Bath edge Wasps with late Watson try

Anthony Watson has re-signed with Bath

Bath fullback Anthony Watson scored a try in extra time to edge out Wasps 23-25 in a European Rugby Champions Cup at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

Wasps looked to be on their way to a third straight European win but they finished the match with 13 players on the field with yellow cards being shown to Lorenzo Cittadini and George Smith.

Bath then used the numbers advantage and sent Anthony Watson over in the corner which levelled the scores which left George Ford with a difficult angle for the conversion kick but he slotted it perfectly.

Bath outscored Wasps by three tries to one but Ruaridh Jackson, Elliot Daly and Jimmy Gopperth kicked five penalties to George Ford’s one which almost proved to be the difference but Watson’s try won the match for Bath.

A Rob Miller try 20 minutes from the end put Wasps in front but they couldn’t cling on to their slender advantage.

It started with James Haskell going over the Bath line after just five minutes but after going to the TMO the try wasn’t given.

Jackson and Ford exchanged penalties early on before Joseph raced in for the game’s opening try after scooping up the loose ball following excellent work by Tom Ellis to get the turnover. Elliot Daly nailed a huge penalty for the home side to claw back three points but it wasn’t long before the visitors got their second score on the board.

Banahan spotted some space on the blindside and exchanged passes with scrum half Nikola Matawalu to beat the covering defence and cross the whitewash. Two more Jackson penalties reduced the deficit to three points at the half-time break before Ford extended Bath’s lead with his second penalty of the afternoon.

Jackson responded with two more penalties before they scored a superb team try through Miller thanks to some lovely offloads from Joe Launchbury and Daly. The reliable Jackson missed a couple of penalties to calm the nerves for Wasps but his late replacement Jimmy Gopperth stuck on over five minutes from time to put the home side five points in front.

Lorenzo Cittadini and George Smith both saw yellow for the home side in the final minutes with Wasps under huge pressure on their own line as the clock went into the red. The visitors’ finally made the advantage count with Watson’s try in the corner, with Ford showing nerves of steel in front of new England boss Eddie Jones with his conversion.

The result keeps Wasps in first place with 10 points ahead of Bath in second place on 8 five points. Toulon are third with four points and Leinster on one point.

Francois Louw was named European Rugby Champions Cup man of the match.

Final Score Wasps 23 (12) Bath 25 (15)

Scorers

Wasps
Tries – Miller
Pen – Jackson (4), Daly
Con –
Drop –

Bath
Tries – Joseph, Banahan, Watson
Pen – Ford (2)
Con – Ford (2)
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee: Jerome Garces (France),
Assistant ref: Maxime Chalon (France),
Assistant ref: Jean-Luc Rebollai (),
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France),
Citing Commissioner: Eugene Ryan (Ireland)

Teams

Wasps: Rob Miller; Sailosi Tagicakibau, Elliot Daly, Ben Jacobs, Charles Piutau; Ruaridh Jackson, Joe Simpson; Matt Mullan, Ashley Johnson, Jake Cooper-Woolley, Joe Launchbury, Bradley Davies, James Haskell (c), George Smith, Nathan Hughes

Replacements: Edd Shervington, Simon McIntyre, Lorenzo Cittadini, James Gaskell, Sam Jones, Dan Robson, Jimmy Gopperth, Alapati Leiua

Bath Rugby: Anthony Watson; Semesa Rokoduguni, Jonathan Joseph, Kyle Eastmond, Matt Banahan; George Ford, Niko Matawalu; Max Lahiff, Ross Batty, David Wilson, Tom Ellis, David Attwood, Matt Garvey, Francois Louw (c), David Denton

Replacements: Rob Webber, Nathan Catt, Henry Thomas, Charlie Ewels, Leroy Houston, Chris Cook, Rhys Priestland, Tom Homer

With thanks to EPCRugby

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