in from of the posts. The Warriors small deficit was reduced shortly after when Bath infringed at the ruck allowing Worcester's number 10, Joe Carlisle, to add three points of his own. He doubled the lead a short time later, after Bath were deemed offside following a break from Worcester winger Josh Drauiniu. 3-3.

A spilt ball from Worcester was the source of the first try of the game, which involved many pairs of Bath hands. After lock Will Spencer secured the ball, breaks from Nathan Catt and Ben Skirving made ground, setting up a good attacking platform. The ball span wide with full back Jack Cuthbert entering the line at pace and Academy winger Olly Woodburn taking the offload. A superb support line from Heathcote supplied the last pair of hands needed, as a neat offload from Woodburn saw the fly-half sprint in from 20 metres. He struck well and converted his own try. 10-6.

Moments later the forwards were once more rumbling up the pitch, with the backs spinning the ball from one side of the pitch to the other. Driving up the pitch the forwards found themselves metres short of the line. Keeping their nerve, they opted to keep it tight with the pick and drive. Patience prevailed and the pack's effort was rewarded with a driving try for Bath debutant Francois Louw. 15-6.

Bath's third try was a fantastic display of the team building momentum together to cross the line. Nathan Catt showed his brilliant space and agility as, after collecting a spilt ball and out-sprinting the closing down defender, he skilfully offloaded to Woodburn. The young winger turned on the pace and made a good 40 metres and Spencer's support added another 10. Quick ruck play saw Spencer pop the ball off the floor to Heathcote who span the ball to the left side of the pitch, and whilst the outside runners missed the pass, Cuthbert calmly scooped the ball off the floor and slipped it to a supporting Hipkiss. The outside centre danced at the defence and offloaded to the towering Matt Banahan, who, after stepping his defender, touched down for the try. Heathcote added the extras, making the half time score 22-6.

Minutes into the second half, and some good hands from the backs nearly provided the bonus point fourth try after a neat grubber kick from Cuthbert saw Woodburn turn on the gas and chase the ball bouncing just above the try line. However, he was tackled without the ball and a penalty was awarded. Bath opted for the five metre scrum and Skirving picked up off the back and went blind. The forwards sucked in their opposing counterparts and slick hands from the back span the ball wide with Cuthbert throwing the dummy and scoring 10 metres left of the posts. Heathcote was on target once again. 29-6.

Worcester hit back with a well worked set piece try as the game entered the final quarter. A ball from the top of the line out on the half way line was taken forward by Carlisle who stood up his man and slipped the ball inside to a flying Drauniniu. Weaving his way through the first tackle, he finished in style, beating the last defender to score the away sides' first try of the game. Carlisle converted. 29-13.

A seemingly unstoppable maul was at the heart of the next Bath attacking phase. The sheer might and force of the pack rumbled a good 30 metres up field, with the advantage after the Warriors pulled the maul to the ground. Quick ball from scrum-half Chris Cook fed the forwards who crashed up and as Louw received the ball he was dangerously tackled high by flanker Sam Betty. Louw pulled himself to his feet and Betty was sent to the sin bin as Bath opted for the line out. A well taken line out set up another maul and as the maul was grounded, the pick and drive effort from Skirving landed Bath's fifth try. 34-13.

Full of confidence, the Blue, Black and Whites threw the ball amongst each other showing a cohesive team effort. Using his size and strength, Banahan broke through the line once more and Bath flooded the Worcester 22 area. Shipping the ball wide, the quick and delicate hands of the backs found Woodburn strolled through unopposed to touch down in the corner. 39-13.

As the game drew to a close it was evident Bath had control and more great team play found Nick Abendanon, who showed his strength as well as his agility, to beat his defender and pumped his legs to break free and score Bath's seventh and final try under the posts. Heathocote added the extras, rounding off a very impressive Bath performance.

Final Score 46-13.





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