Throwback Thursday | Warriors denied at the death

The Rec has not been a happy hunting ground for Warriors over the years but the second visit there on May 6 2006  – the final match of the 2005/06 season – almost produced a famous win

Bath Rugby 25-22 Worcester Warriors

Warriors were denied victory when replacement scrum-half Chris Hallam’s claims for a penalty try in the dying minutes of the match were ruled out by referee David Rose.

Hallam thought that he had been obstructed by Peter Short but Rose thought otherwise and awarded Warriors a five metre scrum from which Bath held out to secure a bonus point win.

Warriors had to settle for a losing bonus point from an entertaining end-of-season contest that produced seven tries, two from Bath captain Zak Feaunati.

It was all action from the kick-off, a loose pass from Olly Barkley offering Warriors the lineout throw from which they scored the opening try after just two minutes.

Centre Thomas Lombard eventually got the touchdown in the corner after a multi-phase build-up but James Brown, deputising at fly-half for the injured Shane Drahm, could not complete the conversion.

Warriors could have added another within three minutes but flanker Sam Harding was denied by a last-ditch tackle from Andy Williams and then conceded a penalty for not releasing the ball.

On a firm pitch and with nothing at stake there was plenty of ambition on both sides but without the ball skills to match.

Bath exploited their dominance in the scrum to win a penalty which Chris Malone landed from close range on 11 minutes. A brilliant break-out from their own line six minutes later might then have brought a try but Malone spilled the ball in the tackle.

Such was the frenetic nature of the contest that Rose eventually got in the way of a promising Warriors attack and the game degenerated into a session of drop passes.

Bath eventually reverted to a more pragmatic approach and Feaunati touched down after a well-controlled drive from a line-out on the half hour. Malone’s conversion was wide however.

Warriors responded by mounting a heavyweight assault on the home line but another spilled pass lifted the siege.

They did not have long to wait however for their second try as Bath turned over the ball in midfield and centre Dale Rasmussen finished off in the left corner to see Warriors go in at the break 10-8 ahead.

Lombard was held up over the line just after the restart but Bath responded with two tries in three minutes.
Feaunati launched himself off the back of a scrum for the first and then Joe Maddock burst through to the posts for another, this time converted by Malone.

Warriors took up the challenge by retaking the lead with two quick scores themselves – the first on 59 minutes then Lombard finished off a length of the field move begun by Harding, who then scored himself as Bath’s defence began to creak.

Back they came however with a try by Michael Stephenson on 66 minutes earning Bath a bonus point and edging them back into the lead at 25-22 which they clung onto despite Hallam’s claims for the penalty try.

Warriors | 15 Thinus Delport, 14 Uche Oduoza, 13 Dale Rasmussen, 12 Thomas Lombard, 11 Gary Trueman, 10 James Brown, 9 Nick Runciman, 1 Mike MacDonald, 2 Chris Fortey, 3 Lee Fortey, 4 Phil Murphy, 5 Craig Gillies, 6 Pat Sanderson (C), 7 Tom Harding, 8 Kai Horstmann.

Replacements | 16 Andre van Niekerk, 17 Callum Black, 18 Eddie O’Donoghue, 19 Drew Hickey, 20 Chris Hallam, 21 Simon Whatling, 22 Jonny Hylton.