Bath end season on a high

Date published: May 7 2016

Bath finished a poor season with a high-scoring 38-27 win over Leicester Tigers, who will still finish fourth in the table and make the play-offs.

Semesi Rokoduguni opened the scoring early on, but Leicester soon fought back with tries from Fraser Balmain, Peter Betham and Mathew Tait giving the visitors a half-time lead.

Both sides secured a try scoring bonus point, but a second-half resurgence from Bath saw Ollie Devoto, Francois Louw and Jeff Williams add their name to the scoresheet.

After a strong scrum near the halfway line, the ball found it’s way through the hands of the Bath backs, before Rokoduguni was sent motoring down the wing to find his way over. Ford added the conversion with his first attempt of the game.

As Leicester piled on the pressure, it was tighthead prop Balmain who eventually burrowed over before Owen Williams converted, but Ford soon replied to put the home side back in to the lead from the tee.

Betham then took his side in to the lead as he benefitted from a five-metre scrum, powering over from close distance and taking two Bath defenders with him. Williams slotted the conversion to take his side 14-10 clear.

Leicester maintained their pressure, which saw Tait find a gap in the Bath defence to dive over, scoring the Tigers’ third try of the half. Williams conversion flew just wide.

As Bath looked to finish a disappointing season with a flourish, they found their way back in to the game through Devoto, who carried over with ease allowed Ford to add the extras, bringing the home side to with two points at 19-17.

Williams slotted a penalty to extend their lead to five points, but Bath soon hit back through Louw, who was helped over by his fellow forwards. Ford’'s conversion put Bath ahead with 50 minutes on the clock.

Rokoduguni sealed his second of the afternoon after a great break and offload from Jonathan Joseph, before the winger slid over emphatically in the corner. Ford added the extras from the tee to make the score 31-22.

As Leicester looked for a way back in to the game, flanker Will Evans carried over in the corner to score Leicester’'s bonus point try, but Williams’ conversion failed to reduce the arrears to two points.

A try in the dying embers sealed the victory for Bath, as they worked through the phases before replacement winger Williams took his opportunity and dived in to the corner.

Ford’'s excellently taken touchline conversion with his final kick of the game, and the season, secured a 38-27 victory at the Rec.

The scorers:

For Bath:
Tries: Rokoduguni 2, Devoto, Louw, Williams
Cons: Ford 5
Pen: Ford

For Leicester:

Tries: Balmain, Betham, Tait, Evans

Cons: Williams 2

Pen: Williams

Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford, 9 Will Homer, 8 David Denton, 7 Francois Louw (c), 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Charlie Ewels, 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Nathan Catt
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Dom Day, 20 Leroy Houston, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Jeff Williams

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Jack Roberts, 11 George Catchpole, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Will Evans, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 4 Ed Slater (c), 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Logovi'i Mulipola, 18 Greg Bateman, 19 Dom Barrow, 20 Laurence Pearce, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Tommy Bell, 23 George Worth

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Peter Allan, Roger Baileff
TMO: Trevor Fisher