It was another tough night in the Gallagher Premiership school of hard knocks for Warriors’ youngsters against a powerful Bath side who secured the bonus point in the first half.
Warriors were still in the game at the break thanks to two opportunist tries, a brilliant interception effort from Billy Searle and a cheeky collect of a dropped ball from Ed Fidow.
But the first ten minutes of the second half again proved decisive as Warriors were unable to convert pressure into points and Bath nailed down victory with two tries in a three minute period.
Warriors emerged with plenty of credit for a gutsy display in adversity with Ollie Lawrence, Fidow, Jono Kitto, Matt Cox and Sam Lewis all working tirelessly.
But, as against Wasps and Bristol there were no points in the second half and, to make matters worse, Will Butler left the ground with his left ankle in a protective boot.
Warriors did well to repel Bath’s early attacks and they took the lead against the run of play in the seventh minute when Searle read a Bath attack, intercepted Jack Walker’s pass near halfway and raced clear for the try which he also improved.
Bath’s responded immediately with a try from flanker Tom Ellis and a conversion from Matavesi who was then off-target with a kickable penalty attempt.
Bath rumbled Elliott Stooke over from a pick-and-go attack which Matavesi converted but Zach Mercer fumbled the restart kick and the alert Fidow snaffled the loose ball and cut through for his second try in as many Premiership matches with a gap of eight months between them.
Searle’s conversion attempt from the touchline smacked against an upright and bounced out and Warriors suffered a cruel blow when skipper Will Butler was stretchered off with what appeared an ankle injury.
Butler suffered a similar injury at The Rec in the Premiership Rugby Cup match at the start of the season and it was another setback for the talented centre who had impressed in attack. Warriors also lost full-back Chris Pennell to a bang to the head shortly after Butler departed.
While Warriors regrouped, Bath smuggled hooker Walker over for their third try which went unconverted and then secured the bonus point when forward pressure created an overlap for full-back Tom de Glanville.
But there was time for Warriors to launch one final attack before the break with Ollie Lawrence slicing through, Jono Kitto supporting and forward pressure winning a penalty in front of the posts which Searle accepted.
Warriors won another kickable penalty early in the second half but Searle went for the corner and kicked long.
When Searle found touch with a subsequent penalty, Warriors tried to use their 12-man driving maul but Bath got men under the ball and got the scrum.
Bath turned the screw when Stooke went over for his second which rounded off another sustained attack and Matvesi then bounced off a tackle and crashed over.
But that proved to be the end of the scoring as Warriors defended bravely in the final 30 minutes and Lawrence took the opportunity to impress in front of watching England Head Coach Eddie Jones and the live BT Sport cameras with his pace and skill.
Warriors | 15 Chris Pennell (Hearle 35), 14 Nick David, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Will Butler (C) (van Breda 31), 11 Ed Fidow, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Jono Kitto (Simpson 69), 1 Callum Black Owen 54), 2 Beck Cutting (Miller 54), 3 Richard Palframan (Morris 60), 4 Justin Clegg (Williams 54), 5 James Scott, 6 Matt Cox, 7 Sam Lewis, 8 Tom Dodd.
Replacements | 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Kai Owen, 18 Joe Morris, 19 Ted Hill, 20 Matti Williams, 21 Gareth Simpson, 22 Scott van Breda, 23 Alex Hearle.
7m | Searle try 0-5
8m | Searle con 0-7
9m | Ellis try 5-7
10m | Matavesi con 7-7
19m | Stooke try 12-7
20m | Matavesi con 14-7
20m | Fidow try 14-12
33m | Walker try 19-12
38m | De Glanville try 24-12
39m | Matavesi con 26-12
40m | Searle pen 26-15
49m | Stooke try 31-15
50m | Matavesi con 33-15
52m | Matavesi try 38-15
53m | Matavesi con 40-15