Leicester Tigers made amends for their record Aviva Premiership Rugby defeat to Bath earlier this season with a gritty win at Welford Road.
Tom Youngs’ first-half try set the Tigers on their way and the boot of Owen Williams bagged four successful penalties which proved enough as they saw off a relentless Bath attack in the second half which ended with Ross Batty crashing over in the last minute of the match.
Leicester ran out looking to avenge their 45-0 round three loss at the Rec in September and despite having only lost once in their last six league encounters, they faced a tough 80 minutes against in-form Bath who themselves started the day with a seven-game unbeaten run under their belts.
And it was the visitors who gained the early advantage with fly-half George Ford sailing a penalty through the uprights on four minutes.
His opposite number Williams missed an chance to bring the scores level when his seventh minute penalty rebounded off the posts, but a minute later made no mistake with a second attempt bringing the sides level at 3-3.
However the deadlock was soon broken when Youngs crashed over for a Leicester try. Williams kicked a penalty deep into the corner and after a clean catch and drive from the lineout the hooker touched down from the back of the maul to put the home side 8-3 ahead before Williams missed the conversion.
Williams extended Tigers’ advantage by a further three points with a successful 45 metre penalty on the 20 minute mark but Bath came back on the attack and Sam Burgess dived over, only for the try to be disallowed after referee Matthew Carley spotted a forward pass.
The final ten minutes of the half saw the visitors ramp up the pressure but they came away without anything to show for their efforts and on the whistle Ford’s penalty attempt drifted wide of the right post to end the half 11-3.
After the break Tigers continued where they left off with Williams bisecting the uprights on 46 minutes after Anthony Watson was pinged for holding on.
Bath opted to replace their front row with Rob Webber, David Wilson and Paul James being replaced by Ross Batty, Henry Thomas, and Nick Auterac.
Williams added to his growing tally with a 30 metre penalty after Bath were penalised at the scrum. Bath upped the pressure as they hunted for a score and were rewarded with a lineout on the five metre line on 63 minutes.
However the Tigers defence stood firm, and Bath only came close on 69 minutes when a five metre penalty saw a drive from the lineout and the ball was shipped out to Semesa Rokoduguni who was bundled into touch as he stretched for the line.
Bath’s patience was eventually rewarded in the 79th minute after Batty crashed over the line, grounding from a rolling maul after a lineout inside the Tigers’ 22. However Ford’s missed conversion meant the visitors went home without the losing bonus point.
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