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A pitch perfect response by Bath


BATH’S attack has the potential to go off like a Molotov cocktail but this victory was a slow burn that belonged to their scrum.

They rumbled towards a bonus-point win on their newlystitched pitch, after the coaching staff went to the club owner last month and pleaded with him to replace their chewed-up turf.

It provided the surface for their forwards to grind down the Ulstermen, with England prop Will Stuart getting one over on South Africa’s Steven Kitshoff at the set-piece.

Fellow-prop Beno Obano took the microphone at the final whistle and declared: ‘It’s the hottest ticket in town right now, I won’t lie to you, the Rec is hot.

‘We’re wearing red, we’re feeling hot, we’re feeling good, we’re feeling dangerous.’

They have got their swagger back in the West Country, where Bath’s resurgence continues under new recruits Alfie Barbeary and Finn Russell.

No8 Barbeary launched off the back of the scrum like a wrecking ball and eventually, in the final quarter, Bath pulled away with three tries in the final 10 minutes.

For half an hour they flaunted their attacking weapons like a military parade. Russell flummoxed the defence with his chip kicks and Ollie Lawrence broke through weak tackles.

Given England’s scrummaging history against South Africa at the World Cup, Stuart’s duel with Kitschoff was personal, and the scrum provided the platform for Joe Cokanasiga’s breakthrough try in the 28th minute.

Bath dominated the first half but they went into the break six points behind. Their first half was a story of missed opportunities, ruing Russell’s missed penalty and a few botched lineouts.

Lawrence clumsily chipped a loose ball into the hands of Ulster No10 Billy Burns, who was left with the easiest of finishes.

And moments later, after

Jacob Stockdale charged out of his 22, Nathan Doak scored under the posts to round off a long-range attack. Two shots, two kills.

Bath’s execution improved in the second half. Hooker Tom Dunn snatched the lead with a try from a driving lineout, and Ben Spencer adding a penalty.

Stuart eventually made way for Thomas du Toit and, with Ulster reduced to 14 men, the replacement prop powered over to score after a series of dominant scrums.

Cokanasiga and Matt

Gallagher scored late tries to seal the victory.





dmg media (UK)