Home Premiership 2017-18 Bath back to winning ways

Bath back to winning ways

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Bath put their disappointing run of Premiership form behind them to inflict a chastening 46-25 defeat on Worcester Warriors and maintain their play-off push.

The West Country outfit had suffered three consecutive league defeats but they controlled this match from start to finish.

They wore the hosts down in the first half, maintaining control of the ball and going 13-6 up via Paul Grant’s try and two Rhys Priestland penalties.

Chris Pennell had kept the Warriors in the game at the break, kicking a brace of three-pointers, but efforts in the second period from Matt Garvey, Anthony Watson, James Phillips and Kahn Fotuali’i (twice) eased Bath to victory.

Worcester have enjoyed a resurgence over recent times but, although David Denton, Joe Taufete’e and Perry Humphreys got consolation scores, they were outplayed by Todd Blackadder’s men throughout.

The visitors controlled possession and territory, showing patience by going through the phases, and they earned a penalty which Priestland kicked for an early 3-0 advantage.

Watson, continuing his fine form from last year, was particularly spritely and his mazy run almost led to the first try, but they had to be content with another three-pointer by their fly-half.

Alan Solomons’ side had barely touched down the ball but they finally got themselves into the game and Bath infringed as a result of the pressure.

Pennell, usually so assured off the tee, initially failed to convert before the full-back was finally successful, kicking a long-range effort to reduce the arrears after half-an-hour.

Unperturbed, Bath simply regained their composure and put together their most incisive move of the match. Once again, they went through the phases and Chris Cook displayed excellent dexterity to draw a defender and offload for Grant to power over.

Although the Warriors hit back via Pennell just shy of the interval, the Midlanders were surprisingly lacklustre and they failed to impose their style early in the second period.

The West Countrymen duly controlled matters and a free-flowing move, which went through several pairs of hands, ended in their fly-half feeding Garvey to cross the whitewash.

Worcester then briefly threatened but their five-metre scrum came to nothing and the visitors effectively sealed the win when Cook broke two tackles and sent Watson over unopposed.

To their credit, the home team hit back as Denton scored but Bath soon had the bonus-point when Phillips went crashing over the line.

Two opportunistic touchdowns from Fotuali’i added to the Warriors’ embarrassment but a Taufete’e effort, which was sandwiched in between those tries from the replacement scrum-half, gave Solomons’ men a chance of a bonus-point.

However, Worcester fell short, despite Humphreys’ try, as they went away with yet another defeat, while Bath moved level on points with local rivals Gloucester.

The scorers:

For Worcester:
Tries: Denton, Taufete’e, Humphreys
Cons: Pennell 2
Pens: Pennell 2

For Bath:
Tries: Grant, Garvey, Watson, Phillips, Fotuali’i 2
Cons: Priestland 3, Burns 2
Pens: Priestland 2
Yellow Card: Phillips

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