Bath inflict more pain on Worcester
November 1, 2013
Anthony Perenise goes over for the game's first try
© Getty Images
Worcester Warriors are still without a win in the 2013-14 season after Bath dispatched them 21-6 at Sixways Stadium on Friday evening.
The Warriors now find themselves eight points adrift at the foot of the table with their nearest rivals, Gloucester and London Irish, both having home games to come this weekend and with it a chance to extend their advantage.
In the incessant rain, Bath were more streetwise than their opponents and took their chances whereas Worcester did not. Anthony Perenise and Horacio Agulla capitalised on Warriors errors to score the visitors' two tries with George Ford having the better of the kicking duel with 11 points to only six from Paul Warwick, who missed two penalties at vital stages in the game which would have galvanised his side.
Worcester played with spirit before a passionate crowd of over nine thousand and for much of the match were the equal of their opponents but apart from replacement wing Ravai Fatiaki, they lacked the creative nous to test the Bath defence and once again finished try less.
Bath made only one change from last week's win over Gloucester with academy product Will Spencer replacing Dave Attwood at lock. Worcester gave fly-half Warwick a first Premiership start in place of Ignacio Mieres with Leonardo Senatore making his Warriors' debut in the back row. Senatore joined his fellow Argentinian internationals Agustin Creevy and Mariano Galarza in the home pack.
Bath began brightly and took an early 6-0 lead through two Ford penalties. It was not the best of starts for the Warriors as twice they turned over possession on half-way and then Paul Warwick was unable to make the most of their first point-scoring opportunity when his penalty attempt fell short and wide.
However when it was his turn, Ford made no mistake with an excellent effort from almost the half-way line, which belied the dreadful conditions. Worcester soon suffered another blow when their lively wing David Lemi was injured after only 19 minutes and was replaced by Fatiaki.
Bath coach Mike Ford
An Anthony Watson knock on gave the Warriors their first real chance to attack as from the resulting scrum, the ball was swiftly moved along the line to Fatiaki, who burst into the opposition 22. The ball was swiftly recycled for Worcester to batter the visitors' line and they appeared to have crossed but the TMO ruled no try.
It was a big blow as a superb drop out from Ford took Bath straight into the opposition 22. Warriors lost the ensuing line-out, throwing straight to Matt Garvey, who collected to send prop Perenise over for the try which Ford converted with another splendid kick.
Just before half-time Warwick put the Warriors on the scoreboard with a penalty to leave them 16-3 behind at the interval. At the restart, Bath were immediately penalised to allow Warwick to kick his second penalty but soon afterwards the outside half missed with an easier kick which would have given Bath food for thought.
Ford had a penalty chance for Bath but this time he badly miscued his kick and it was Worcester who continued to have the better of the early stages of the second half but they could not capitalise and with 20 minutes to go, the visitors sealed victory. Agulla had just come onto the field for Semesa Rokoduguni and with almost his first touch he ripped the ball from a maul to run an unopposed 25 metres for the crucial try which Ford was unable to convert.
With seven minutes to go, Warriors lock Chris Jones was sin-binned for dragging down a maul and Matt Banahan almost took immediate advantage but he lost the ball in the process of touching down. It mattered little as Bath were not unduly troubled in the final period to run out comfortable winners.
© PA Photos
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
The Scotland coach enters his first Six Nations with at least one familiar face to look to for inspiration - Joe Schmidt. He chats to Tom Hamilton
Italy coach Jacques Brunel spoke to ESPN ahead of his final season as Italy coach and tells of his desire to experiment and evolve
"There's no bull with me, I just tell it straight." Tom Hamilton talks to Warren Gatland in an exclusive interview
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton