Planet Rugby

Bath off to winning start

05th November 2010 22:19

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Bath v Cardiff Tom Biggs try

Biggs: Crosses over for Bath

Bath emerged from their recent mini-slump to record a 29-19 victory over Cardiff Blues at a rain-swept Recreation Ground.

The hosts had lost their last two home games and had managed just one win in five, but they gave an impressive crowd of more than 11,000 something to cheer in this LV=Cup opener.

The rain teemed down for almost the entire match but the soaked stoicism of the spectators was rewarded by a decent spectacle.

Bath's solid scrum provided the foundation for their opening try after just five minutes, Ross Batty's pass sending stand-in skipper Matt Banahan crashing over by the posts, with Olly Barkley adding the extras.

But Cardiff hit back quickly with two penalties from Gareth Davies, who was impressive throughout on his debut after being promoted from Cardiff RFC.

On 15 minutes Bath were over again, as they got their reward for playing the more ambitious rugby.

They won quick turnover ball from a high kick and Barkley fired out a kick into the corner, which bounced up perfectly for Tom Biggs to collect and score, with Barkley converting from the touchline.

Bath were quickly pinged for offside and Davies cut the deficit, before on 21 minutes the Blues edged ahead.

Barkley's chip over the defensive line was collected by Dan Fish who hoofed it downfield, where the chasing Yapp popped it up for Gareth Davies to score. The stand-off converted his own score and the visitors led 16-14.

But after Barkley edged Bath ahead again just past the half-hour mark, there really looked to be only one winner.

Barkley knocked over a drop-goal from close range and added three more penalties after the break as the Blues paid for a string of penalties around the ruck area.

Yapp was sin-binned and Davies kept Cardiff just about in touch with his fourth penalty, but the Blues' last chance to get back into the game disapperaed when substitute Thomas Young knocked-on as he attempted to touch down for a try under pressure.

The scorers:

For Bath:
Tries: Banahan, Biggs
Cons: Barkley 2
Pens: Barkley 4
Drop: Barkley

For Cardiff:
Tries G Davies
Con: G Davies
Pens: G Davies 4

Bath: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Jacques Boussuge, 13 Matt Banahan (c), 12 Ben Williams, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Olly Barkley, 9 Mark McMillan, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Josh Ovens, 5 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, 4 John van der Giessen, 3 Duncan Bell, 2 Ross Batty, 1 David Flatman.
Replacements: 16 Lee Mears, 17 David Barnes, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Peter Short, 20 Will Skuse, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Paul Roberts, 23 Nick Scott.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Richard Mustoe, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 James Loxton, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Tom Brown, 7 Ben White, 6 Andries Pretorius (c), 5 James Down, 4 Bryn Griffiths, 3 John Yapp, 2 Gareth Williams, 1 Tom Davies.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Ian George, 19 Corey Hill, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Tom Slater, 22 Joe Griffin, 23 Owen Williams.

Referee: Greg Garner (England)

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