Bath tame Scarlets to go two from two

Date published: October 20 2017

Bath claimed a precious 18-13 win over Scarlets in European Rugby Champions Cup action at Parc y Scarlets on Friday evening.

The wet and windy conditions made handling difficult and thus both sides opted for a tactical kicking game aiming to feed off the mistakes of the other.

Bath fly-half Rhys Priestland and Scarlets full-back Leigh Halfpenny exchanged penalties in the opening 10 minutes of the game.

Sam Underhill then did good work at the breakdown to get his body over the ball and clamp down to earn his side a penalty which Priestland gratefully accepted to restore Bath's lead to 6-3 with 13 minutes gone.

A period of tactical kicking ensued with both sides trying to gain the ascendancy in the territorial stakes or force handling errors for penalties.

But much to the delight of the rapturous home crowd Scarlets claimed the lead with a well taken counter-attacking try. Great handling and interplay between backs and forwards as the hosts spread it out to the left ensured Steff Evans made the break before shifting it to Gareth Davies who managed to offload from the ground returning it to Evans who dotted down between the posts as Halfpenny converted for a 10-6 22nd minute lead.

But Bath regained the lead with two penalty goals from Priestland; one for not releasing and the other for a high shot as the sides went into the interval with Bath leading Scarlets 12-10.

Priestland extended the lead in the 55th minute to 15-10 and again to 18-10 after 68 minutes with penalty goals.

Halfpenny responded with a penalty goal of his own in the 73rd minute to bring Scarlets back within five points with seven minutes to go.

But Bath held on to their five-point lead for a precious 18-13 victory.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Try: Evans
Con: Halfpenny
Pens: Halfpenny 2

For Bath:
Pens: Priestland 6

The teams: 

Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Johnny Mcnicholl, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Tadhg Beirne, 7 Will Boyde, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Lewis Rawlins, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens (c), 1 Wyn Jones
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Dylan Evans, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 David Bulbring, 20 Josh Macleod, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Paul Asquith, 23 Scott Williams

Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Clark, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Zach Mercer, 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Charlie Ewels (c), 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Beno Obano
Replacements: 16 Jack Walker, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Paul Grant, 21 Darren Allinson, 22 Josh Lewis, 23 Matt Banahan

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Pierre Brousset (France), Stéphane Boyer (France)
TMO: Éric Gauzins (France)