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Match Report: Bath Rugby 21 Worcester Warriors 14

27 Dec 2015
Match Report: Bath Rugby 21 Worcester Warriors 14

Bath Rugby moved back into the top half of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table with a hard-fought 21-14 win over Worcester Warriors at the Rec.

First-half scores from Ollie Devoto and Horacio Agulla allowed Bath to open up a 15-11 lead at the break, with Cooper Vuna crossing for the visitors.

And the second half was much tighter with defences dominating as two Rhys Priestland penalties proved enough for the win.
 
Bath burst out of the blocks and took the lead in the 11th minute thanks to a try from Devoto.

After a powerful scrum, Chris Cook put the pressure on Jonny Arr and Guy Mercer was able to steal the ball. It was then spread the ball to Devoto for the score. Priestland, who had missed an earlier penalty, converted to make it 7-0.

Worcester responded immediately, earning a penalty from the restart, and former Bath fly-half Tom Heathcote got his team on the board.

Priestland hit back with a first penalty of the afternoon for the home side, but again Worcester were able to respond straightaway, this time from longer distance through Ryan Mills.

The visitors had the chance to cut the deficit but Heathcote was off-target just before the half-hour.

They were soon in front though after scoring their first try of the afternoon. After a couple of good charges from the forwards, Worcester chose to spread the ball, and following a Wynand Olivier run, he then worked the two-on-one and Vuna went over in the corner. Heathcote couldn’t convert but Worcester led 11-10.

A powerful scrum from Worcester gave the visitors a final chance of a score to end the half, but instead of taking the points, they chose to kick to the corner.

Niall Annett’s throw wasn’t straight though and the chance went begging, allowing Bath to relieve the pressure.

And with time running out in the first half, Bath made them pay thanks to their Pumas winger Agulla. He collected the ball out wide from Jonathan Joseph and forced his way over in the corner despite the best attentions of Chris Pennell. Priestland’s touchline conversion was off-target but Bath led 15-11 at the break.

Bath built on that try at the start of the second half with another Priestland penalty, but that was quickly cancelled out by Heathcote.

The home side rung the changes on the hour, bringing on the likes of George Ford and Anthony Watson, but lost Dave Attwood just ten minutes after he’d come on.

Still, they were edging the territory battle, and when the Warriors slowed the ball down following another attack, Priestland stretched the lead to a converted try at 21-14.

Bath had the chance to kill off the game, but instead of taking an easy three points, chose to kick to the corner with seven minutes remaining.

Like Worcester in the first half, it didn’t pay off and in fact gave the Warriors the chance to go back up the other end.

However they couldn't find a way through and Bath held on for an invaluable win.

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