Saracens fight back to sink Bath

Date published: January 30 2016

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Saracens came from 13-0 down at half-time to win 19-13 at Allianz Park against Bath in the Premiership.

Bath put in a brilliant defensive display for all of 70 minutes, before a Schalk Brits try helped the league leaders steal the victory.

The home side completed their biggest ever comeback in the Premiership, as Bath slumped to five defeats in a row as their poor form continues.

A quick start from Bath found them pressing for an early try, before electing to give Rhys Priestland the chance to convert a penalty inside five minutes.

With 12 minutes gone, full-back Tom Homer scored his first Premiership try in Bath colours after Dan Bowden's pass released him to dive for the line. Priestland judged the wind correctly, seeing his penalty bend through the posts.

Priestland then failed to convert a penalty to take Bath further clear, but as the clock went in to the red he registered three points from the tee, meaning Saracens finished the first half scoreless for the first time since 2013.

As the Londoners looked for a way back in to the game, Charlie Hodgson failed to slot an early second half penalty, before seeing his next two efforts sail through the posts to bring them within seven points.

Shortly after, Priestland had the chance to extend Bath's lead against the run of play, but the Welsh fly-half misjudged the wind and watched his kick sail wide.

Sarries almost found their way to the try line, but after breaking into space Nick Tompkins tried a spectacular sweeping pass out to Duncan Taylor, which was well anticipated by Bath's Homer to intercept inside his own 22.

Hodgson then found his way to the try line, but TMO replays highlighted some fantastic defensive work by Bath scrum-half Chris Cook, who was able to hold the ball up.

After a powerful break from England squad member Maro Itoje, South-African hooker Brits reached for the whitewash on 70 minutes to score the home side's first try.

Hodgson's conversion bought the teams level with ten minutes remaining, before he slotted a penalty just moments later to take Saracens in to the lead for the first time in the game.

Another penalty from Hodgson took his side out of the reach of a single score, before David Wilson was shown his way to the sin-bin to round off a poor afternoon for Mike Ford's side.

The scorers:

For Saracens: 
Try: Brits
Con: Hodgson
Pens: Hodgson 4

For Bath: 
Try: Homer
Con: Priestland
Pens: Priestland 2
Yellow Card: Wilson

Saracens: 15 Ben Ransom, 14 Duncan Taylor, 13 Marcelo, Bosch 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Richard Barrington
Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Hayden Thompson-Stringer, 18 Titi Lamositele, 19 Hayden Smith, 20 Kelly Brown, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Nils Mordt, 23 Nick Tompkins.

Bath: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Dan Bowden, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Francois Louw (c), 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Charlie Ewels, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Nick Auterac.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 David Wilson, 19 Tom Ellis, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Alafoti Faosiliva, 22 Jonathan Evans, 23 Max Clark.

Referee: Dean Richards 
Assistant Referees: Greg Macdonald, Andy Watson 
TMO: Geoffrey Warren

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