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Late tries put Bath clear

04 Jan 2004
Late tries put Bath clear

But the final score was not a reflection of the effort put in by the Titans in front of their biggest home crowd of the season. With less than five minute of regulation time remaining Bath were leading just 20-18, but two late scores sealed the win and cemented their place at the top of the standings.

It must be said that it is a sign of a good side, such as Bath is, that they can be put under so much pressure and still manage to come away with a comfortable win.

But Rotherham also deserve loads of accolades for their effort and it is quite sad that they came away from the game with not even a bonus point for their efforts.

They certainly deserved more.

Bath were very business-like in early part of game, weathering a storm from the Titan. In fact, with regulation time in the first half gone Bath were still trailing 8-3. But then two quick scores followed and the two converted tries gave them a 17-8 lead at the break.

It was a scenario which was to replay itself at the end of the game, with Rotherham in with a real shout and two late scores sealing the win.

It can be said that only one of Bath's four tries was scored in regulation time and then that was inside the final five minutes of regulation time. The other three were all scored in extra-time.

It can be attributed to a lack of experience and a shortage of confidence in their own ability which cost the Titans so dearly in those crucial dying moments – but then that has been one of their biggest weaknesses all season.

There is no doubt that Rotherham played some really good rugby, but their failure to keep the pressure up also allowed Bath to escape on occasion. Rotherham also played some of their most committed rugby of the season, especially on defence where they stopped a number of very powerful Bath rushes.

The first score of the game came from Bath, an Olly Barkley penalty in the fifth minute.

But five minutes later Geraint Lewis scored the Titans' first try when he went over after a quick line-out, a move which caught the Bath defence asleep. Jon Benson failed with the angled conversion, but the home team had snatched the lead.

Benson kicked a penalty in the 16th minute to give the local fans some hope of a real upset.

Bath then pressed hard, but the Rotherham defence stood well. There was one particularly great try-saving tackle from the Titans' South African winger Giscard Pieters in the 18th minute that had the home crowd roaring their approval.

Bath fly-half Olly Barkley missed a couple of penalties as the home team retained the lead, but in injury-time of the first period the visitors scored twice – with Barkley making up for his earlier misses by scoring his team's first try.

Isaac Fea'unati scored the second try five minutes into injury-time and Barkley converted both to make it 17-8 at the break.

Rotherham started the second half in the same energetic fashion as the first, with another of their South African imports, flank Brad MacLeod-Henderson, scoring a try inside the first minute after the restart. Benson kicked the conversion.

When Benson added a penalty in the 54th minute the Rotherham fans were in full cry, as their team had taken the lead again.

But five minutes later Barkley kicked a penalty to make it 20-18. And it stayed like that for most of the final quarter, giving the local fans a real glimpse of glory.

But in the 77th minute Alex Crockett scored the first of those two killer blows, a try that came after Rotherham had been on the attack and just couldn't turn their pressure in points. Barkley kicked the conversion.

A couple of minutes later Benson failed with a penalty that could have earned his team a bonus point and then Bath's South African flyer Wylie Human sealed it with a try deep into injury-time. The Barkley conversion made it 24-18.

The scorers:

For Rotherham Titans:Tries: Lewis, McLeod-HendersonCon: BensonPens: Benson 2

For Bath:Tries: Barkley, Fea'unati, Crockett, HumanCons: Barkley 4Pens: Barkley 2

For more news, try out Rotherham Titans v Bath Rugby

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups

Match Page 2017-18 - Current Standing

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