Bath splash Wasps aside
PREMIERSHIP MATCH REPORT: Semesa Rokuduguni dotted down late on as Bath moved up to fifth in the Premiership Rugby after overpowering Wasps with a 25-9 victory.
Both sides had experienced indifferent starts to their campaign, with two wins and two defeats apiece heading into the clash at the Ricoh Arena.
The hosts started brightly and Jimmy Gopperth’s 40-yard penalty saw them open up an early lead, but Rhys Priestland landed a similarly lengthy effort to level proceedings.
However, Bath were penalised for blocking immediately after the restart, and Gopperth slotted another three points.
But Priestland was also in fine form with the boot, levelling from the tee and coolly slotting home a drop goal just before the half-hour mark.
The ever-reliable Gopperth hit back once more with a third penalty of his own as both sides tried to find fluency.
It was a similar story in the opening stages of the second period, with Priestland kicking a routine three-pointer in front of the posts after Wasps were penalised at the breakdown.
The Welshman departed the action soon after following an Ashley Johnson tackle but replacement Freddie Burns immediately settled into the action, sending a fifth Bath penalty sailing between the posts.
However, he could not stretch the advantage further, missing a kick moments later after the hosts were penalised at the scrum.
The meteorite boot of Elliot Daly missed with a long-range effort as Wasps searched for a way back into the game, but Bath’s defence held firm and Burns added another penalty ten minutes from time to make it 18-9.
And they rubbed salt into Wasps’ wounds five minutes from time when Jonathan Joseph delightfully kicked through towards Rokoduguni, who was fastest to the loose ball.
Burns kicked the penalty to make it 25-9, and secured Bath’s first Premiership win at the Ricoh Arena and inflict a second successive home defeat on the hosts.
Pens: Gopperth 3
Pens: Priestland 3, Burns 2
Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Brendan Macken, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Thomas Young, 6 James Haskell, 5 Will Rowlands, 4 Joe Launchbury (captain), 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Simon McIntyre
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 Marcus Garratt, 20 Jack Willis, 21 Craig Hampson, 22 Juan De Jongh, 23 Marcus Watson
Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Clark, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Zach Mercer, 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Charlie Ewels (captain), 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Jack Walker, 1 Beno Obano
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 James Phillips, 21 Darren Allinson, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Ben Tapuai
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Roy Maybank, Adam Leal
TMO: David Rose