Planet Rugby

Bath sunk by on-target Farrell

10th September 2011 17:33

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Bath v Saracens Tom Biggs

Late drama: Recreation Ground

Last season's Grand Final hero, Owen Farrell, kicked a penalty with the last act of the game as champions Saracens beat Bath.

Farrell, who scored 23 points in total, was handed the chance when Danny Hipkiss was penalised for going in off his feet at a ruck inside his own half. Farrell's telling kick hit the right-hand upright, and then the left, before creeping over to shatter Bath's belief that they are now a side capable of closing out tight games.

An entertaining first half of rugby saw Bath go into the interval holding a 17-13 advantage.

Sam Vesty and Farrell exchanged penalties before Saracens wing James Short breezed through to score the game's opening try. Farrell converted.

Bath, though, responded almost immediately when Sam Vesty dinked a kick in behind the Saracens defence. The ball bounced awkwardly for Short, who was left flat-footed, but into the hands of Nick Abendanon for his first try of the season. Vesty supplied the extras.

Saracens edged in front with another penalty but Bath had the final word of the half when Ben Skirving showed a real turn of pace to break free and provide back-row colleague, Carl Fearns, with the telling pass.

Bath lost their way after the re-start and Farrell punished them with further kicks at goal.

The home side, however finally upped the tempo again to get their noses in front. But it was Farrell who had the final word to maintain Saracens' recent dominance over the West Country outfit.

The scorers:

For Bath:
Tries: Abendanon, Fearns
Con: Vesty, Roberts
Pen: Vesty 4

For Saracens:
Tries: Short
Con: Farrell
Pen: Farrell 7

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Ben Williams, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Sam Vesty, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 Ben Skirving, 5 Ryan Caldwell, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 Kane Palma-Newport, 2 Pieter Dixon, 1 David Flatman (capt)
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Duncan Bell, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Paul Roberts, 23 Jack Cuthbert

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 David Strettle, 13 Adam Powell, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 James Short, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Justin Melck, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (capt), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Deon Carstens, 18 Mako Vunipola, 19 George Kruis, 20 Will Fraser, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Joe Maddock.

Referee: Greg Garner

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