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Shock-and-awe Bath Rugby nil Tigers

Bath Rugby inflicted their biggest ever defeat on Leicester Tigers in front of a record-breaking crowd of 12,817 at the Rec, scoring 45 points to Tigers’ zero.

Less than ten minutes had passed before wing Semesa Rokoduguni had scored his fourth try in three matches, his midfield quick to recycle the ball to the Bath danger man. Ford’s conversion curved delightfully through the posts. 7-0.

Bath’s pack, which had already shown glimpses of it gaining the upper hand, made good on that promise when a hefty shove earned Bath a penalty on 12 minutes. Ford rewarded his forwards with an extra three points. 10-0.

The home side’s shock-and-awe tactics continued as Bath found themselves on the scoresheet six minutes later, Jonathan Joseph piercing the Tigers defence for his side’s second try, which Ford converted. 17-0.

Fully into their stride by now, the men in Blue, Black and White were running some clever lines, their attack starting to click. Ford saw to it that the scoreboard kept ticking over with a smart drop goal just past the half-hour mark. 20-0.

That drop goal was followed by another Ford three-pointer after Bath’s scrum showed it was worth its weight in gold as it won its umpteenth penalty of the day. 23-0.

Half time: Bath Rugby 23-0 Leicester Tigers

Tigers started the opening minutes of the second half brightly, but brought down a Bath maul illegally to incur another punitive three points from Ford. 26-0.

One of the moments of the match were to come ten minutes into the second half, though, when Bath turned Tigers over inside the home 22. Joseph made to run outside his man, but instead stepped back inside two defenders and sprinted almost the length of the field before being hauled down.

Joseph’s supporting runners worked incredibly hard in support, with Eastmond the one to finally to benefit, touching down for Bath’s fifth try. Ford’s conversion rebounded off the upright. 31-0.

In the 63rd minute, replacement wing Olly Woodburn latched onto Ford’s high kick into space in Leicester’s half. Woodburn passed back inside to the oncoming Leroy Houston, who was brought down, but in doing so managed to offload back to Woodburn, who cut inside Mathew Tait to score under the posts. Ford then made it 38-0.

The coup de grace, six minutes from time, saw a fumbled Bath lineout in their own 22m become a blessing in disguise. Replacement scrum-half Peter Stringer gathered and popped to Rokoduguni. Sensing weakness in Tigers’ defence, the winger sidestepped with apparent ease the immediate defenders and strode away. The move ended with Stringer touching down and a Ford conversion ensuring Bath’s biggest victory against their East Midlands rivals. 

Full time: Bath Rugby 45-0 Leicester Tigers

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