Match Reaction: Bath Rugby 39 Wasps 26
Bath boss Mike Ford described Sam Burgess’ try-scoring performance against in-form Wasps as his best yet, but refused to get carried away with questions about the rugby league convert’s international future.
Burgess' first ever Aviva Premiership try helped Bath Rugby to a convincing 39-26 victory over Wasps, with Francois Louw, Semesa Rokoduguni, Matt Banahan and Ollie Devoto also touching down to deliver a 12th win for Bath from their last 13 games at home.
Alapati Leiua, Nathan Hughes, Ben Jacobs, and Alex Lozowski answered for the visitors, but it was not enough as Wasps miserable record at the Rec continued, where they have still not won since the 2010/11 season.
"Sam played his best game and he is definitely on the right track," Ford said.
"We did some good stuff. It wasn't all correct, it wasn't all pretty, but we looked in control and I was pleased with our attacking structure throughout.
"We are still only scratching the surface with this team. It's exciting because we know we can get so much better.
"I thought that any time we put intensity into the game we controlled it. I was very pleased at 39-12 up.
"Wasps had nothing to lose, they threw the ball about, so credit to them to get four tries, but we are pleased to get our five tries and five points.
"Where we are sitting in the league is very satisfying at the moment."
While Bath moved to within a point of Northampton at the top of the Premiership, there was frustration for Dai Young.
After three back-to-back wins over the festive period, Young had hoped to build on the newfound momentum created that had seen his team rise to fourth in the table.
Young did, however, praise his side for their inability to fold in the final quarter despite trailing by over 25 points at one stage.
"To be honest, it was probably a commendable last 15 minutes," he said.
"We could have rolled over and chucked the towel in, but I was really pleased with how we came back.
"We went away with a point, but I am not sure if we deserved or not, if I am quite honest. For 70 minutes, I thought we were second-best in most areas.
"They had us under pressure in the set-piece, we struggled to get any penetration with ball in hand, and we struggled to contain them when they had ball in hand.
"They were too powerful for us today in most areas. We weren't quite at the races. We didn't play anything like we can play.
"We have got to lick our wounds, go away and come back better next week.
"This league gives you a reality check very quickly. When you start thinking everything is rosy in the garden, you get your trousers pulled down."
Bath Rugby: Watson (Devoto 11, Stringer 70), Rokoduguni (Woodburn 33), Joseph, Burgess, Banahan, Ford, Cook, Auterac (James 53), Batty (Webber 53), Thomas (Wilson 53), Hooper (Day 58), Attwood; Garvey, Louw (Fearns 51), Houston.
Wasps: Miller, Wade (Daly 46), Leiua, Jacobs, Bassett, Goode (Lozowski 62), Simpson (C Davies 62), Mullan (McIntyre 59), Festuccia (Shervington 49), Cittadini (Swainston 59), B Davies, Myall (Gaskell 59), Jones (Johnson 2), Haskell, Hughes.
Tries: Louw, Rokoduguni, Burgess, Banahan, Devoto
Conversions: Ford 4
Penalties: Ford 2
Tries: Leiua, Hughes, Jacobs, Lozowski
Conversions: Goode, Lozowski 2
Referee: Andrew Small (114th Premiership game).
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