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Tigers suffer heavy defeat at Bath

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Leicester Tigers went down to a first defeat of the Aviva Premiership campaign as Bath Rugby celebrated a record home attendance with a 45-0 victory on Saturday afternoon.

Injury-hit Tigers conceded five tries in total as their old rivals recorded a bonus-point victory in front of 12,817 spectators, a record at their Recreation Ground home.

It was not the only record to fall on the day. The defeat was Tigers' heaviest in the Premiership and their third biggest losing margin. It was also the second time Tigers had gone without scoring a point in the Premiership, after a trip to Northampton in 2003/04.
 
Tigers, already deprived of the services of 12 senior players, were forced to rejig their backline after Anthony Allen and Manu Tuilagi withdrew through injury.Owen Williams and Matt Smith replaced them for their first starts of the season.
 
Tom Croft made his first start for Tigers since the opening day of last season in one of three changes in the pack, with Leonardo Ghiraldini and Jordan Crane also coming into the starting line-up.
 
Bath included former Tigers fly-half George Ford.
 
A mistake by Ford, pumping the ball dead in-goal from his own 10m line, gave Tigers the put-in at the game’s first scrum. However, Tigers could only secure scrappy possession before conceding a penalty for holding on, setting the tone for the first half.
 
Bath turned over lineout ball on the Tigers 22 to put the visitors under pressure. They eventually worked an overlap on the right where Carl Fearns found Semesa Rokoduguni to dive in at the corner. Ford added the touchline conversion to give Bath a 7-0 lead after 10 minutes.
 
Ford landed a penalty from the opposite touchline four minutes later as the Tigers scrum came under pressure again.
 
Rokoduguni then turned provider moments later, his deft pass putting Jonathan Joseph through a gap on halfway and past the Tigers defence for Bath’s second try. Ford’s conversion went over with the aid of the right-hand post.
 
Williams’ neat kick from turnover ball was taken into touch 10m from his own line by Matt Banahan to give Tigers their first attacking platform. However, Bath defended the set-piece well before David Wilson kicked the ball out of the ruck.
 
A sweeping backs move took Bath back into the Leicester half where Goneva had to be alert to Rokoduguni’s mazy run before Paul James knocked-on at the next phase.
 
Bath were a constant threat on the counterattack through their pacey backs and Morris had to be alive to Ford’s kick wide intended for Banahan. However, Tigers were unable to clear the danger and the Bath forwards set up Ford for the drop goal that moved Bath 20-0 ahead.
 
Smith made inroads down the left as Tigers looked to get on the scoreboard before half-time. However, Williams was pinged for coming in at the side to end the attack on the Bath 22.
 
Instead, Ford landed his third penalty as Tigers infringed at a lineout drive, to give Bath a 23-0 half-time lead.
 
There were no changes at half-time. Tigers enjoyed some decent possession at the start of the second period, with Croft invited to stretch his legs down the left. But Logovi’I Mulipola’s knock-on and Ford turned defence into attack. Tait’s clearance found a short touch and when Tigers pulled down the resulting maul Ford extended the lead to 26-0.
 
A lineout close to the Bath line gave Tigers the chance to pressure the hosts. However, the ball was lost forward as Tigers set up the drive and Bath counterattacked from deep through Joseph. Bath flooded forward, and with the Tigers defence struggling to get back, the hosts set up a ruck close to the line for Eastmond to score from close range.
 
Tigers brought on Tom Youngs, Riccardo Brugnara and Sam Harrison for Ghiraldini, Mulipola and Smith respectively. Harrison came in on the wing with Goneva moving to centre.
 
Bath were now looking for a bonus-point score, with Ford kicking two penalties into the corner. But solid work from Salvi on the floor, in the shadow of his posts, drew the penalty from Eastmond for holding on.
 
Croft tested the Bath defence with a chip and chase down the left lank but full-back Luke Arscott was alive to the danger and mopped up in his own 22. Harrison was then stopped just short of the line as Tigers hunted a way back into the game heading into the final quarter.
 
Harrison then charged onto ball at the back of the lineout, and was bundled over by his supporting forwards but the Bath pack held the ball up over the line.
 
Instead it was Bath who scored next, and grabbed their bonus point in the process with another length-of-the-field score. Ford’s kick into space bounced kindly for replacement wing Olly Woodburn who had Leroy Houston in support. Houston took the tackle of last-man Morris and returned the pass for Woodburn to score. Ford’s conversion extended Bath’s lead to 38-0 with 12 minutes left.
 
Bath ended the game with 14 men when Nick Auterac was given a yellow card for a high tackle on Robert Barbieri.
 
Javiah Pohe, on for his debut, looked to take advantage with a bullocking run in midfield. It created space for Ghiraldini to burrow over next to the posts, but he was pulled back for a second movement.
 
Bath broke the full length of the pitch for their fifth score. Rokoduguni broke from his own 22 through a scattered Leicester defence. Replacement back rower Alafoti Faosiliva was in support before substitute scum-half Peter Stringer dived over for the fifth try, despite the efforts of Croft.
 
Tigers went down to 14 men themselves with time almost up, replacement scrum-half David Mele receiving a red card for using his boot at a ruck.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

BAT 23-0 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

BAT 45-0 LEI

Attendance

12,817

Referee

Wayne Barnes

Match Stats

Bath Rugby
Leicester Tigers
Possession
42%
58%
Territory
44%
56%
Penalties Conceded
7
12
Yellow Cards
1
0
Red Cards
0
1
Tackles Won
132/143 92%
98/121 81%
Scrums Won
2/2 100%
5/8 62%
Lineouts Won
12/12 0%
16/16 0%

Player Stats

Bath Rugby
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15
14Niall Morris
13
12
11
10
9Ben Youngs
1Logovi'i Mulipola
2
3Fraser Balmain
4Graham Kitchener
5Geoff Parling
6
7Julian Salvi
8
16Tom Youngs
17Riccardo Brugnara
18Tiziano Pasquali
19Sebastian De Chaves
20Robert Barbieri
21David Mele
22
23Javiah Pohe
Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby
45

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
0

Tigers Lineup

Starting XV

Niall Morris
14
Niall Morris
12
11
10
2
Fraser Balmain
3
Fraser Balmain
Geoff Parling
5
Geoff Parling
Julian Salvi
7
Julian Salvi
8

Subs

Riccardo Brugnara
17
Riccardo Brugnara
Tiziano Pasquali
18
Tiziano Pasquali
Sebastian De Chaves
19
Sebastian De Chaves
Robert Barbieri
20
Robert Barbieri
David Mele
21
David Mele
Javiah Pohe
23
Javiah Pohe

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Luke Arscott
14
Semesa Rokoduguni
13
Jonathan Joseph
12
11
Matt Banahan
10
George Ford
9
Chris Cook
1
Paul James
2
3
4
Stuart Hooper
5
Dave Attwood
6
7
8
Leroy Houston

Subs

16
Tom Dunn
17
Nick Auterac
18
Henry Thomas
19
Dominic Day
20
21
22
Ollie Devoto
23
Olly Woodburn
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
2
Bath Rugby
Bath RugbyBAT22160662541421172439275
3
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2215164534213237394268
Form Guide
Form
LWDLL
Last Match
Lost to Wasps 44-52
Past Meeting
Lost 31-36
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
WDWDD
Last Match
Draw with Bayonne null-null
Past Meeting
Won 36-31