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Livewire Watson runs riot at the Rec

Matt Banahan may have stolen the show on Saturday but according to Opta stats for Aviva Premiership Rugby, he was not the only man in Bath Rugby’s back three to wreak havoc.

Banahan grabbed the first hat-trick in Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final history as Leicester Tigers were put to the sword in the West Country.

But while the powerful winger took the headlines, it was full-back Anthony Watson’s all-action display that produced the weekend’s most impressive numbers.

As well as crossing over for a try, Watson beat five defenders – only Northampton Saints wing Ken Pisi managed more – and carried for a massive 129 metres.

And while Bath’s flying backs were scything through the Tigers defence, England lock Dave Attwood was busy ensuring Leicester didn’t return the favour.

His tally of 17 tackles was only matched by Saracens second row – and England teammate – George Kruis, with Mako Vunipola and Jamie George just one back on 16.

That statistic suggests Saracens’ victory at Franklin’s Gardens was built on hard defensive graft, as does the number of Northampton carries.

Pisi amassed the most across both semi-finals, alongside Leicester centre Christian Loamanu, with 18 while teammates Tom Wood (16), Jamie Elliott (15) and Samu Manoa (13) also feature in the top five.

And Loamanu was not the only Tigers player to go down fighting at the Rec, with Tommy Bell (92) and Niki Goneva (81) inside the weekend’s top three for metres made and Ed Slater – fresh from an England recall – topping the lineouts table by winning seven.
 
Selected statistics from Otpa
 
Tackles:

Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby) & George Kruis (Saracens) 17
Mako Vunipola & Jamie George (Saracens) 16
Owen Farrell (Saracens) 14
 
Carries:
Ken Pisi (Northampton Saints) & Christian Loamanu (Leicester Tigers) 18
Tom Wood (Northampton Saints) 16
Jamie Elliott (Northampton Saints) 15
Samu Manoa (Northampton Saints) & Vereniki Goneva (Leicester Tigers) 13
 
Metres:
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby) 129
Tommy Bell (Leicester Tigers) 92
Vereniki Goneva (Leicester Tigers) 81
Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby) 73
Niall Morris (Leicester Tigers) 66
 
Defenders beaten:
Ken Pisi (Northampton Saints) 6
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby) 5
Vereniki Goneva (Leicester Tigers) 4
 
Lineouts won:
Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers) 7
Alistair Hargreaves (Saracens) 5
Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) & George Kruis (Saracens) 4

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