Bonus point Bath thump London Irish

Matt Banahan on the burst for Bath against London Irish

Bath put a troubled week behind them with a six try 14-45 bonus point thumping of London Irish at the Madejski in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday.

Bath were in the headlines all week over whether or not Sam Burgess was staying with the club and then on Thursday it was confirmed that he would be heading back to Australia.

The west country club had said all week that they expected him to play at the Madejski but they showed no signs of his loss in the six tries to two thumping.

One of Bath’s six tries was scored by Rhys Priestland who was making his Bath debut in the match.

Both sides headed in to the game on the back of a poor start to the season, and aiming to make progress towards the top half.

And it was a dominant display from the visitors that ensured an emphatic win that lifts them up the league ladder.

Bath took an early lead through Rhys Priestland’s early penalty goal, and Priestland was awarded a try by the TMO shortly after following excellent work at the line-out, and he added the conversion to make it 10-0.

The visitors suffered a setback two minutes later when Alafoti Faosiliva was yellow-carded for a high tackle on Tom Fowlie. The Exiles failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage and were instead reduced to 14 men when Brendan McKibbin received a red card for a stamp on Henry Thomas.

Ollie Devoto added a second try to extend the visitors’ lead and Priestland was again on target with the extras to make it plain sailing for Bath.

But the hosts found a response through Scott Steele, whose try was green-lit by the TMO and converted by Shane Geraghty.

In the 32nd minute, Bath were issued there second yellow card – Devoto the culprit this time for a late tackle on Geraghty.

The score remained 17-7 until the early stages of the second half, when Faosilva benefited from strong work at the line-out, for Tom Homer to convert for Bath.

The deficit grew greater in the minutes that followed, as Kyle Eastmond crossed, but Fergus Mulchrone’s converted effort stemmed the tide.

Any hopes of a comeback were dispelled by Priestland, as he added his second try, before Nikola Matawalu added the exclamation mark to an emphatic display by the visitors with another try.

George Ford converted both scores to ensure a comfortable winning margin for the visitors.

Final Score London Irish 14 (7) Bath 45 (17)


London Irish
Tries – Steele, Mulchrone
Pen –
Con – Geraghty (2)
Drop –

Tries – Houston, Devoto, Faosiliva, Eastmond, Priestland, Matawalu
Pen – Priestland
Con – Priestland (2), Homer (2), Ford (2)
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee :Tom Foley (9th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Wayne Falla & Nigel Carrick
TMO: Rowan Kitt.


London Irish

15. Topsy Ojo , 14. Alex Lewington; 13. Tom Fowlie; 12. Fergus Mulchrone; 11. Aseli Tikoirotuma , 10. Shane Geraghty , 9. Brendan McKibbin;8. Rob McCusker ; 7. David Sisi; ; 6. Tom Guest; 5. Matt Symons; 4. George Skivington (C) , 3. Leo Halavatau; 2. David Paice 1. Tom Smallbone

Replacements: 16. Gerard Ellis; 17. Tom Court , 18. Halani Aulika , 19. Eoin Sheriff; 20. Luke Narraway , 21. Scott Steele; 22. Chris Noakes; 23. Dom Waldouck


15 Tom Homer , 14 Semesa Rokoduguni , 13 Ollie Devoto , 12 Kyle Eastmond , 11 Matt Banahan , 10 Rhys Priestland , 9 Chris Cook , 1 Nick Auterac , 2 Rob Webber , 3 Henry Thomas , 4 Stuart Hooper (c) , 5 Dom Day , 6 Matt Garvey , 7 Alafoti Faosiliva , 8 Leroy Houston

Replacements :16 Tom Dunn , 17 Nathan Catt , 18 Max Lahiff , 19 Tom Ellis , 20 Max Northcote-Green , 21 Niko Matawalu , 22 George Ford , 23 Jeff Williams

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