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Match report: Tigers edged out at The Rec

Leicester Tigers were beaten 33-31 at Bath Rugby in the second round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday, losing the lead with just over a minute left on the clock after a valiant performance from a young squad but taking two bonus points in consolation.

A second try of the season for Jonah Holmes and two kicks from Tom Hardwick gave Tigers a 10-0 lead by the 20-minute mark on a crisp and clear evening in the West Country, and Adam Thompstone followed a try in his return to the team a week earlier with another score as the visitors made the most of their opportunities in the opening half.

The lead sat at 11 points before Freddie Burns converted his own try just before half-time, bringing the home side back into the game at 13-17.

A second from Holmes gave Tigers some breathing space again at the start of the second period without being able to pull decisively clear.

Ben White’s first senior try dragged the lead out to 12 points and at last guaranteed one bonus point after a huge effort in defence from the entire team.

But with the work in defence against some big carriers in the Bath line-up taking its toll and penalties mounting up, a penalty try in the 78th minute finally titled the balance in favour of the home side.

Tigers, who launched their cup-winning campaign in 2016/17 with a narrow win at The Rec, kicked off their defence of the title with a 26-24 victory over Gloucester at Welford Road while Bath won at London Irish.

For their 99th visit to The Rec, Harry Thacker led out a team which included nine academy graduates, with another five among the replacements where teenagers Sam Wager and Will Yarnell were gaining a first experience of senior rugby.

Coach Geordan Murphy gave senior debuts to development squad trio Jordan Olowofela, Tom Hardwick and Tommy Reffell, with USA international prop Chris Baumann earning a first start.

Bath named former Tigers fly-half Burns in the No10 jersey, while skipper Matt Garvey made his 100th appearance for the club and led a side which included the experienced Matt Banahan, Tom Homer and Nick Auterac.

After Remembrance Day tributes, it was Bath who to the game under way with Burns kicking towards the clubhouse end and, although they gained some useful possession, Tigers stuck to the task in defence while also making a mess of their opposition’s early lineouts.

The opening points came with a Hardwick penalty after 10 minutes, with Bath judged offside in front of their own posts following a move which started with Thompstone’s kick-chase and allowed Harry Simmons to show his pace down the left.

Holmes then quickly turned defence into attack on the opposite flank, ripping ball from Jack Wilson on the Tigers 22 and, as the visitors quickly opened up the play, Charlie Thacker kicked in behind the Bath defence. Referee Greg Macdonald, though, awarded Bath a penalty just as Tigers looked to peg their hosts back in their own territory and Burns was able to kick up towards halfway.

Bath set up a promising maul as they claimed the lineout ball, but good pressure from the Tigers defence was rewarded with the breakthrough score.

Charlie Thacker charged down a kick from Burns and hacked ahead, with Olowofela and Holmes leading the chase. Holmes read the bounce and dived over for his second try in successive games to stretch the lead to eight points. Hardwick made it double figures with a well-judged conversion from wide on the right.

The Bath pack looked like they would provide an instant response, carrying threateningly, but lost possession just 10 metres from the posts.

The hosts finally got on the scoreboard in the 25th minute, Burns knocking over a simple penalty after Harry Thacker had been whistled at a ruck just 10 metres out from the posts.

Another big defensive effort kept Bath at arm’s length through a series of phases of possession before centre Thacker was penalised for not releasing in a tackle and Burns again called for the tee and cut the gap to four points with his second kick of the evening as the clock passed the half-hour mark.

When Bath were penalised at a ruck near halfway, Hardwick put a confident kick into the corner on the left-hand side to set up a second score and a big confidence-booster for the Tigers pack.

Claiming clean lineout ball, the Tigers forwards got their driving maul set and with Wells steering from the front, it was Thompstone who took the tiller, dropping down over the line for his second try in seven days.

Hardwick’s conversion made it 17-6 entering the final five minutes of the half.

Tigers could have done with holding out until the whistle from referee Greg Macdonald but it was Burns who gave Bath a lifeline with a solo score with slightly more than a minite-and-a-half remaining.

After Hardwick had brought down a break from flanker Josh Bayliss, referee Macdonald was playing a penalty advantage when Burns took ball 15 metres out and managed to chip and catch on the tryline to provide a precious score. He got up to add the conversion and cut the deficit to four points for a second time.

Burns also supplied the opening points of the second half, kicking a penalty from 25 metres as the home side trailed by a point at 16-17.

But a superb second score from Holmes provided another cushion for Tigers just two minutes later, latching on to a break by Olowofela and running on to his offload with precision timing to run in on the left. Hardwick added the extras as Tigers moved eight points in front.

It looked like Bath had responded with a try of their own for Banahan, but the referee confirmed that the ball had been lost forward on the tryline after consultation with the TMO. It was just reward for a huge shift from the Tigers defence who repeatedly made their shots and g0t back to their feet to keep the intact.

Bath, though, won a penalty at the resultant scrum five metres out and Burns, taking the captaincy as Garvey made way, knocked it over to make the score 19-24.

Frantic defence from Tigers kept Bath out through another set of phases on their 22, with Banahan prominent as a ball-carrier.

At their next attack, they looked to set up Banahan again, but Fred Tuilagi made a superb interception and then broke out, kicking upfield to relieve the pressure.

The rewards for his team-mates came with a bonus-point try just after the hour mark, with scrum-half White supporting a break to run in next to the posts, spinning in a tackle from full-back Homer dot down. Hardwick again added the kick as the visitors led 31-19.

Bath continued to use their biggest carriers to test the Tigers defence and threatened with a penalty into the left-hand corner, only to knock-on at the lineout.

But as Tuilagi tried to pick up at the base of the scrum which followed, Bath managed to pressure the ball and Zach Mercer dived over for an opportunist score, just as it looked as if the visitors had weathered that storm. Burns kicked to bring the deficit to less than a score at 26-31 with 13 minutes still to play.

There were some tired bodies still managing to stick to their task, with Olowofela kicking clear when Banahan chipped in behind the Tigers defence

Tuilagi was whistled for a high tackle just inside his own half as Bath threatened once more, and teenage scrum-half Yarnell made a piece of history as the game restarted, replacing White and becoming the first player born since the millennium to make a first-team appearance for the club.

Another penalty, this time for collapsing the maul, kept Tigers hemmed in and referee Macdonald spoke to Wells, who had taken over as captain when Thacker was withdrawn, as a final warning about team discipline. At the set-piece which followed, though, Joe Maksymiw was yellow carded as a maul collapsed five metres out and Tigers were unable then to escape from their own territory.

Bath elected to scrum from the restart, using their extra man to again push Tigers pack, and a series of penalties and resets had Tigers on the ropes in defence of their five-point lead before the referee finally ran in under the posts as another scrum went down.

With no conversion necessary under the new laws, Bath had the lead for the first time with just over a minute left to play and were able to tick down the clock to make it two wins from two in the campaign.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

BAT 13-17 LEI

FT ScoreFull Time Score

BAT 33-31 LEI

Attendance

14,354

Referee

Greg Macdonald

Match Stats

Bath Rugby
Leicester Tigers
Possession
69%
31%
Territory
73%
27%
Penalties Conceded
4
17
Yellow Cards
0
1
Red Cards
0
0
Tackles Won
85/100 85%
215/238 90%
Scrums Won
7/7 100%
7/9 78%
Lineouts Won
13/14 93%
4/5 80%

Player Stats

Bath Rugby
Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
TCDP
15Harry Simmons
14Jonah Holmes2T
13Jordan Olowofela
12Charlie Thacker
11Adam Thompstone1T
10Tom Hardwick4C1P
9Ben White1T
1Kyle Traynor
2Harry Thacker
3Chris Baumann
4Harry Wells
5Dan Tuohy
6Sam Lewis
7Tommy Reffell
8Fred Tuilagi
16Jake Kerr
17Owen Hills
18Ben Betts
19Joe Maksymiw
20Harry Mahoney
21Sam Wager
22Will Yarnell
23Ravai Fatiaki
Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby
33

Full Time

Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers
31
Bath Rugby
P
P
T
C
P
P
T
C
T
KOHTFT
Leicester Tigers
P
T
C
T
C
T
C
T
C

Commentary

80

Next Home Match

Thank you to our travelling supporters! Tigers return to Welford Road and the Premiership as we host Sale Sharks in round 8 on Sunday, November 19. See you there!

That's FULL TIME

Bath run out the ball as Tigers try to fight back in the last minute but it finishes 33-31 to the home side. 

79

Fighting Tigers

Tigers fight back at the kick-off as Bath run down the clock but give away a penalty at the ruck and Bath run out the ball as the clock goes passed 80. 

PENALTY TRY BATH

The scrum is reset for the third time but the referee awards Bath a penalty try to give Bath the lead at 33-31. 

74

And Again

Bath win ANOTHER penalty at the scrum and option to scrum again. 

74

Bath go Again

Bath win another penalty at the scrum and option to scrum again. 

Yellow Card

A yellow card is shown to Tigers Joe Maksymiw for collapsing the maul and Bath go for the scrum. 

72

And Again

Bath win another penalty and Tigers are given a warning as Bath go again to the corner for the lineout. 

71

Bath Go Again

Bath win a penalty at the driving maul and kick to the corner for another lineout. 

70

Defensive Stand

Bath look to close the gap further and work the phases into Tigers 22 with a strong Tigers defense but a high tackle from Fred Tuilagi gives Bath the penalty and they kick to the corner. 

CONVERSION BATH

Freddie Burns adds to his and Bath's tally as he slots the conversion to make it 26-31. 

TRY BATH

Tigers win the scrum but as Fred Tuilagi is tackled as he picks up the ball and it falls loose, Bath jump on the ball and run it in to score. 

64

Knocked-on in the Lineout

Tigers win a scrum when Bath's second row Stooke knocks-on in the lineout as Tigers look to keep out Bath. 

64

Bath's Ball

Bath win a penalty at the kick-off as Tigers knock-on and run the phases to get up to Tigers 22 and win a penalty, Freddie Burns kicks to the corner for the lineout. 

CONVERSION TIGERS

Tom Hardwick adds the conversion for Tigers fourth try of the match to make it 19-31. 

TRY TIGERS

Tigers build the phases into Bath's 22 and create a gap with a number of out the back offloads for Ben White to fight the last Bath tackle to find the tryline. 

58

Tigers Intercept

Bath pass out the ball from the lineout but Fred Tuilagi intercepts and after a few steps chips ahead and into Bath's 22. 

57

Huge Hit

Bath win a free-kick from the scrum and run it quickly but Adam Thompstone makes a huge tackle on the scrum-half in defense. Tigers are penalised at the ruck and Bath kick for the lineout outside Tigers 22. 

57

Tigers Clear the 22

Tigers clear the ball from the 22 and the resulting phases see Tigers get up to the Bath 22 before the ball is lost forward from Tigers to give Bath the scrum. 

55

Middle of the Field Action

Tigers and Bath run some brilliant rugby but it is all within the Tigers and Bath 22's but Tigers defense forces a Bath knock-on to give Tigers a scrum on our 22. 

PENALTY BATH

Freddie Burns steps up to add to Bath's score with a penalty in front the of the posts to make it 19-24. 

49

Handbags

Bath win a penalty at the scrum but there are few ruffled feathers and handbags before Bath opt to go for the posts. 

49

No Try

The TMO rules the ball is lost forward by Bath so Tigers get the scrum on Tigers 5 metre line. 

49

Possible Try for Bath

Bath work the ball over the Tigers tryline but is it held up? The Referee goes to the TMO...

47

Bath run the Ball

Bath win a turnover after the kick-off and build the phases and work the ball into Tigers 22, getting the ball up to Tigers 5 metre line. 

CONVERSION TIGERS

Tom Hardwick adds to his tally and adds to Tigers lead as he adds the conversion to make it 16-24 at the Rec. 

TRY TIGERS

Tigers pass the ball out wide from the lineout, working it back and Jordan Olowofela offloads to Jonah Holmes who finds the space and steps the last defenders to score Tigers third try. 

43

Tigers Charge

Tigers win the ball after Bath are run into touch from the kick-off. 

PENALTY BATH

Freddie Burns closes the gap to just a point as he adds another penalty for Bath and makes it 16-17. 

41

Bath on the Charge

Bath run the ball back at Tigers from the kick-off working into Tigers half and winning a penalty outside the Tigers 22 and Bath go for the posts. 

40

We're Back Out

Both teams are back out at the Rec as we kick-off the second-half. 

Half-time at The Rec

Bath receive the kick-off and quickly kick the ball into touch to bring the game to half-time with Tigers leading by four points at 13-17. 

CONVERSION BATH

Freddie Burns adds the conversion to his try to bring the score to 13-17 just before half-time. 

TRY BATH

Bath create phases of play in Tigers 22 before Freddie Burns chips over Tigers defense, collects the ball and runs in to score. 

37

Bath Attack

Bath win a turnover after the kick-off creating phases to work into Tigers 22 and test Tigers defense as they get to the Tigers 5 metre line. 

37

Bath Fight Back

Tigers chip the ball ahead and Bath run it back as Freddie Burns dances a Tigers defender to give Bath the space to run it up into Tigers 22. 

36

Tigers Momentum

Tigers drive the ball from the kick-off as several players break the Bath defense and run the ball back into Bath's half. 

CONVERSION TIGERS

Tom Hardwick steps up to extend Tigers lead to 17-6 by adding the conversion. 

TRY TIGERS

Tigers create a driving maul from the lineout with Adam Thompstone joining on to help drive the maul over the try-line and dot down the ball for the try. 

32

Tigers Advantage

Tigers win a penalty advantage in the phases of play following the kick-off when Bath played the nine and Tigers kick to touch finding Bath's 5 metre line for the lineout. 

PENALTY BATH

Freddie Burns steps up to score Bath's second penalty of the night to close Tigers lead to 6-10. 

30

Phase after Phase

Tigers run out the ball and pass the ball wide but Bath win a penalty just inside Tigers 22, with Bath pointing at the posts. 

29

Dancing Feet

The ball is chipped back and forth between the teams before Freddie Burns chips ahead to Tigers 5 metre. Harry Simmons recovers the ball and shows his dancing feet to side step the Bath defender and run out to Tigers 22.

27

Running Rugby

Bath win the ball at the lineout and chip ahead but Jonah Holmes takes the ball for Tigers as we create a number of phases. 

26

Tigers Phases

Tigers use the ball and create a number of phases in Bath's half but a ball is passed loose and straight into touch to give Bath the lineout just inside Tigers half. 

25

Tigers win a penalty

Tigers earn a penalty from the kick-off as Bath knocked-on and Tigers win a scrum. 

Bath Penalty

Freddie Burns takes the penalty for Bath and scores the points to get Bath on the board. 

23

Bath Attack

Bath win a free kick at the lineout and run the ball pushing wide but Tigers give away a penalty in Tigers 22, Bath go for the posts.  

22

Tigers Clear

Tigers win the ball quickly out the scrum and Ben White clear the ball but Bath run the ball back into Tigers 22. Bath are covered by Tigers defense and pushed into touch but the ball is loose and Bath win the lineout. 

19

Bath Hit Back

Bath hit back at Tigers from the kick-off, driving Tigers back to the 5 metre line with several big carries but the ball is knocked-on in a tackle and Tigers win a scrum. 

CONVERSION TIGERS

Tom Hardwick steps up and slots the ball over the posts to extend Tigers lead to 10-0. 

TRY TIGERS

Bath create a driving maul from the lineout but the ball is passes out wide and a kick is charged down by Charlie Thacker who chips the ball ahead for Jonah Holmes to recover the ball and score in the corner. 

16

Bath Momentum

Bath win a penalty at the driving maul and kick for the lineout on halfway.

14

Ripped Ball

Bath run the ball wide into Tigers half but Jonah Holmes rips the ball in the tackle, offloading to Harry Simmons who kicks clear into Bath's half. Matt Banahan runs in the ball but is again stripped of the ball in the tackle and Tigers kick ahead into touch in Bath's 22. 

12

Bath win the penalty

Tigers knock the ball on in the driving maul from the lineout to give Bath a scrum on their 10 metre line. 

11

Tigers Ball

Bath win the ball at the kick-off but Tigers win a penalty when Bath hold on to the ball in the ruck and kick for the lineout in Bath's half. 

Penalty Tigers

Tom Hardwick scores Tigers first points of the match landing a penalty in front of the posts. 

9

Penalty

Tigers try to utilise the break from Harry Simmons but drop the ball before the referee blows the whistle for Bath offside. Tigers go for the posts.

9

End to End

Tigers and Bath are both testing defenses with each team taking kicks into the others 22 before Harry Simmons retains a chip ahead and breaks into the Bath 22. 

5

Scrappy ball

Bath win their ball out the lineout but the ball goes loose and in tidying up the ball Bath knock-on and Tigers get another scrum. 

4

Bath Turnover

Bath win a penalty at the scrum and Freddie Burns kicks the ball for the lineout in Tigers half. 

3

Turnover

Tigers hold Bath up in the driving maul from the lineout and win the ball for a scrum. 

2

Kick for Territory

Tigers release the ball quickly from the scrum and Ben White kicks ahead into touch just outside the Bath 22 line. 

1

Early Scrum

Bath run phases of play but Tigers defense forces a knock-on and Tigers get the scrum on the 10 metre line. 

We're Off

Tigers are receiving the ball as the second round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup kicks-off. 

0

Remembrance

and a minutes silence to remember members of the armed forces killed in action. 

0

Remembrance

The Rec stands for Last Post... 

0

And Bath Rugby

Quickly followed by captain Matt Garvey and the players from Bath Rugby. 

0

Here come the Tigers

Tigers are led out by tonight's captain Harry Thacker. 

0

Warm-ups Over

Harry Thacker leads in the teams as the warm-up comes to an end, kick-off shortly. 

0

Never Forgotten

Kick-off this evening will follow a minute's silence in remembrance of members of the armed forces killed in action. 

0

Match Preview

To catch the preview for tonight's match ahead of kick-off just visit the club website at https://www.leicestertigers.com/news/cup-preview-bath-versus-tigers 

0

Welcome to The Rec

Welcome to our evening Anglo-Welsh fixture against Bath Rugby at The Rec on whatever device, mobile app or website, we're glad to have you with us!


Opposition Lineup

Starting XV

15
Tom Homer
14
Jack Wilson
13
Max Clark
12
Matt Banahan
11
Levi Davis
10
Freddie Burns
9
Max Green
1
Nick Auterac
2
Michael Van Vuuren
3
Scott Andrews
4
Levi Douglas
5
James Phillips
6
Matt Garvey
7
Josh Bayliss
8
Paul Grant

Subs

16
Jack Walker
17
Will Vaughan
18
Sam Nixon
19
Elliott Stooke
20
Zach Mercer
21
Darren Allinson
22
Harry Davies
23
Darren Atkins

Team news: Tigers at Bath in Anglo-Welsh Cup

Leicester Tigers hand senior debuts to three academy graduates in the Anglo-Welsh Cup trip to face Bath Rugby on Friday evening.

After beginning the defence of the Cup with a win over Gloucester Rugby at Welford Road last Saturday, Tigers coach Geordan Murphy has handed debuts to Jordan Olowofela, Tom Hardwick and Tommy Reffell for the Round 2 trip to The Recreation Ground this week.

Olowofela and Hardwick have been key members of the backline in the Premiership ‘A’ League this season, while flanker Reffell captained Wales Under-18s at the start of the campaign.

USA international prop Chris Baumann is given his first start for the club since his summer arrival.

Adam Thompstone, who marked his return to the line-up with a try in the win over Gloucester, leads a senior group which also includes Dan Tuohy, Kyle Traynor and captain Harry Thacker who starts in the same team as younger brother Charlie for only the second time.

Academy prospects Sam Wager and Will Yarnell are included on the bench in their first senior call-up alongside development squad prop Owen Hills and former Fiji international centre Ravai Fatiaki.

Tigers coach Geordan Murphy said: “We’ve made some changes, we’ve got some guys who’ve not had much field time and some guys who have been waiting for their chance.

“It’ll be good experience for some young guys too. To go down to Bath and play against a strong side is a challenge but something these players can all learn from.”

Leicester Tigers (v Bath Rugby, away, Friday 7.45pm)

15 Harry Simmons

14 Jonah Holmes

13 Jordan Olowofela

12 Charlie Thacker

11 Adam Thompstone

10 Tom Hardwick

9 Ben White

1 Kyle Traynor

2 Harry Thacker (c)

3 Chris Baumann

4 Harry Wells

5 Dan Tuohy

6 Sam Lewis

7 Tommy Reffell

8 Fred Tuilagi

Replacements

16 Jake Kerr

17 Owen Hills

18 Ben Betts

19 Joe Maksymiw

20 Harry Mahoney

21 Sam Wager

22 Will Yarnell

23 Ravai Fatiaki

Bath Rugby: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Jack Wilson, 13 Max Clark, 12 Matt Banahan, 11 Levi Davis, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Max Green; 1 Nick Auterac, 2 Michael van Vuuren, 3 Scott Andrews, 4 Levi Douglas, 5 James Phillips, 6 Matt Garvey (c), 7 Josh Bayliss, 8 Paul Grant

Replacements: 16 Jack Walker, 17 Will Vaughan, 18 Sam Nixon, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Zach Mercer, 21 Darren Allinson, 22 Harry Davies, 23 Darren Atkins

Leicester Tigers travel to Bath on Friday evening with both sides boasting a winning start to the Anglo-Welsh Cup campaign.

Cup holders Tigers won 26-24 against Gloucester at Welford Road in the opening game of the pool stages last weekend while Bath won 26-22 at London Irish.

Friday’s meeting will be an eighth encounter between the teams in Anglo-Welsh competition, with Tigers leading 4-3, including three wins in four previous visits to The Recreation Ground in the tournament.

This will be a 98th visit to The Rec where Leicester’s record is won 37, drawn 10, lost 50. Overall, the clubs have met on 193 occasions with Tigers winning 134 to 67 by Bath.

Former Tigers fly-half Freddie Burns started in Bath’s win at Irish and keeps the No10 jersey this week, while Levi Davis, a Leicester academy player during his time at Denstone College, retains his place after a try-scoring appearance last weekend. Michael van Vuuren and back-rower Paul Grant, who had short spells at Tigers, also start for the hosts who include senior players Matt Banahan, Tom Homer and skipper Matt Garvey in his 100th appearance for the club.

Tigers coach Geordan Murphy retains the bulk of the matchday squad from last week, though there are senior debuts for development squad trio Jordan Olowofela, Tom Hardwick and Tommy Reffell. Chris Baumann is handed a first start at prop.

Reflecting on the win over Gloucester before turning his attention to old rivals Bath, coach Murphy said: “It will be tough at Bath, they’ve got a good side out and The Rec is a tough place to go, but the guys are all keen to go down there and put in a good performance for themselves and the club.

“We did plenty of good things last week, but we let ourselves at times with a lot of errors. It was great to get the win against a good Gloucester side, though we turned over ball nine or 10 times with handling errors. We were probably guilty of trying to force it on occasions.”

Referee for this evening is Greg Macdonald.

Tigers will be in the club’s all white alternate kit at The Rec.

Form Guide
Bath Rugby
Form
WLLLD
Last Match
Draw with Wasps 35-35
Past Meeting
Lost 19-34
Form
Last Match
Past Meeting
Leicester Tigers
Form
LWWLW
Last Match
Beat Scarlets 45-27
Past Meeting
Won 34-19

Matchday Live

Bath Rugby33
Bath Rugby
Leicester Tigers31
Leicester Tigers
Full Time