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Spirited fightback not enough to prevent defeat for Bath Rugby

Saracens 34 v Bath Rugby 24

A spirited fightback from Bath Rugby at Allianz Park this afternoon was not enough to overcome Saracens, final score 34-24.

An even opening quarter which was brought to life by an electrifying break from Ollie Devoto, who shrugged off the challenge of the Saracens defence and gave debutant, Tom Homer, who had a solid start to life in Bath colours, the opportunity to nudge Bath in to a hard-fought 3-0 lead after 13 minutes.

Hodgson briefly brought parity between the two sides with a penalty shortly after Homer had put Bath in front. The scoreboard equality didn't last long, however, as a few minutes later Chris Wyles slid over in the corner to put the home side ahead with the first try of the game. Hodgson uncharacteristically pushed the conversion wide of the uprights, and so kicking duties were handed to Alex Goode for the next attempt. The fullback slotted a penalty to increase Saracens' lead after 30 minutes, but neither side increased their tally before the break.

Half-time: Saracens 11 – Bath Rugby 3.

The second-half got swiftly underway, but a penalty at the scrum gave Goode the chance to add to the host's lead , making it 14-3 just three minutes after the restart. A period of pressure from Saracens ensued, before the second-half really exploded in to life.

A neat break from Saracens' number 8, Jackson Wray, enabled the ball to be spread wide quickly, allowing Jamie George to crash over in the corner. With Goode adding the extras, the score stood at 21-3, but the visitors refused surrender. Having created good opportunities throughout the game, they finally converted one to bring themselves back into the game. Almost immediately from the re-start, Devoto made another purposeful break, slicing through the Saracens defence and putting through Semesa Rokoduguni, who ghosted to the line for Bath's first try of the afternoon. Homer continued his good kicking form and slotted the extras. 21-10.

The end-to-end action didn't stop there, though, as Saracens rallied with a move from the base of the scrum; Ashton latched on to a grubber kick and just beat replacement Micky Young to the touchdown. Goode duly converted to push the score out to 28-10.

Goode further increased Saracens' lead to 31-10, before the sun emerged, as if to ignite Bath's touch paper for the final 10 minutes. A Devoto kick to the corner produced a catch-and-drive opportunity for Bath, which they took with some aplomb. Kyle Eastmond found himself in the first receiver role, and a dummy line from Sam Burgess created space for Olly Woodburn to sneak through the gaping hole in the Saracens defence and slide in under the posts. A quick check with the TMO saw referee Luke Pearce award the score, before Homer swiftly added the extras and brought Bath back to 31-17 on 70 minutes.

Eastmond, buoyed by his part in Woodburn's try, was quickly in the thick of the action again in the 74th minute, making a sharp break from the half-way line and feeding Rokoduguni, who guzzled the ground before him and ran in his second try from 30 metres. Homer was again on target from the tee, taking the visitors within seven points. However, with five minutes left to play, Saracens showed their ability to close out games and dragged themselves into the Bath half, earning a penalty and denying Bath the losing bonus point.

Final score: Saracens 34 – Bath Rugby 24.

Match details

Allianz Park
Aviva Premiership
15 February 2015
KO 13:00

Attendance: 9,225
Referee: Luke Pearce
Half Time score: 11-3

Saracens:
Tries: Wyles (23), George (43), Ashton (49)
Conversions: Goode (45, 50)
Penalties: Hodgson (21), Goode (32, 42, 59, 76)
Bath:
Tries: Rokoduguni (45, 71), Woodburn (70)
Conversions: Homer (47, 70, 72)
Penalties: Homer (13)

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MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Saracens and Bath.

14'

Penalty Goal! Saracens 0 - 3 Bath

Tom Homer kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

14'

Substitution

Tim Streather replaces Duncan Taylor for Saracens.

22'

Penalty Goal! Saracens 3 - 3 Bath

Charlie Hodgson kicks a penalty goal for Saracens.

24'

Try for Saracens! Saracens 8 - 3 Bath

Chris Wyles scores for Saracens.

33'

Penalty Goal! Saracens 11 - 3 Bath

Alex Goode kicks a penalty goal for Saracens.

35'

Substitution

Micky Young replaces Chris Cook for Bath.

41'

HALF TIME

Match score: Saracens 11 - 3 Bath.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

43'

Penalty Goal! Saracens 14 - 3 Bath

Alex Goode kicks a penalty goal for Saracens.

44'

Try for Saracens! Saracens 19 - 3 Bath

Jamie George scores for Saracens.

46'

Conversion! Saracens 21 - 3 Bath

Alex Goode with a conversion for Saracens.

46'

Try for Bath! Saracens 21 - 8 Bath

Semesa Rokoduguni scores for Bath.

48'

Conversion! Saracens 21 - 10 Bath

Tom Homer with a conversion for Bath.

50'

Try for Saracens! Saracens 26 - 10 Bath

Chris Ashton scores for Saracens.

51'

Conversion! Saracens 28 - 10 Bath

Alex Goode with a conversion for Saracens.

52'

Substitution

Rob Webber replaces Ross Batty for Bath.

52'

Substitution

Carl Fearns replaces Matt Garvey for Bath.

56'

Substitution

Max Lahiff replaces Nick Auterac for Bath.

60'

Penalty Goal! Saracens 31 - 10 Bath

Alex Goode kicks a penalty goal for Saracens.

61'

Substitution

Kane Palma-Newport replaces Henry Thomas for Bath.

61'

Substitution

Ernst Joubert replaces Jacques Burger for Saracens.

65'

Substitution

David Strettle replaces Charlie Hodgson for Saracens.

69'

Substitution

Rhys Gill replaces Richard Barrington for Saracens.

69'

Substitution

Alafoti Fa'osiliva replaces Leroy Houston for Bath.

71'

Substitution

Hayden Smith replaces Kelly Brown for Saracens.

71'

Substitution

Brett Sharman replaces Jamie George for Saracens.

71'

Substitution

James Johnston replaces Petrus Du Plessis for Saracens.

71'

Try for Bath! Saracens 31 - 15 Bath

Olly Woodburn scores for Bath.

71'

Conversion! Saracens 31 - 17 Bath

Tom Homer with a conversion for Bath.

72'

Try for Bath! Saracens 31 - 22 Bath

Semesa Rokoduguni scores for Bath.

73'

Conversion! Saracens 31 - 24 Bath

Tom Homer with a conversion for Bath.

77'

Penalty Goal! Saracens 34 - 24 Bath

Alex Goode kicks a penalty goal for Saracens.

81'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Saracens.

Final score: Saracens 34 - 24 Bath.

Saracens Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
Alex Goode024016
Jamie George10005
Chris Wyles10005
Chris Ashton10005
Charlie Hodgson00103
Bath Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
Semesa Rokoduguni200010
Tom Homer03109
Olly Woodburn10005
Saracens v Bath
P D C T Pos Player   Player Pos T C D P
    PRichard
Barrington
1Nick
Auterac
P    
   1HJamie
George
2Ross
Batty
H    
    PPetrus
Du Plessis
3Henry
Thomas
P    
    LMaro
Itoje
4Stuart
Hooper
L    
    LAlistair
Hargreaves
5Dominic
Day
L    
    FLKelly
Brown
6Matt
Garvey
FL    
    FLJacques
Burger
7Francois
Louw
FL    
    8Jackson
Wray
8Leroy
Houston
8    
    SHNeil
de Kock
9Chris
Cook
SH    
1   FHCharlie
Hodgson
10Ollie
Devoto
FH    
   1WChris
Wyles
11Olly
Woodburn
W1   
    CBrad
Barritt
12Kyle
Eastmond
C    
    CDuncan
Taylor
13Sam
Burgess
C    
   1WChris
Ashton
14Semesa
Rokoduguni
W2   
4 2 FBAlex
Goode
15Tom
Homer
FB 3 1
Replacements
    RHBrett
Sharman
16Rob
Webber
RH    
    RPRhys
Gill
17Max
Lahiff
RP    
    RPJames
Johnston
18Kane
Palma-Newport
RP    
    RFLHayden
Smith
19Alafoti
Fa'osiliva
R8    
    RFLErnst
Joubert
20Carl
Fearns
RFL    
    RBen
Spencer
21Micky
Young
RSH    
    RCTim
Streather
22Richard
Lane
R    
    RFHDavid
Strettle
23Luke
Arscott
R