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Match Reaction: Bath Rugby 37 Worcester Warriors 22

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Leroy Houston praised the support he received as he enjoyed a memorable return to The Rec with a try and a 37-22 victory for Bath Rugby over Worcester Warriors.

The Australian back rower left the club to rejoin Queensland Reds at the end of last year but was recalled to the West Country as injury cover and his name received a huge response from the Bath faithful prior to kick-off.

And despite trailing 17-6 at half-time, Houston was one of four Bath try scorers in the second half as Anthony Watson, Matt Banahan and Semesa Rokoduguni all crossed for the win.

“It felt like I had never left. I was just happy to be back with the boys,” said Houston.

“The support here is unbelievable. I’m still on a high because they show me so much love. I didn’t expect to score a try at all.

“I’m here for six weeks, just covering for Taulupe Faletau, until he gets back from injury. Then I’m back to Australia with the Reds.

“I’m hoping to get back into contention for the Wallaby autumn tour coming up.”

The Warriors had started well with Niall Annett and Dean Hammond crossing in the first half as they outplayed their hosts for the first 40.

Perry Humphreys also crossed the whitewash to put Worcester within touching distance of a try bonus point but they left The Rec completely empty-handed.

Worcester head coach Carl Hogg praised the endeavour his side showed in the first half and George Ford’s quality in capitalising on Warriors mistakes after the break.

“I thought in the first half we were excellent. Ball in hand, we showed real enterprise and caused Bath some issues defensively,” he said.

“The game obviously swung on a 10-minute window in the second half when we made back-to-back errors and someone of George Ford’s quality exploited it.

“We showed great endeavour in our first two games against Sale and Gloucester, predominantly defensively.

“But ball in hand we showed real threat and looked very lively. In the second half we didn’t get so many opportunities. I think we did enough to get something out of the game.

“We did have teenagers out there like Jamie Shillcock and Dean Hammond. Unfortunately, we lost Dean to injury but we brought on another teenager in Josh Adams.

“It’s great experience for them to play here at the Rec against a side with so many international players. It will stand them in good stead.”

Bath: T Homer; Rokoduguni (Williams 72), Banahan, Bowden, Watson (Brew 72); Ford, Fotuali’i (W Homer 73); Auterac (Catt 23), Batty (Dunn 57), Thomas (Palma-Newport 63), Attwood, Charteris (Stooke 63), Ewels, Sisi (Mercer 7), Houston

Worcester: Shillcock; Hammond (Adams 31), Olivier, Willison, Humphresy; Heathcote, Arr (Baldwin 68); Rapava Ruskin (Leleimalefaga 57), Annett (Bregvadze 53), Johnston (Daniels 53), O’Callaghan, Barry (Scotland-Williamson 68), Mama (Cavubati 22), Kirwan, Dowson

Subs not used: Eden

Bath

Tries: Watson, Banahan, Rokoduguni, Houston

Cons: Ford 4

Pens: Ford 3

Worcester

Tries: Annett, Hammond, Humphreys

Cons: Heathcote 2

Pens: Heathcote

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