ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Friday Apr 26, 2024

Saracens cancel out Russell-less Bath as chances go awry

Bath’s recreation ground was the setting for Friday night’s heavyweight Gallagher Premiership clash between second-place Bath and third-place Saracens, with both sides looking to secure a favourable points advantage heading into the business end of the season.

ADVERTISEMENT

The home crowd slowly built up their anticipation with kickoff imposing, but it wasn’t until the Bath lads made their semi-circle arc towards the changing rooms that the home faithful truly started to generate the hum expected for such an occasion.

No sooner had the smoky remains of the pre-game cannons exited the air, the Bath forwards targeted Owen Farrell’s boot. An early charge down from giant lock Charlie Ewels almost caused a calamitous start for the visitors, with Mark McCall’s men only let off after a scrum was called for a later knock-on.

The early stages were dominated by a nervous kick-tennis routine, with the two teams attempting to work each other out, broken up only by the odd fumble. The first real attacking impact was made through Bath’s rampaging wingers, Joe Cokanasiga and Will Muir as they, alongside number 8 Alfie Barbeary, made huge inroads into the Saracens defence. Sadly for the home side, in a theme that would continue throughout the match, their ability to convert on front foot ball was severely limited.

Following a touch judge decision over a Bath clearance kick, screams of “it’s up there sir” from an enraged Owen Farrell managed to rile up a Saracens side that had clearly brought their A-game to the Rec. Channeling this passion, it was shortly the Saracens captain that provided the playmaking touches for his sides’ first try of the evening, as Tom Parton slid over in the corner.

The match entered the end of the first quarter with neither side having taken a clear advantage. Bath held the majority of the possession with a consistent kicking game that saw Saracens caught napping under the high ball on more than one occasion, whereas Saracens were looking more threatening with the limited ball they had in hand.

ADVERTISEMENT

The impressive boot of Ben Spencer regularly clamped Saracens back in their own 22, but despite this Bath failed to imprint their own score on the first half, even after Saracens’ gameplan was set on a very narrow knife-edge when Maro Itoje recieved his marching orders. The giant lock had collided with England hopeful Alife Barbeary in the centre field leading to a yellow card.

Saracens concluded the half with talented winger, Rotimi Segun gliding home to collect a chipped ball – as the home side failed to match their visitors pace.

Bath, without the influence of Finn Russell, appeared to struggle breaking the gain line, making unforced errors in times which they appeared to be in control.

Half Time: Bath 0 – 12 Saracens

ADVERTISEMENT

After sustained pressure from a Bath side, desperate to find their way back into the match, South African import Thomas Du Toit emerged from the bottom of a very clustered pile of bodies to bring the match back to just one score. Ill discipline from the Saracens forwards continued to cost the London side as Bath continued to put further pressure on, eventually leading to yet another roll over try…this time from substitute Cameron Redpath with only his first touch of the ball.

An animated Johan van Graan was spotted down at the touchline as flyhalf Orlando Bailey was brought off, matched later by a Saracens coaching crew that almost tore the medieval Rec roof off with their screams and cheers when Theo Dan broke the Bath line with just ten minutes to go.

With just three minutes remaining, Farrell found yet another way to wind up the Bath faithful as he ran the clock down in front of the Thatchers Stand, leading to piercing boos around the open arena.

Final Score: Bath 12 – 15 Saracens

Bath were masters of their own downfall. Despite periods of constant pressure, their inability to finish off opportunities, coupled with silly mistakes and a shoddy lineout return meant that boys in blue black and white slip behind their visitors in the table.

Despite the disappointing result, Van Graan remains confident in the playoff chase.

Comments




Related Articles

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Debate rages on after Maro Itoje sent to...

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Chiefs run away with victory over Waratahs...

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Statement: Owen Farrell to join World XV



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Five of the best tries from the Investec Champions Cup

  • 16 WEEKS AGO

    The dummy that sold the whole of Perth - including the cameraman

  • 17 WEEKS AGO

    Bayonne score 'one of the best tries you'll ever see' in latest match against Exeter

  • 17 WEEKS AGO

    Baloucoune shows Andy Farrell what he's missing as the winger tears through Harlequins defence

  • 29 WEEKS AGO

    Seriously impressive Courtney Lawes compilation released after England player calls time on international career

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Danny care binned for high tackle on Courtney Lawes

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Debate rages on after Maro Itoje sent to bin for high shot

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Fiji Drua player Lomani slapped with ban following elbow attack

  • 15 WEEKS AGO

    The sending off that rocked the Six Nations opener

  • 16 WEEKS AGO

    Wrecking ball beats 10 players to score full length of the pitch try

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Danny care binned for high tackle on Courtney Lawes

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Wild start at Twickenham as Quins pull off another wonder-try

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Tickets now on sale as World XV set to face France in thrilling encounter

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    '60 metres, plus change' - massive drop goal stuns fans

  • 6 WEEKS AGO

    Referee makes 'tackle of the season' as he gets too close to the action

View All

Funnies

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Nick David unexpectedly shows up to semi final in full kit

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: The worst camera angle in rugby history

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Louis Rees-Zammit's real reason for NFL move exposed

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    George Ford falls victim to the kickers curse

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Awesome scenes as Blitzbok fan throws down at the HSBC SVNS

View All

Amateur

  • 71 WEEKS AGO

    You Won’t See Many Better Than This Silky-Smooth Try From Llandovery RFC

  • 71 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes As Caldy RFC Hand Ealing First Championship Defeat Of The Season

  • 94 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 94 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 94 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

View All

Player Features

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    2024 Guinness Women’s Six Nations Player of The Championship

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Mack Hansen breaks down over ‘lack of craic’ in comedy skit

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Harlequins make giant new signing

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Nick David unexpectedly shows up to semi final in full kit

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Billy Vunipola releases statement following arrest

View All