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Aviva Premiership: Bath run in five tries during win against Worcester
A fluent attacking performance earned Bath a 32-9 bonus-point victory over Worcester in the battle between eighth and ninth in the Aviva Premiership.
It was not quite enough to overtake Exeter - the two sides are now level on points - but was Bath's fifth win in succession in all competitions.
First-half tries from Peter Stringer and hooker Rob Webber gave Bath a 13-9 lead and they ran Worcester off their feet in the second half with further tries by wings Tom Biggs and Horacio Agulla (two).
Danny Gray kicked all of Worcester's only points with three first-half penalties.
Worcester kept the ball for long periods of the game and were combative at the breakdown, where Gloucester-bound Matt Kvesic impressed, but they lacked firepower behind the scrum.
Worcester's preparations had been disrupted just 10 minutes before kick-off when Andy Goode trudged off after being violently sick during the warm-up. Gray stepped in at fly-half.
Bath made a quick start, Nick Abendanon was just held on the line, as was Biggs, but Stringer burrowed through to touch down on five minutes. Stephen Donald's conversion was wide.
Worcester monopolised possession for much of the first quarter but Bath were dangerous on the break and especially down the flanks. Charlie Beech made a strong run to the corner as the home side stepped up the pressure again, forcing Worcester to concede one penalty too many.
As Dean Schofield went to the sin-bin, Rob Webber scored from a lineout catch and drive with 22 minutes played.
With Donald's radar awry, however, Gray's second penalty from wide out soon cut Bath's lead to 10-6. And the home side continued to give away needless penalties, allowing the stand-in fly-half to make it 10-9 after 35 minutes.
Donald made amends straight away with a long and high restart which caught Errie Claassens exposed and the New Zealander was finally on target with a close-range penalty to send his side in at the break with a 13-9 advantage.
Bath failed to take the hint from referee Wayne Barnes about persistent infringing and Dave Attwood was shown the yellow card on 45 minutes.
Bath held firm in defence and they then pounced from a lineout just outside the Worcester 22 when long, accurate passes by Donald and Eastmond gave Biggs a half-yard outside Claassens to sprint 30 metres for the try. Donald was just short with the conversion but Bath had survived a sticky patch to lead 18-9 with 55 minutes gone.
And they pulled even further away on 62 minutes with the bonus-point try. The forwards marched deep into the Worcester 22 before Stringer released the backs going right and Eastmond floated a delightful pass into the hands of Agulla, who finished expertly. Tom Heathcote, on for Donald, banged over the conversion.
Worcester replacement Craig Gillies, a former Bath player, was the third lock to see yellow on 70 minutes, quickly followed by wing Lemi for a deliberate knock-on as Bath threatened again.
Agulla finished off with a flourish on 77 minutes picking the ball out of the air one-handed from Heathcote's delicate chip, leaving the young Scotland fly-half to knock over the conversion.Aviva Premiership. Click here to bet.
|Friday 13th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|19:45||Northampton vs London Irish|
|Saturday 14th February|
|16:30||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 15th February|
|13:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|Friday 20th February|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 21st February|
|14:00||Sale vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Bath vs Northampton|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|14:00||London Irish vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Leicester vs Sale|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
|Sunday 4th January|
|London Welsh 13 - 24 Harlequins|
|Wasps 41 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Leicester 17 - 8 Bath|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|Exeter 25 - 26 Gloucester|
|Saracens 22 - 6 London Irish|
|Friday 2nd January|
|Northampton 39 - 31 Newcastle|
|Sunday 28th December|
|Gloucester 23 - 30 Wasps|
|Saturday 27th December|
|Harlequins 25 - 30 Northampton|
|Newcastle 23 - 25 Saracens|
|Bath 31 - 14 Exeter|
|Sale Sharks 30 - 32 Leicester|
|Friday 26th December|
|London Irish 24 - 9 London Welsh|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Wasps 48 - 16 London Irish|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Gloucester 16 - 39 Bath|
|Northampton 23 - 19 Leicester|
|Saracens 78 - 7 London Welsh|
|Harlequins 15 - 7 Newcastle|
|Friday 19th December|
|Sale 18 - 11 Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com