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Page last updated at 17:11 GMT, Saturday, 1 October 2011 18:11 UK

Bath 26-25 Leicester Tigers

Bath (13) 26
Tries: Attwood, Carraro Cons: Vesty, Heathcote Pens: Vesty 2, Heathcote 2
Leicester (16) 25
Tries: Staunton Cons: Staunton Pens: Staunton 6

Matt Carraro
Matt Carraro's try helped Bath to their first Premiership win over Tigers since November 2008

Leicester fly-half Jeremy Staunton missed an injury-time penalty to condemn the Tigers to their fourth Premiership defeat in five games.

A interception try by Staunton, who scored all Leicester's points, helped give Tigers a 16-6 lead before Dave Attwood struck for Bath on half time.

Matt Carraro went over for the hosts after the break as Bath fought back.

Teenage replacement fly-half Tom Heathcote kicked eight points to ensure victory for the hosts.

Sam Vesty claimed the opening points on five minutes but the wind was taken out of Bath's sails when Staunton raced away for an interception try under the posts, which he converted.

Vesty added a second penalty before Tigers extended their lead, almost immediately, to 10-6 and then Staunton took his tally to 13 on 20 minutes as the Tigers took control in the sweltering conditions at The Rec.

The visitors muscled their way to within metres of the Bath line - winning another penalty under the posts for offside which Leicester's stand-off landed without fuss.

Tigers' robust defending forced errors from Bath but the hosts rallied and put together 18 phases and the pressure produced a penalty but Vesty, who looked groggy after a knock, could not convert.

When the superb Geoff Parling stole Bath's attacking line-out ball in the closing minutes of the first half the threat looked over.

A limp kick-chase allowed a scintillating 40m break by Tom Biggs that led to Attwood's try under the posts - which Vesty converted on the whistle to make it 16-13 to Leicester.

Bath returned from the interval with Heathcote on for Vesty but Tigers soon extended their advantage to 22-13 when Staunton landed two more kicks.

The home side showed great patience to work Carrro over in the corner before Heathcote landed an accomplished conversion to make it a two-point game on the hour.

The youngster slotted another impressive kick with 10 minutes remaining to give Bath a 23-22 lead but just a minute later Tigers pulverised their opposition in a scrum and Staunton landed his sixth penalty.

Heathcote rattled his second goal attempt into the upright but converted infront of the posts to make it 26-25 to Bath with minutes left.

With the clock run down Tigers won a penalty 45 metres out and Staunton, who was on target all afternoon, was found wanting with the kick that really mattered.


Bath backs coach Brad Davis:

"The response we got after the Gloucester defeat in training and in this match was outstanding. They obviously didn't want to go through another week like the one we've just been through. The performance and the end result is the direct outcome of all the work we've put in over the last week."

"To be fair to Leicester, they came out of the blocks really quickly. What we had to do was just stay in the game and ask a few questions. We made two or three line breaks but just couldn't beat their last defender. A little bit of frustration crept in and we had one or two forced errors but as the first half wore on we started to get a bit stronger.

"Any score on the stroke of half-time always makes your team talk that much easier. The guys stuck at it and it was a typical Bath-Leicester game."

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill:

"Our attitude was outstanding. We had 20 people missing before Scott Hamilton pulled out late on through illness. We'll see who's available for next week.

"We battled hard and did enough to win, I thought. But you can't keep giving the ball away and kicking poorly out of your own half.

"I've got no real criticism for our lads. There are lots of positives but we don't want to be sitting here with just a pat on the back."


Bath: Abendanon; Carraro, Hipkiss, Williams, Biggs; Vesty, Claassens; Flatman, Dixon, Palma-Newport; Attwood, Caldwell; Skirving, Mercer, Taylor.

Replacements: Heathcote for Vesty (40), Batty for Dixon (56), Beech for Flatman (67), Beattie for Skirving (70), Bell for Palma-Newport (73).

Leicester: Morris; Forsyth, Smith, Twelvetrees, Tait; Staunton, Grindal; Stankovich, Chuter, Holford; Slater, Parling; Mafi, Woods, Salvi.

Replacements: Bucknall for Holford (55), T Youngs for Chuter (58).

Attendance: 11,768

Refereee: Tim Wigglesworth (RFU).

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see also
Gloucester 23-6 Bath
24 Sep 11 |  Rugby Union
Leicester 25-50 Saracens
24 Sep 11 |  Rugby Union
Rugby Union commentaries
14 Feb 13 |  Rugby Union

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