Planet Rugby

Bath pull plug on champions

27th October 2007 16:17

Share:

Sam Vesty

Tiger Attack: Leicester's Sam Vesty squeezes through for his try

Bath transferred their fine Premiership form to the EDF Energy Cup by edging out Leicester Tigers, the reigning champions, with a 20-14 win at the Rec on Saturday.

The visitors actually controlled the game for long periods but the game turned on an opportunist try by centre Alex Crockett on 68 minutes.

Bath were also awarded a penalty try just before the break while Leicester full-back Sam Vesty crossed for their try earlier in the first half.

Bath were led by Steve Borthwick, making an early return from the World Cup, and Nick Abendanon, added to England's squad for the last week, was restored at full-back. The rest of the Bath contingent from the campaign were given more time to readjust.

Leicester also resisted the temptation to call on their World Cup players although Argentinian prop Marcos Ayerza came off the bench at half-time to shore up a creaking scrum.

Ryan Davis, handed the kicking duties while Shaun Berne took a rest on the bench, landed a 35-metre penalty after three minutes to give Bath the lead.

Opposite number Ian Humphreys replied from similar range a few minutes later and then preceded to give an assured display of the fly-half art, probing the corners with some finely judged kicks and also making a couple of clean line breaks.

On 23 minutes, the Ulsterman landed a second penalty from more than 50 metres to give Tigers the lead.

A couple of minutes later the visitors claimed a well-worked try from a free-kick when Vesty exploited the overlap. Humphreys's conversion was wide.

Bath had rarely been out of their half despite Abendanon's counter-attacking effort but, when number eight Jordan Crane was caught in possession in his 22, Davis' kicked his second penalty.

Humphreys was wide with a monster effort from six metres inside his own half and Bath slowly began the regain the initiative.

After Abendanon was halted at the corner, Leicester could only give away a penalty to frustrate Bath's powerful scrummage. And when they offended again at the next put-in, referee Ashley Rowden ran behind the posts to award a penalty try, converted by Davis.

Bath led 13-11 at the break but Humphreys edged Tigers back in the lead with a penalty after the restart.

Meanwhile, Davis missed a 35-metre effort and then went off with a leg injury to be replaced by Berne.

Borthwick was knocked into touch at the flag and at the other end Humphreys was off target with a straight forward penalty chance.

Bath thought they had regained the lead when gigantic replacement wing Matt Banahan handed off two players only to drop the ball when he got to the line. Leicester came back strongly but Bath's defence held firm and Crockett's try made it a six-point game but Bath held out to the final whistle.

The scorers:

For Bath:

Tries: Crockett, Penalty Try

Cons: Davis 2

Pens: Davis, Berne

For Leicester Tigers:

Try: Vesty

Pens: Humphreys 3

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Andy Higgins, 13 Alex Crockett, 12 Tom Cheeseman, 11 Michael Stephenson, 10 Ryan Davis, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Daniel Browne, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Andy Beattie, 5 Peter Short, 4 Steve Borthwick, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Rob Hawkins, 1 David Flatman.

Replacements: 16 Neil Clarke, 17 Laurence Ovens, 18 Martin Purdy, 19 Jonny Fa'amatuainu, 20 Nick Walshe, 21 Shaun Berne, 22 Matt Banahan.

Leicester Tigers: 15 Sam Vesty, 14 Johne Murphy, 13 Ayoola Erinle, 12 Matt Cornwell, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Luke Abraham, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Richard Blaze, 3 Dave Young, 2 Mefin Davies (c), 1 Dan Cole.

Replacements: 16 Gavin Hickie, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Alex Moreno, 19 James Hamilton, 20 Ben Herring, 21 Tom Youngs, 22 Ben Youngs.

Referee: Ashley Rowden (England)

Touch judges: Ashley Reay (England), Roger Baileff (England)

Television match official: Matt Peters (England)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Preview
Argentina vs South Africa20:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs CastresToulouse vs Castres Preview
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs GriquasPumas vs Griquas Preview
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Preview
Hawkes Bay vs TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Preview
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs Wellington14:35
Counties Manukau vs Otago16:35
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Pumas 28 - 21 CheetahsPumas vs Cheetahs Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
Friday , August 8
Eastern Province Kings 16 - 35 Western ProvinceEastern Province Kings vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00