Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles

Tigers dig deep to secure victory over Bath

Figure image
Dan Cole scored his first try in 78 games as Leicester Tigers fought their way to a 21-11 victory over Bath Rugby.

England international prop Cole swooped on loose ball on the Bath line to score only his third try in 141 appearances for the club.
 
Converted by Tommy bell, it gave Tigers breathing space in a huge Aviva Premiership battle played in filthy conditions at Welford Road.
 
Tigers had trailed to Anthony Watson’s early score but fought their way into a half-time lead through Telusa Veainu’s 80m intercept try and two Tommy Bell penalties.
 
George Ford landed two penalties to bring Bath level going into the closing stages but Bell held his nerve to score the go-ahead penalty with 15 minutes left before Cole settled matters with his late try.

The result lifted Tigers to third in the table and inflicted a third defeat on Bath in five Aviva Premiership fixtures this season.
 
Ed Slater made his 100th appearance for the club and made his first start of the campaign alongside Mike Fitzgerald in the second row.
 
Mike Williams and Lachlan McCaffrey return to the back row alongside Brendon O'Connor. A reshuffled backline included skipper Mathew Tait at full-back, Telusa Veainu on the wing and Peter Betham alongside Matt Smith at centre.
 
Matt Banahan made his 200th appearance for Bath in their midfield. The visitors included Tigers old boys Horacio Agulla and George Ford in their ranks.
 
Bath made a bright start with Kyle Eastmond stepping his way through the midfield and finding Semesa Rokoduguni on the right flank. Tait raced across to make the tackle and Adam Thompstone collected to offload to concede a lineout 8m out.
 
Tait appeared to pick up a knock in the tackle and was replaced moments later by George Catchpole. Veainu moved to full-back and Catchpole slotted in on the wing.
 
The lively Veainu was given the chance to stretch his legs when Tigers swooped on loose ball on halfway but he was tackled into touch by Ford.
 
Torrential rain fell early in the game, but Bath made light of the conditions to score the game’s first try. Agulla fielded a high kick and set up a swift counterattack that saw Nikola Matawalu break down the left, feed Banahan who in turn found Watson on his inside for a run to the corner.

Ford missed his conversion but Bell showed him the way to do it with a scrum penalty on 15 minutes to cut the deficit to 5-3.
 
Thompstone’s well-weighted kick into Bath territory put Ford under pressure on his own line, but he stepped past the advancing Veainu and found touch.
 
It was a scrappy affair, not helped by the heavy rain and a strong, gusty wind, with both teams guilty of errors in handling and passing. One promising Tigers move, which began with Mike Williams breaking a tackle and continued with Ben Youngs’s dart, ended when McCaffrey’s pass was caught on the wind and taken forward into touch.
 
With half-time approaching, Bath hammered away at the Leicester defence and created a hint of an overlap on their right. But Veainu read the danger and intercepted Nick Auterac’s pass before racing the length of the field to score his third try in his last two games. It gave Tigers the lead for the first time in the game and got the Welford Road crowd off their seats.
 
And they were in full voice again moments later when Betham exchanged passes with Fitzgerald to take Tigers deep into Bath territory. Bath were eventually pinged for going offside and Bell's penalty moved Leicester into an 11-5 lead at the break.
 
A clever lineout routine at the start of the second period allowed Matawalu and Tom Ellis to make ground down the Leicester right, but Matawalu knocked on as he rejoined the attack and the chance went away.
 
However, Tigers were pinged at the resulting scrum and Ford’s penalty cut Leicester’s lead to 11-8. And another penalty, this time for hands in the ruck, allowed Ford to draw Bath level 10 minutes into the second period.

Bath then had Tigers under pressure with a driving lineout. It was eventually pulled down eight metres short, resulting in Slater being shown a yellow card.

However, Tigers coped admirably in his absence, and held out without conceding a point. The first test came from the penalty lineout, which met stern resistance. And when the ball was moved infield, Banahan knocked-on to ease the pressure.
 
Williams moved into the second row for the resulting scrum, with Smith packing down at flanker. Tigers secured their ball and ran from deep in their 22 with only a finger-tip tackle preventing Veainu bursting free.
 
Tigers then won a scrum penalty some 40m out, and although Bell's kick held up on the wind, it signalled a shift in the momentum of the game.
 
Tigers earned another penalty as Bath failed to roll at the back of a ruck. Graham Kitchener replaced Slater at the end of the sin-bin period before Bell took on the kick. And this time he drilled the ball low and through the posts to give Leicester a 14-11 lead.
 
It set up a tense final 15 minutes. Not that there was any sign of tension in the Leicester backs when they ran the ball from inside their own 22, this time Bell, Smith and Thompstone making good headway but a handling error brought the attack to an end on the Leicester 10m line.
 
Excellent work by replacement Tom Croft won a penalty on halfway and the subsequent lineout gave Tigers the platform to test Bath’s maul defence. Tigers made 30m before the drive was pulled down on the line, and referee JP Doyle showed David Denton, the Bath replacement, a yellow card.
 
It meant Bath finished the game with 14 men.
 
Tigers made the man-advantage count at the next play, setting up the drive and while Tom Youngs lost control of the ball, it went backwards onto Francois Louw who could only direct it into Cole’s path and the tighthead swooped to score from close range. It was his first try for Tigers since scoring against Gloucester Rugby in the Cup in 2011. Bell's conversion gave Tigers a 10-point cushion.
 
Ford turned down a penalty attempt with five minutes remaining that could have given Bath a losing bonus point. Instead he went for the corner where replacement hooker Tom Dunn was wayward with his throw, giving Tigers the scrum put-in.
 
However, Tigers were unable to clear their lines giving Bath one last attack. But again it fell on a determined defence, with Tigers forcing the knock-on and then winning the penalty as Bath went off their feet.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 11-5 BAT

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 21-11 BAT

Attendance

22,530

Referee

JP Doyle

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
21

Full Time

Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby
11

Match Stats

Leicester Tigers
Bath Rugby
Possession
44%
56%
Territory
39%
61%
Penalties Conceded
11
12
Yellow Cards
1
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
98/119 82%
71/82 87%
Scrums Won
7/8 88%
5/7 71%
Lineouts Won
10/10 0%
13/13 0%

Player Stats

Leicester Tigers
Bath Rugby
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Mathew Tait
14Adam Thompstone
13Peter Betham
12Matt Smith
11Telusa Veainu1T
10Tommy Bell1C3P
9Ben Youngs
1Marcos Ayerza
2Tom Youngs
3Dan Cole1T
4Ed Slater
5Michael Fitzgerald
6Mike Williams
7Brendon O'Connor
8Lachlan McCaffrey
16Greg Bateman
17Matias Aguero
18Fraser Balmain
19Graham Kitchener
20Tom Croft
21Sam Harrison
22Seremaia Bai
23George Catchpole

Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Anthony Watson
14
Semesa Rokoduguni
13
Matt Banahan
12
Kyle Eastmond
11
Horacio Agulla
10
George Ford
9
Nikola Matawalu
1
Nick Auterac
2
Ross Batty
3
Henry Thomas
4
Stuart Hooper
5
Tom Ellis
6
Matt Garvey
7
8
Leroy Houston

Subs

16
Tom Dunn
17
18
Max Lahiff
19
David Denton
20
Guy Mercer
21
Chris Cook
22
Rhys Priestland
23
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
4
Leicester Tigers
Leicester TigersLEI2214085094753455486365
9
Bath Rugby
Bath RugbyBAT229013435460-2547434848
Form Guide
Form
WLWLW
Last Match
Beat Wasps 38-31
Past Meeting
Lost 20-21
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Form
LLLDW
Last Match
Beat Northampton Saints 30-24
Past Meeting
Won 21-20

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers21
Leicester Tigers
Bath Rugby11
Bath Rugby
Full Time