7 - 13HT -

Recreation Ground
Wed 30 Mar 22

Highlights & Report | Bath Rugby 7-13 Worcester Warriors

Warriors secured a place in the Premiership Rugby Cup semi-finals with a performance of guts and character at a rain-lashed Rec.

A try from Tom Howe and eight points from the boot of acting-captain Billy Searle – all the points coming in the second half – clinched a first-ever win at The Rec and booked Warriors’ passage to the last four.

A bonus point win would have ensured home advantage in the semis but Gloucester took top spot in Pool One and Warriors progressed as the best runner-up. A semi-final at Kingsholm on April 26 or 27 now awaits.

Given the dreadful weather conditions – heavy rain throughout and an icy wind – and the disruption in the build-up, the team and coaches deserve huge praise for a brave performance on the road.

The COVID and respiratory illness that swept through the camp last week meant there was little time to prepare for this game, three players had to be brought in loan from Hartpury to ensure the match went ahead and even then Warriors had to name a bench that had seven forwards and just one back – Will Chudley – on it.

Chudley and Kai Owen were the only two replacements used which meant that 13 players had to play the full 80 minutes, including lock Justin Clegg who had only just completed his COVID isolation period.

Clegg and James Scott had big parts to play in the win, disrupting Bath’s lineout throughout, Caleb Montgomery led a resilient defensive display and Searle controlled things from fly-half.

Seb Atkinson shone in attack and defence, with a brilliant covering tackle to halt what seemed a certain breakaway try proving decisive, and Matt McNab, one of the Hartpury loanees, celebrated every Warriors penalty as though he had won the cup.

In the conditions handling was always difficult and Warriors recovered from a rusty first-half showing to take control after the break.

Warriors dominated the first quarter but had no points to show for it but, crucially, turned around only seven points down with Bath hooker John Stewart being driven over from a lineout for the opening try and George Worboys adding the conversion.

Warriors improved their kick-chase game in the second half and were level within five minutes of the restart with a sustained period of pressure stretching Bath’s defence and allowing Atkinson to thread through a kick that Howe gathered to score his 30th try for the club and bring up his 150th point.

Searle added a difficult conversion from out on the right and twice applied the punishment when Bath gave away penalties under pressure.

With attacking opportunities at a premium, Warriors had to settle for the win rather than the bonus point but they needed an outstanding defensive effort to repel a series of close range attacks from Bath in the final ten minutes.

Chudley’s experience helped the cause but there was late drama when, with just two seconds left on the clock, Bath were awarded a penalty.

They kicked it to the corner but Scott read the lineout call, got a hand to the ball and it was snaffled by Jack Owlett who hoofed it off the pitch to start the celebrations.

Warriors | 15 Perry Humphreys, 14 Tom Howe, 13 Robbie Smith, 12 Seb Atkinson, 11 Matt McNab, 10 Billy Searle (C), 9 Ollie Wynn (Chudley 65), 1 Lewis Holsey (Owen 47), 2 Beck Cutting, 3 Jack Owlett, 4 James Scott, 5 Justin Clegg, 6 Jack Forsythe, 7 Finn Thomas, 8 Caleb Montgomery.

Replacements | 16 Joe Richardson, 17 Kai Owen, 18 Mitch Walsh, 19 Cheick Kone, 20 Harvey Cuckson, 21 Lekima Ravuvu, 22 Will Chudley, 23 Ben Murphy.

22m | Stewart try 5-0
23m | Worboys con 7-0
43m | Howe try 7-5
44m | Searle con 7-7
52m | Searle pen 7-10
60m | Searle pen 7-13

Competition: Premiership Rugby Cup
Venue: Recreation Ground
Game Type:
Fixture Round:


To be announced…