Bath close the gap with Wasps win

Date published: January 10 2015

Bath were at their rampant best as they dispatched Wasps with a 39-26 victory, closing the gap with Northampton at the top to a point.

An early try from Francois Louw was followed by one from Wasps’ Alapati Leiua in a lively opening.

Semesa Rokoduguni went over before the break though to put his side well ahead at the break, Sam Burgess getting his first Premiership try not long after the second half began as Bath threatened a rout.

Nathan Hughes’ try was followed by one from Matt Banahan, before Ollie Devoto sealed the home side’s bonus point.

But two late tries from Wasps ensured they would take something from the game in a non-stop afternoon of action.

Bath opened the scoring 13 minutes in with a sign of what was to come. Burgess and Henry Thomas steamed forward as a pair, before allowing Louw to take over and go under the posts for an early lead. Ford stretched that with a straightforward conversion.

Jonathan Joseph almost went through for another before being held up, as the home side seized control of the tie within the opening few minutes. But Wasps got back into it with their first try half an hour into proceedings.

It was Alapati Leiua who went over after Nathan Hughes’ burst forward, though they missed out on the chance of drawing level as Andy Goode missed his kick.

George Ford showed him how it is done as he added three extra points to the hosts score, and before the break they added another try.

Rokoduguni crossed the line minutes later, after Bath broke from their own 22 thanks to neat interplay between Ford and Anthony Watson. Ford converted, and added three more points before half-time.

Not long after half-time, the crowd were treated to a landmark moment, as Burgess went over for his first Premiership try on a perfect afternoon for his side. He dived underneath the posts after cutting back inside, as Bath caused all sorts of problems to the out of form Wasps.

The visitors did manage to get another try through Nathan Hughes, and Goode managed to convert, but it was nothing but a temporary break from the home side’s dominance as they added a further five points to bring a bonus point.

Matt Banahan was able to hand off a couple of challenges to go over, and Bath refused to hold up their onslaught.

Ollie Devoto got yet another try to delight The Rec crowd, as he stormed over following Joseph’s close call seconds earlier.

But Wasps kept themselves fighting on with another score, Leiua breaking well, and with assistance, Ben Jacobs went over, Alex Lozowski converting his first effort after coming off the bench.

The bonus point try came soon after as Wasps went over with four minutes remaining. Lozowski steamed forward from his own half for a remarkable try, perhaps the best of the afternoon, and he converted his own effort to make the score far more respectable than it could have been.

The scorers:

For Bath:
Tries: Louw, Rokoduguni, Burgess, Banahan, Devoto
Cons: Ford 4
Pens: Ford 2

For Wasps:
Tries: Leuia, Hughes, Jacobs, Loswoski
Cons: Goode, Loswoski 2

For Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Sam Burgess, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Nick Auterac.
Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Paul James, 18 David Wilson, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Carl Fearns, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Olly Woodburn.

For Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Ben Jacobs, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 James Haskell (c), 6 Sam Jones, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Matt Mullan
Replacements: 16 Edd Shervington, 17 Simon McIntyre , 18 Phil Swainston, 19 James Gaskell, 20 Ashley Johnson, 21 Charlie Davies 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Elliot Daly.

Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant Referees: Greg Garner, Peter Huckle
TMO: David Sainsbury