Bath Rugby’s hopes of making the European Champions Cup knockout stages took a heavy hit as Scarlets claimed a bonus-point win at the Rec on Friday night.
The damage was mostly done in the first 40 minutes that saw the Welsh region run in three tries with some free-flowing attacking rugby.
Man of the match Tadhg Beirne, Paul Asquith and Hadleigh Parkes all crossed for tries in the first half as they opened out a 22-3 half-time lead.
Scott Williams sealed the bonus point in the second half as Todd Blackadder’s side, who came into the weekend top of Pool 5, saw their chances slip through their fingers.
They did manage late scores from Matt Banahan – an acrobatic finish in the corner from Freddie Burns’ cross kick – and Zach Mercer but it was too late.
Woah Matt Banahan! 😳
Mad acrobatics 👏
Bath register their first try of the night in style… pic.twitter.com/1ZrMe4eH4X
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) January 12, 2018
In the Challenge Cup, Gloucester Rugby moved to the top of the Pool 3, with Pau to face Zebre tomorrow, with a comfortable 45-24 win over Agen in France.
Winger Henry Purdy went over twice inside the opening 15 minutes and the Cherry & Whites had the bonus point before half-time as Callum Braley and Jason Woodward went over.
— Gloucester Rugby (@gloucesterrugby) January 12, 2018
A trickier second 40 saw Agen claim a try bonus point themselves but the result was never in doubt as Mark Atkinson and captain Ed Slater dived over for scores.
Fly-half Owen Williams kicked six conversions and a penalty to pick up the man of the match award as Gloucester eased to their fourth victory of the competition.
Gloucester face Pau at Kingsholm in their final group game next weekend but have already guaranteed themselves a quarter-final spot as a best runner-up or pool winner.
Gloucester Rugby are now on 21 points and have guaranteed a quarter-final place!
The Cherry & Whites will either be a best runner-up or depending on future results, Pool 3 winners. pic.twitter.com/Bpjctri22L
— Challenge Cup (@ERChallengeCup) January 12, 2018