Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: London Irish 23 Bath Rugby 33

If winning despite not playing your best is a sign of champions then Bath Rugby must be taken seriously as Aviva Premiership Rugby title contenders after coach Toby Booth admitted his side were well below-par in their victory over London Irish.

Henry Thomas and Chris Cook scored breakaway tries in the 33-23 triumph to move the West Country side up to second in the table.   

England international prop Thomas burst through the defence and held off a number of would-be tacklers early in the second half for a memorable try at the Madejski Stadium.

And scrum-half Cook grabbed himself a similar score around 20 minutes later as he evaded two defenders to dot down and put the game beyond doubt.

The platform for victory was established at the scrum though as Bath dominated throughout and were in fact awarded a first-half penalty try when Irish were pinged at the set-piece.

That meant the scoreline read 16-6 at half-time and Booth, whose side saw off Newcastle Falcons last weekend, claims that while the autumn internationals are taking place, the important thing is to get points on the board – in any way possible.

“We didn’t play at our best but all that matters is the score and we’re delighted with the result – it was great backing up last week’s win at home,” he said.

“These international breaks are always fraught with danger as everyone knows with the disruption caused but we’ve got past two stiff tests

“We had to overcome a few challenges, tactically we were working out things on the pitch but you’ve got to give credit to London Irish, they needed a response after last week and were emotionally charged.

“It was a very stop, start game, we couldn’t build any continued pressure but there are games like that and we were mentally tough and that’s pleasing. We’ve got the win and need to take that momentum forward.”

Despite second-half tries from David Paice and James Short, Bath were always largely in control of proceedings.

The Exiles now sit in 11th position in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table with only winless London Welsh below them.

They host Gloucester Rugby next weekend and director of rugby Brian Smith admits he is desperate for his side to get back to winning ways.

And despite club captain George Skivington missing the game due to a late injury, Smith refused to make excuses for his troops’ display.

“The effort was there but our precision wasn’t great and we created some pressure situations for ourselves and they were punished on the scoreboard,” he said. 

“We had some distractions before the game with our skipper dropping out but I thought we managed that quite well and played some good rugby at times.

“We just conceded too many soft points and didn’t maintain the concentration levels needed for the full 80 minutes.

“It’s not about making excuses but putting things in perspective and we’ve got next weekend against Gloucester to put things right.”

This Christmas, Premiership Rugby is offering fans a special gift with selected tickets for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final 2015. Click here to find out about this limited offer.

London Irish: Fenby; Lewington, Mulchrone, Geraghty, Ojo; Noakes, Steele (Short 68); Court (Parr 64), Paice, Aulika (Halavatau 58), Lyons, Cox, Narraway, Gilsenan, Guest (Allinson 56).
Replacements not used: Stevens, Vukasinovic, Curry, Griffin
 
Bath Rugby: Arscott (Devoto 56); Rokoduguni, Joseph, Eastmond, Banahan (Woodburn 74); Henson, Young (Cook 54); Catt (Auterac 33), Batty (Dunn 62), Thomas (Palma-Newport 68), Hooper, Day, Garvey (Ewels 58), Sisi (Fearns 62), Houston.
 
Scorers

 
London Irish
Tries: Paice, Short
Conversions: Geraghty (2)
Penalties: Geraghty (3)

 
Bath Rugby
Tries: penalty, Thomas, Cook
Conversions: Henson (3)
Penalties: Henson (4)

 
Referee: Andrew Small
Attendance: 8,133
 

Latest News

Zach Mercer to lead England U20 against Italy

England Under 20 have made eight changes to the starting line-up for their Six Nations match against Italy at the…

Will Witty targets top six as Newcastle Falcons push continues

Newcastle Falcons are enjoying their best season in over a decade and lock Will Witty believes a top-six finish is…

Round 16 Preview: Bristol Rugby v Bath Rugby

Bristol Rugby’s only two victories in Aviva Premriship Rugby this season came in successive matches, against Worcester and Sale over…

Bristol v Bath

Ticket sales for Derby Day at Wembley hit 50,000

Ticket sales for this year’s Derby Day spectacle between Saracens and Harlequins at Wembley Stadium have now hit 50,000! The…

Wembley

Round 16 Preview: Wasps v Gloucester Rugby

Wasps are without a win in their last four first team fixtures since beating Zebre in Parma in the Champions…

Wasps v Gloucester

Referee appointments: Dean Richards takes charge of 91st Aviva Premiership Rugby clash

Referee Dean Richards will move ever closer to a century of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches this weekend, as he takes…

Round 16 Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Exeter Chiefs only defeat in their last ten first team matches was at Clermont-Auvergne in the European Champions Cup on…

Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons

Round 16 Preview: Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Northampton Saints have slipped to successive Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats at Bath and at Newcastle but have not lost three…

Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Jack Wilson extends stay with Bath Rugby

Jack Wilson has extended his stay with Bath Rugby until at least 2019, the Club are delighted to confirm. The…

Jack Wilson

Guy Mercer relishing Bath Rugby’s rigorous preparation this term

Bath Rugby club captain Guy Mercer believes meticulous planning has laid the foundations for a successful end to the season.…

Newcastle Falcons sign Canadian try machine DTH van der Merwe

Newcastle Falcons have added another proven top-level try-scorer to their squad with the news that Canada and Scarlets wing DTH…

DTH van der Merwe

Round 16 Preview: Saracens v Sale Sharks

Saracens are without a win in their last three Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures and have not gone four in a…

Saracens v Sale Sharks

Round 16 Preview: Harlequins v Leicester Tigers

Harlequins are one of only two sides with a 100 per cent home winning record in Aviva Premiership Rugby this…

Harlequins v Leicester Tigers

Phil Swainston joins Harlequins from Wasps

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 22nd February), the signing of Wasps tighthead prop Phil Swainston, who will join…

Phil Swainston

BT Sport and ITV coverage of Aviva Premiership Rugby

A breathless round of Aviva Premiership Rugby action last week saw records smashed, underdogs triumph, and tries galore with a…

Live TV matches on BT Sport for Round 21

Premiership Rugby can confirm that Harlequins’ crucial clash with Wasps in the penultimate round of Aviva Premiership Rugby has been chosen…

Wasps v Harlequins

Marcus Watson, Ben Harris and Antonio ‘TJ’ Harris sign for Wasps

Wasps are pleased to confirm the signings of winger Marcus Watson and prop Ben Harris, who will arrive at the…

Marcus Watson

RFU Disciplinary Hearing: Francois Louw and Kahn Fotuali’i

The charges against Francois Louw and Kahn Fotuali’i of Bath Rugby were heard in Bristol on Tuesday evening. Louw and…

Bowden leaves Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby can confirm that Dan Bowden has been released from his contract by mutual consent. Bowden, who joined the…

Dan Bowden