Sunday, May 04, 2008
Bath booked their place in the Guinness Premiership play-offs, and in the process brought a first league title for 12 years into sight, following a breathless display of running rugby that left Saracens gasping.
Bath have been moulded into an irresistible unit and Saracens, despite fielding seven of the side who were on duty against Munster in their Heineken Cup semi-final defeat last weekend, were simply blown away.
The bonus-point victory Bath required to guarantee a play-off spot was never in doubt as they moved to the top of the table above long-time leaders Gloucester. Bath even played a chunk of the game with 14 men after South Africans Michael Claassens and Butch James were sin-binned, but it made no difference to the overall picture.
Olly Barkley put in a Man of the Match performance, scoring 31 points, with two tries and a superb display of flawless goalkicking.
Wing Matt Banahan scored the game's outstanding individual try - a 70-metre solo effort which now makes him the Premiership's top scorer this season, with ten tries to his name.
Saracens stemmed the tide briefly in the second half through a few tries of their own, but it was not enough, as Bath came out with the emphatic victory by 66 points to 21.
Note: These are extended highlights, so the clip is over 10 minutes long.