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Throwback Thursday: Five classic clashes betwen Bath Rugby and Leicester Tigers

Throwback Thursday: Five classic clashes betwen Bath Rugby and Leicester Tigers

Bath Rugby welcome Leicester Tigers to the Rec this weekend in what promises to be a fascinating contest in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

These two storied sides have dominated club rugby in the last 30 years, with the Blue, Black and White holding sway in the 1990s before the Welford Road era began in the 2000s.

Unsurprisingly therefore, there have been numerous crunch clashes between the two sides.

And here we look at five in more recent history to give us an idea of where Saturday’s clash at the Rec might be won and lost.

Leicester Tigers 23 Bath Rugby 27 – Aviva Premiership, September 2017

The opening weekend of the Aviva Premiership Rugby season pitted these two old rivals against each other.

And it was Bath who held on to claim a dramatic win – despite being shown three yellow cards – their first in the league at Welford Road since 2003.

Manu Tuilagi looked to be back to his best when he crossed early on but Max Clark’s double and Semesa Rokoduguni’s breakaway opened up a big lead for the visitors.

Jonny May began his current hot streak with two tries as the Tigers tried to come back but Bath, who played much of the final 20 minutes with only 13 men, dug deep to survive and ensure George Ford’s first meeting with his former club was an unhappy one.

Bath Rugby 20-21 Leicester Tigers – Anglo-Welsh Cup, November 2016

In the opening round of Anglo-Welsh games last year, Leicester Tigers laid down in a marker in what would be a successful run to the title.

The Tigers dug deep in the second half to stave off a Bath comeback at the Rec.

The cup made its return to television screens after taking a season’s break and it was the hosts who got off to a fine start through Jack Wilson’s try and an Adam Hastings penalty.

Luke Hamilton and George Catchpole hit back and, coupled with the boot of Freddie Burns, Tigers raced into a healthy lead.

Jeff Williams and Dan Bowden crossed the try-line to make it a nervy finish for Leicester but they hung on to record their first victory at the Rec in three-and-a-half years.

Bath Rugby 47-10 Leicester Tigers, Aviva Premiership semi-final, May 2015

Bath blew their old rivals off the Rec in this Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final.

Matt Banahan bagged a hat-trick as the West Country outfit progressed to the league final for the first time since 2004.

Banahan went over twice early on and when Kyle Eastmond followed it was not looking good for the visiting Tigers.


Tom Youngs did muster a response but second-half scores from Peter Stringer, George Ford and Anthony Watson confirmed their path to Twickenham before Banahan completed his treble late on.

The Tigers – whose run of nine consecutive league finals had been ended the year before – were powerless in the face of a ruthless Bath attack that had downed all comers until the final at Twickenham against Saracens a week later.

Leicester Tigers 27-27 Bath Rugby, Aviva Premiership, January 2014

Back in January 2014 these two sides played out a thrilling draw at Welford Road– the last time the honours ended even between these old rivals.

Miles Benjamin crossed for an early try for the visitors but after that it was largely one-way traffic for the middle third of the match.

Anthony Watson, Francois Louw and Jonathan Joseph all crossed for tries while George Ford added the rest from the tee and the hosts led 27-17 with quarter of an hour to play.

But Waldrom barrelled over before Gibson did the same at the death and although Owen Williams was off target with the extras, his boot had kept his side in the game earlier on with four penalties and the spoils were shared.

Bath Rugby 6-37 Leicester Tigers, Aviva Premiership, March 2011

The last time the Tigers came to the Rec and won in the league was all the way back in 2011 and it was a convincing one at that.

The hosts were outscored five tries to none in a one-sided encounter that saw Toby Flood claim a 22-point haul in the victory.

Anthony Allen went over early on before both Flood and Tom Croft crossed for doubles to leave the Rec stunned.

All that the hosts could muster were two penalties from the boot of Butch James as the Tigers cruised on to a first-place finish in the table – although Saracens would deny them the title at Twickenham.

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