Bath end troubled spell with Worcester victory

Horacio Agulla of Bath is tackled by Bryce Heem of Worcester

Bath put their troubles behind them in recent weeks by beating Worcester Warriors 21-14 at the Recreation Ground in the Aviva Premiership.

Despite trailing in a topsy-turvy first half, Bath overcame their opponents, who took a losing bonus point despite having the chance to level the scores late on.

Rhys Priestland’s kicking was crucial to the home side’s victory, but they should have put more daylight between themselves and a spirited Worcester side.

The game got off to a hectic start with Bath’s Rhys Priestland hitting the post from a first minute penalty.

Bath scored first with a well-worked try from an early scrum. Guy Mercer fed Ollie Devoto to push over, with Priestland adding the extras.

Almost immediately, Tom Heathcote scored a penalty to reduce the arrears against his former employers.

The game descended into anarchy with Tom Homer missing a penalty for the home side, before team-mate Priestland made amends from a similar position.

With Bath unable to gain momentum, the Warriors got back into the game with a penalty of their own. Ryan Mills hit home the conversion.

With the break beckoning, the Warriors took the lead for the first time. Wing Cooper Vuna got over the line despite a late challenge from Bath’s Homer, but Heathcote failed with the conversion.

The half ended in controversy as Bath retook the lead through a TMO decision. Horacio Agulla put over after good build-up play from his teammates, despite suspicions of a forward pass in the move.

Priestland was unable to add the extras, but Bath ended the first half on top with a 15-11 lead.

The second half began in similar fashion to the first, with Bath extending their advantage to seven points, Priestland notching another penalty, but Worcester were soon back to within touching distance of their opponents with Heathcote scoring from 38 metres out.

Despite their dominance, Bath could not make it count on the scoreboard, and Mike Ford’s men went into the final 10 minutes just four points ahead.

However, after throwing themselves forward, Bath received a penalty which Priestland duly dispatched to once again extend the lead to seven.

With the clock down to zero, Worcester were awarded a penalty, but decided to kick out of play to secure a potentially crucial point.

Final Score Bath 21 (15) Worcester 14 (11)

Scorers

Bath
Tries: Devoto, Agulla
Con: Priestland
Pens: Priestland 3

Worcester
Try: Vuna
Pens: Heathcote 2, Mills

Match Officials
Referee : Tom Foley (10th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix & Craig Maxwell-Keys.
TMO: Stuart Terheege

Teams

Bath Rugby

15. Tom Homer, 14. Semesa Rokoduguni, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Ollie Devoto, 11. Horacio Agulla, 10. Rhys Priestland, 9. Chris Cook, 1. Max Lahiff, 2. Ross Batty, 3. Henry Thomas, 4. Matt Garvey, 5. Charlie Ewels, 6. Leroy Houston, 7. Guy Mercer ( c ), 8. David Denton

Replacements :16. Tom Dunn, 17. Nick Auterac, 18. David Wilson, 19. Dave Attwood, 20. Francois Louw, 21. Niko Matawalu, 22. George Ford, 23. Anthony Watson

Warriors

15 Chris Pennell, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Jonny Arr, 1 Na’ama Leleimalefaga, 2 Niall Annett, 3 Nick Schonert, 4 Tevita Cavubati, 5 Darren Barry, 6 Matt Cox, 7 Sam Betty, 8 Phil Dowson (C)

Replacements: 16 Ben Sowrey, 17 Val Rapava Ruskin , 18 Joe Rees, 19 Donncha O’Callaghan, 20 Marco Mama, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 Andy Symons, 23 Tom Biggs

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