47 - 22HT 40 - 0

Recreation Ground
Sat 20 Mar 21, 2:00pm

Highlights & Report | Bath Rugby 47-22 Warriors

Warriors staged a stirring fightback which brought a first try bonus point of the season in the proverbial game of two halves at The Rec.

A brace from Perry Humphreys, a charged down effort from Joe Batley and a superbly worked score from Ethan Waller, which clinched the bonus point three minutes from time, saw Warriors win the second half 22-7.

But the damage was done in the first half when Bath scored six tries, including the bonus point inside 23 minutes, to open up a 40-0 lead.

Having opted to start with an inexperienced starting XV, which included 18-year-old Fin Smith at fly-half, Warriors were always going to face a stern challenge from a powerful Bath side.

Warriors were perhaps guilty of showing Bath too much respect in the first half but Batley’s try, within two minutes of the re-start lifted spirits and the injection of experience off the bench transformed the game in the second half.

Smith, the youngest player to start for Warriors in a Premiership match, recovered from a difficult first half in which he spent most of the time in defence to play with growing confidence and assurance.

He set up Humphreys’ second try with a lovely floated pass and he then unlocked Bath’s defence with a perfectly-timed inside pass to on-loan Maks van Dyk who galloped away before drawing the final tackler to send Waller over under the posts.

But it was one-way traffic in the first half with Bath scoring the first of their tries after just two minutes. Warriors were penalised straight from the kick-off, Bath kicked the penalty to touch, won the lineout and made the most of a penalty advantage to work left wing Will Muir over.

Surprisingly Rhys Priestland was unable to add the conversion which brought to an end his Premiership record of 36 consecutive successful kicks.

But Priestland did not have to wait long to find his range as hooker Tom Dunn burrowed over four minutes later followed by Zach Mercer, who Warriors will be relieved is joining Montpellier next season.

Muir wrapped up the bonus point with his second try after 23 minutes and Bath continued to average a point a minute when Ben Spencer dotted down.

Warriors lost Nick David, who took a blow to the head in a heavy tackle on the half hour, which meant an earlier-than-expected appearance for Francois Venter.

The South Africa international soon made his presence felt with a couple of important tackles and a strong carry which led Warriors’ best period of pressure before the break.

But the patient approach work went unrewarded as Warriors were penalised at a ruck, Bath kicked to touch and capitalised on confusion in defence when centre Max Clark crossed in first half injury time.

Warriors hit back soon after the resumption when Batley charged down an attempted clearance from Priestland, regathered and showed his pace and mobility to race clear.

Humphreys crossed for his first try four minutes later when patient approach work forced Bath to concede penalties under pressure and the overlap was worked for the left wing to power over.

Bath responded with a second try from Dunn from a driving maul but Warriors were stronger in defence in the second half and the more dangerous side with ball in hand.

Humphreys’ second try came with just six minutes on the clock but Warriors retained possession and concentration to pin Bath back in their 22 and Smith’s pass set up van Dyk and Waller to salvage a deserved bonus point from what could have been a much heavier defeat.

Warriors | 15 Nick David (Venter 29), 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Oli Morris, 12 Will Butler, 11 Perry Humphreys, 10 Fin Smith, 9 Gareth Simpson (Hougaard 54), 1 Marc Thomas (Waller 47), 2 Isaac Miller (Annett 47), 3 Joe Morris (van Dyk 57), 4 Andrew Kitchener (Clegg 61), 5 Joe Batley, 6 Ted Hill (C), 7 Matt Kvesic (du Preez 53), 8 Tom Dodd.

Replacements | 16 Niall Annett, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Maks van Dyk , 19 Justin Clegg, 20 Cornell du Preez, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Francois Venter.

2m | Muir try 5-0
7m | Dunn try 10-0
8m | Priestland con 12-0
18m | Mercer try 17-0
19m | Priestland con 19-0
23m | Muir try 24-0
24m | Priestland con 26-0
27m | Spencer try 31-0
28m | Priestland con 33-0
40m | Clark try 38-0
40m | Priestland con 40-0
42m | Batley try 40-5
46m | Humphreys try 40-10
51m | Dunn try 45-10
52m | Bailey con 47-10
74m | Humphreys try 47-15
77m | Waller try 47-20
78m | Smith con 47-22

Competition: Gallagher Premiership Rugby
Venue: Recreation Ground
Referee: Adam Leal
Game Type: Away
Fixture Round: 14
No. Name T C D P
15 Tom de Glanville
14 Ruaridh McConnochie
13 Jonathan Joseph
12 Max Clark 1T
11 Will Muir 2T
10 Rhys Priestland 5C
9 Ben Spencer 1T
1 Juan Schoeman
2 Tom Dunn 2T
3 Henry Thomas
4 Josh McNally
5 Elliott Stooke
6 Miles Reid
7 Sam Underhill
8 Zach Mercer 1T
16 Jack Walker
17 Arthur Cordwell
18 Kieran Verden
19 Tom Ellis
20 Ethan Staddon
21 Will Chudley
22 Orlando Bailey 1C
23 Joe Cokanasiga