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Bath Rugby 39 Wasps 26

10 Jan 2015
Bath Rugby 39 Wasps 26

Sam Burgess’ first ever Aviva Premiership Rugby try helped a clinical Bath Rugby to a convincing 39-26 victory over Wasps, in a pulsating contest at the Rec.

The rugby league convert enjoyed his best performance in a Bath shirt, and Francois Louw, Semesa Rokoduguni, Matt Banahan and Ollie Devoto added to his powerful score to deliver a 12th win from their last 13 games at home.

Alapati Leiua, Nathan Hughes, Ben Jacobs, and Alex Lozowski answered for the visitors, but it was not enough as Wasps’ miserable record at the Rec continued, where they have still not won since the 2010/11 season.

Bath started strongly and looked sharp in attack, with Burgess putting in some thumping hits early on in the midfield.

Sam Jones was forced off injured for Wasps after just three minutes, but the visitors showed some life two minutes later when Hughes beat three players to crash through the line, but his chipped kick drifted into touch.

George Ford kicked for the corner with a 12th minute penalty on the left touchline, perhaps still feeling the effects of a disappointing performance with the boot last week at Welford Road.

But the gamble paid off when Louw went over under the posts after good recycling work from the hosts following the lineout, Ford adding the extras to make it 7-0.

Mike Ford’s men had another opportunity on 20 minutes after Banahan charged down a Wasps clearance, but Rob Miller recovered to scoop the ball up on his own line with Jonathan Joseph ready to pounce.

Wasps were defending desperately, putting bodies on the line as Bath surged forward, but the visitors held firm and struck back on 31 minutes.

Leiua finished off a simple chance in the corner after another Hughes break, who drew in the cover expertly before offloading, but Andy Goode pushed his attempt at the conversion wide.

But ill-discipline from the visitors undid their work almost immediately, when Lorenzo Cittadini came in at the side and gave Ford a chance to strikes a wonderful penalty through the posts and extend Bath’s lead from 40m.

And Rokoduguni went over again for the hosts on 35 minutes after a brilliant counter-attack from their own 22.
Anthony Watson sent Ford wide, who in turn released the England winger, who stumbled over the line after pulling a muscle, before Ford added the extras.

The fly-half was on fire with the boot, after a perfect Bath scrum won another penalty and Ford made it 20-5 at half-time from Wasps’ 10-metre line.

Bath carried on as they left off after the break, and it was the hugely impressive Burgess’ turn to go under the posts after 45 minutes.

The centre sent the ball out wide after carrying into the 22, but when it came back inside he showed a sensational step to cut back in and charge over.

But Wasps responded again eight minutes later, the excellent Hughes breaking a tackle and going over from close range in the corner, before Goode knocked over the tricky conversion to bring Wasps back into the game and take the scoreline to 27-12.

Bath seemed intent on securing a bonus point, passing on kicking at the posts from penalties to kick into the corner.

And they did not have to wait long as Banahan secured the bonus point, Cook giving a quick pass down the blindside from a driving maul for the winger to shrug off Joe Simpson – on his 150th Wasps appearance – to score in the corner.

Ollie Devoto and Ben Jacobs exchanged late tries, before replacement Lozowski’s scintillating run just one minute later ensured that Wasps would leave the Rec with at least a try-scoring bonus.

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