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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Preview
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs SaleExeter vs Sale Preview
Bath vs WorcesterBath vs Worcester Preview
Wasps vs GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Preview
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Glasgow vs UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Preview
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Connacht vs MunsterConnacht vs Munster Preview
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Preview
Waratahs vs BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Preview
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs LionsStormers vs Lions Preview
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954