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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 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale Sharks|
|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 Falcons vs Leicester Tigers|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Bath vs London Irish|
|15:00||Northampton vs Saracens|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Welsh|
|Sunday 26th April|
|14:00||Wasps vs Exeter|
|Saturday 9th May|
|14:00||Sale vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Wasps 32 - 21 Gloucester|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Exeter 16 - 6 Bath|
|Saracens 22 - 17 Newcastle Falcons|
|Leicester Tigers 28 - 8 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 12 - 50 London Irish|
|Friday 27th February|
|Northampton 17 - 13 Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com