Bath end struggles with win

Date published: December 27 2015

Bath bounced back with a 21-14 win at The Recreation Ground over Worcester Warriors in the Premiership on Sunday.

Despite trailing in a topsy-turvy first half, Bath overcame their opponents, who took a losing bonus point despite having the chance to level the scores late on.

Rhys Priestland's kicking was crucial to the home side's victory, but they should have put more daylight between themselves and a spirited Worcester side.

The game got off to a hectic start with Bath's Rhys Priestland hitting the post from a first minute penalty.

Bath scored first with a well-worked try from an early scrum. Guy Mercer fed Ollie Devoto to push over, with Priestland adding the extras.

Almost immediately, Tom Heathcote scored a penalty to reduce the arrears against his former employers.

The game descended into anarchy with Tom Homer missing a penalty for the home side, before team-mate Priestland made amends from a similar position.

With Bath unable to gain momentum, the Warriors got back into the game with a penalty of their own. Ryan Mills hit home the conversion.

With the break beckoning, the Warriors took the lead for the first time. Wing Cooper Vuna got over the line despite a late challenge from Bath's Homer, but Heathcote failed with the conversion.

The half ended in controversy as Bath retook the lead through a TMO decision. Horacio Agulla put over after good build-up play from his teammates, despite suspicions of a forward pass in the move.

Priestland was unable to add the extras, but Bath ended the first half on top with a 15-11 lead.

The second half began in similar fashion to the first, with Bath extending their advantage to seven points, Priestland notching another penalty, but Worcester were soon back to within touching distance of their opponents with Heathcote scoring from 38 metres out.

Despite their dominance, Bath could not make it count on the scoreboard, and Mike Ford's men went into the final 10 minutes just four points ahead.

However, after throwing themselves forward, Bath received a penalty which Priestland duly dispatched to once again extend the lead to seven.

With the clock down to zero, Worcester were awarded a penalty, but decided to kick out of play to secure a potentially crucial point.

The scorers:

For Bath: 
Tries: Devoto, Agulla
Cons: Priestland
Pens: Priestland 3

For Worcester: 
Tries: Vuna
Pens: Heathcote 2, Mills

Bath: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Chris Cook, 8 David Denton, 7 Guy Mercer (c), 6 Leroy Houston, 5 Charlie Ewels, 4 Matt Garvey, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Max Lahiff
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 David Wilson, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 George Ford, 23 Anthony Watson

Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Phil Dowson (c), 7 Sam Betty, 6 Matt Cox, 5 Darren Barry, 4 Tevita Cavubati, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Na'ama Leleimalefaga
Replacements: 16 Ben Sowrey, 17 Val Rapava Ruskin, 18 Joe Rees, 19 Donncha O'Callaghan, 20 Marco Mama, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 Andy Symons, 23 Tom Biggs

Referee: Thomas Foley
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix, Craig Maxwell-Keys
TMO: Stuart Terheege