Bath keep Warriors winless
Replacement Horacio Agulla sealed a comfortable 21-6 victory for Bath.
Replacement Horacio Agulla sealed a comfortable 21-6 victory for Bath.
The result kept Worcester Warriors winless in the Premiership.
* In the other Friday match Mark Cueto's 82nd Premiership try was not quite enough as Sale Sharks slipped to an 18-16 defeat to Exeter Chiefs.
We look at Friday's matches!
Worcester Warriors 6-21 Bath
Replacement Horacio Agulla sealed a comfortable 21-6 victory for Bath Rugby which in turn kept Worcester Warriors winless in the Premiership.
Heading into the clash at Sixways the hosts had lost all six of their league games while Bath were looking to cement their place in the top four.
George Ford's imperious early form with the boot gave the visitors the foundation for victory, and tries from Anthony Perenise and Agulla eventually proved decisive.
The Warriors had Paul Warwick to thank for their points, but director of rugby Dean Ryan is still searching for his first Premiership victory since taking charge this summer and they remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
Bath got off to a bright start with two early Ford penalties, the first on three minutes and the next on six despite the damp conditions underfoot at Sixways.
They were then penalised for standing up in the scrum but, unlike Ford, Warwick saw his first effort drop short of the posts.
By the time the clock ticked past the 15-minute mark Ford had already notched his third penalty, this time from close to halfway, as the former Leicester Tigers fly-half threatened to take the game beyond the Warriors.
To their credit, the hosts did fight their way into the game and Dean Hammond tried burrowing his way into the corner, but some strong defensive work from Anthony Watson forced the wing into touch.
That was to prove costly for Worcester who found themselves 16-0 behind on 28 minutes.
Peter Stringer found Perenise and he muscled his way past two challenges before touching down in the corner. The impressive Ford added the extras.
Warwick did reduce the Warriors' arrears with a penalty three minutes before the break, but Bath still held a 16-3 half-time lead.
Bath's lead was slimmed further when Warwick added another three-pointer within a minute of the restart, but he was wayward with his next attempt, as was Ford with the conditions seemingly taking their toll.
Somewhat against the run of play, though, Agulla forced a turnover and ran in unopposed soon after coming on from the bench.
Ford was well wide with his conversion, but Bath had a 21-6 advantage to take into the final 20 minutes.
It was a lead they never looked like surrendering, and when Chris Jones was sin-binned with eight minutes remaining that was all-but it for the Warriors.
Bath still looked like adding to their lead though. Wing Matt Banahan barged his way towards the corner but fumbled in his attempts to ground the ball and the visitors saw the game out.
Pens: Warwick 2
Tries: Perenise, Agulla
Pens: Ford 3
Yellow card: Chris Jones (Worcester Warriors, 72)
Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Dean Hammond, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 David Lemi, 10 Paul Warwick, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Jonathan Thomas (captain), 7 Jake Abbott, 6 Leonardo Senatore, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Chris Jones, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Ofa Fainga'anuku.
Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 George Porter, 18 John Andress, 19 Mike Williams, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Jeremy Su'a, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Ravai Fatiaki.
Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Will Spencer, 4 Stuart Hooper (captain), 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Alafoti Fa'osiliva, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Gavin Henson, 23 Horacio Agulla.
Referee: Gregory Garner
Assistant referees: Andy Watson, Gordon Goodliffe
TMO: Graham Hughes
Sale Sharks 16-18 Exeter Chiefs
Mark Cueto's 82nd Premiership try was not quite enough as Sale Sharks slipped to an 18-16 defeat to Exeter Chiefs.
Six penalties from the boot of Gareth Steenson downed the Sharks and handed Exeter Chiefs a third win on the bounce in the Premiership.
A scrappy affair went the way of the visitors with the Sharks paying for the price for having three men sent to the sin bin in the first half.
After the break the hosts rallied and looked to have secured a bonus point when Danny Cipriani made it 15-9 with five minutes to go, only for Steenson to reply almost immediately.
But a lovely flowing move from left to right saw Cueto go over in the corner and the try was awarded after Wayne Barnes consulted the Television Match Official.
Cipriani nail the conversion from the touch-line with a minute remaining to set up a tense finish but the Chiefs held on for the win.
Exeter got off the mark first when Steenson converted a simple fifth-minute penalty after the home side brought down a maul.
Two kicks from Cipriani soon turned things in the hosts' favour following an indiscretion by the visitors in the scrum and an offside.
Sale prop Vadim Cobilas was then sin binned for repeatedly infringing in the ruck and Exeter took advantage with Steenson adding six points against the 14 men as the lead changed hands for a second time.
Sale were then down to 14 men again Tommy Taylor was also shown a yellow card on 32 minutes for raising his hands, with Steenson maintaining his 100 per cent record from the resulting penalty.
Four minutes later Kirill Kulemin became the third Sharks player to be shown a yellow by Wayne Barnes for an illegal tackle on Dave Lewis, leaving the Sharks with just 13 men for the remainder of the half as Steenson again nailed the penalty to give the Chiefs a nine-point half-time lead.
Sale weathered the early second-half storm from the Chiefs and, once restored to their full compliment, had an excellent chance to score the first try of the game.
Rob Miller made a superb break through the Exeter defence but when the ball was worked wide to Cueto, he knocked the ball on and the chance was gone.
Sale kept coming however and with six minutes left on the clock, Cipriani opted for the kick at goal when awarded a penalty to at least make sure of the bonus point.
Exeter responded almost immediately however, before Cueto struck in the corner but it proved to be too little too late.
Pens: Cipriani 3
Pens: Steenson 6
Yellow cards: Vadim Cobilas (Sale Sharks, 18), Tommy Taylor (Sale Sharks, 32), Kirill Kulemin (Sale Sharks, 36)
Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Jonny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Mark Easter, 7 Dan Braid (captain), 6 Michael Paterson, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Kirill Kulemin, 3 Vadim Cobilas 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Jonathan Mills, 20 David Seymour, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Andy Forsyth.
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Matt Jess, 13 Jason Shoemark, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Tom James, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Dave Ewers, 7 Ben White, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm (captain), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Don Armand, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Luke Arscott.
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Paul Burton, Paul Dix
TMO: Trevor Fisher