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||33 - 18||
- Aviva Premiership
- 28th Sep 2013
- KO 15:00
- Ground: The Recreation Ground
- Att: 12,600
Aviva Premiership: Bath with bonus point win over London Irish
- Saturday's Aviva Prem preview
- Sunday's Aviva Prem preview
- Mallinder pleased for North
- Young delight at first win
- Baxter's good foundations
- Ford looking to motor on
- McCall hails 'satisfying' win
- Burke takes Tigers positives
- Davies delight at comeback
- North off mark in Saints win
- Tigers climb with Exeter win
- Falcons downed by Gloucester
- Wasps off the mark in style
- Saracens retain perfect start
Bath ran riot in the first half with five tries on their way to a 33-18 bonus point win over London Irish in their Aviva Premiership game at The Rec.
Flanker Guy Mercer scored two tries to go along with one each from Jonathan Joseph, George Ford and Rob Webber, as Bath built up a 33-10 lead at half time - but they failed to add a single point to that tally in the second half.
Shane Geraghty scored all of Irish's points, including two tries, a conversion and two penalties as the visitors fought back gamely.
Bath had forced three penalties in as many minutes before Joseph, the England centre who left Irish for Bath during the summer, touched down for the opening try after just six minutes.
Geraghty responded with a penalty on 11 minutes, but a quick onslaught was to come from the hosts, as Mercer crossed for his first try on 19 minutes when Ford took a quick line-out to put his flanker over unopposed before then adding the conversion.
The 20-year-old playmaker then showed yet another side to his game as he broke brilliantly from 60 metres, evading Tom O'Leary and just managing to ground the ball despite Marland Yarde's last-ditch tackle. The conversion was his too and Bath were 21-3 ahead with just 27 minutes played.
A couple of minutes later, Ford's inch-perfect penalty kick to the corner allowed Webber to score from a conventional catch-and-drive.
For once, Ford's conversion was miss-hit and he then allowed Geraghty to drive over and through him in the opposite corner to claim the Exiles' first try, expertly converted by the fly-half.
But Bath claimed a four-try bonus point after the visitors' defence went AWOL on the right and Mercer scored again, with Ford converting.
As if a 33-10 deficit was not a tough enough hill to climb, Irish hooker David Paice was yellow-carded on the stroke of half-time for retaliation.
Geraghty pulled back three point two minutes after the restart but Bath, despite losing another second row, Dominic Day, to an ankle injury, just moved the versatile Matt Garvey up into the second row.
Bath enjoyed very little possession, too often spilling the ball that did come their way while the Exiles were far more competitive in the line-out and at the breakdown.
The reward for a far more committed second-half performance came on 68 minutes when Geraghty claimed a try on the left after taking advantage of a rebound. But his conversion attempt was wide and Bath still led 33-18.
With fresh legs on the field, the home side roused themselves for the last 10 minutes but lacked the accuracy of their first-half display.
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com