Planet Rugby

Bath bounce back against Aironi

16th October 2010 15:20

Share:

Tom Biggs scores against Aironi

Tom Biggs: Runs in for the first try

Bath shrugged off their opening round defeat as they ran in four tries to claim a 22-6 Heineken Cup win over Aironi.

The West Country side's victory at the Stadio Luigi Zaffanella ended their worst ever run of losses - four - on the road in Europe.

First-half tries from Matt Carraro, man-of-the-match Nick Abendanon and the eye-catching Tom Biggs, followed by a second-half touchdown from skipper Luke Watson, gave Bath the spoils. Olly Barkley slotted a solitary conversion.

Ex-Gloucester fly-half Ludovic Mercier kicked two penalties for the home side, who enjoyed more ball and territory then the scoreline suggested.

It was first blood to Bath in the 11th minute as the English side executed a glorious first-phase move. Quick ball off the top of a line-out on the halfway line was followed by a missed pass to Abendanon who drew his man and popped the ball to Biggs. The wing then collected his own perfectly weighted chip to touch down in the corner.

Barkley missed the touchline conversion and Mercier was quick to pull three points back when Bath were caught failing to roll away in the tackle.

The Italian side enjoyed the bulk of ball and possession, but a mix-up on their own 22 by Danwel Demas and Giulio Rubini gifted possession to Bath with a little over a quarter of the game gone. Bath kept things tight and blasted away around the fringes, wing Carraro eventually burrowing over.

Aironi's man mountain of a number eight, Nick Williams, burst through the Bath midfield soon after the restart, and only a thumping tackle from Abendanon stopped him from scoring. Indeed, it briefly stopped Williams from playing a part in proceedings, with medics escorting him off the pitch.

Bath grabbed their third try five minutes before the break. Abendanon was the recipient of another missed pass from Barkley, and a poor challenge by Mercier allowed him to surge into the Italians' half. Neat handling among the backs ensued and Abendanon finished off what he had started, touching down beneath the posts. Barkley made no mistake this time and Bath were 17-3 to the good.

The Aironi pack set up camp inches from the Bath try line shortly after the resumption. But with the forwards having done all the hard work their backs botched the job at the first attempt, a pass from Mercier drifting aimlessly between his centres.

The Italians finally turned their second half pressure into points in the 55th minute. Bath infringed at a ruck and Mercier stepped up to chip over an easy penalty goal.

Barkley surged through a chink in the Aironi midfield in the 65th minute as Bath chased the bonus point, but the supporting Biggs was penalised for not releasing.

But the try that clinched the extra point came with 10 minutes to go. Aironi wing Giulio Toniolatti was forced to take the ball into touch on his own five-metre line and the Bath pack then engineered an unstoppable driving maul from the resulting lineout, with Watson emerging from the heap of bodies with the ball.

The scorers:

For Aironi:
Pen: Mercier 2

For Bath:
Tries: Biggs, Carraro, Abendanon, Watson
Con: Barkley

Aironi: 15 Danwel Demas, 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Rodd Penney, 12 Gilberto Pavan, 11 Giulio Rubini, 10 Ludovic Mercier, 9 Pablo Canavosio, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Andrea Benatti, 6 Jaco Erasmus, 5 Quintin Geldenhuys (c), 4 Marco Bortolami, 3 Luca Redolfini, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements:16 Roberto Santamaria, 17 Ulises Gamboa, 18 Alberto De Marchi, 19 Carlo Del Fava, 20 Simone Favaro, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Matteo Pratichetti, 23 Riccardo Bocchino.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Tom Biggs, 13 Ben Williams, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 Sam Vesty, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Luke Watson (c), 6 Andy Beattie, 5 Danny Grewcock, 4 Stuart Hooper, 3 David Wilson, 2 Pieter Dixon, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 David Flatman, 18 Duncan Bell, 19 Ignacio Fernandez-Lobbe, 20 Ben Skirving, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Matt Carraro, 23 Jack Cuthbert.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615