Leicester Tigers have claimed a 35-22 bonus-point win on New Year’s Eve in front of a sell-out crowd Mattioli Woods Welford Road.
A clinical 25-minute flurry in the first half saw the visitors off, a frustrating second 40 giving Tigers something to work on ahead of the visit of Saracens on Saturday.
Tigers looked good from the off, winning the early collisions and working their way into Bath’s territory.
Despite their dominance, it was Tigers who would concede first, Bath scrumhalf Louis Schreuder pinching a pass from Pollard to score from long range.
The early knock didn’t dent Tigers’ confidence however, and I wouldn’t be long before backrow Matt Rogerson was muscling his way over the line, Pollard converting from under the sticks.
That score got the home side going, the forwards turning the screw up front with their physicality in-tight.
The backs were in the mood as well though. Generating quick ball, scrumhalf Tom Whiteley pulled Tigers attack left, and quickly around the corner. With a slight overlap, Whiteley found a perfect pass to Mike Brown and the veteran showed his class to score on his first ever Premiership start on the wing.
In the lead, Tigers went hunting for more. James Cronin and as next to score, the Irish prop burrowing under Bath defenders to score.
At 21-7, Tigers now needed just one more try for a first half bonus point, and Jasper Wiese wasn’t waiting around, the bruising backrower bowling through Bath off the kickoff.
With momentum, Tigers worked their way deep in the visitors area and George Martin was simply too powerful to stop from close range. Pollard kicked his fourth conversion to make it 28-7.
Bath did knock over a penalty before the break, making it 28-10 as the teams ran to the tunnel.
Tigers head coach Dan McKellar admitted after the game that the second half was frustrating from the home side’s point of view, but a penalty try forced at the maul early on in the second half certainly put Leicester in a strong position, 35-10, as Bath found a purple patch.
Leicester did have their chances to push on, but it was Bath who would bag a couple late tries to make it 35-22 at the final whistle.