Rugby Union: Robinson sees it all come together

Bath 43 Wasps 27

ANOTHER red letter day for the European champions and their benefactor Andrew Brownsword, the greetings card magnate, who might have been tempted to send the club a Valentine: "Roses are red, Violets are blue, I'm glad I climbed into the bath with you".

As it happens, Brownsword, who is rarely seen at the Recreation Ground, limits his literary output to signing cheques which puts Bath in an enviable position.

They're still cashing in on their victory over Brive in the European Cup final (replica jersies go on sale next month for pounds 75 and we're not talking cashmere) and have not given up the Allied Dunbar Premiership. Two of their three defeats have been at the hands of Newcastle and Saracens and they meet both frontrunners again.

Andy Robinson, their coach, believes Bath can catch up though he thinks Saracens are odds on. "Because of the strength of the squad my money would be on them," Robinson said.

As Bath take a well-earned break, he is looking to strengthen his own squad (the names of Robert Howley and Neil Jenkins keep cropping up) although after this victory, Robinson gave his half-backs, Andy Nicol and Mike Catt, a pat on the back.

"At the end of last season we played some outstanding rugby and we are beginning to understand the way we want to play with the half-backs running the game," Robinson said.

After beating Gloucester in midweek, Bath, third from top, just about had the legs on Wasps who remain third from bottom. It was the type of game that Lawrence Dallaglio would have relished, but the England captain failed a fitness test on a well-disguised injury. Dallaglio damaged a rib cartilage early on in the Five Nations opener against France and, with hindsight, should have gone off. He is optimistic about his chances of facing Wales on Saturday but Rob Smith, the Wasps coach, thinks it will be touch and go. "He could play," Smith said, "but the danger is in exacerbating the injury."

Since winning the title last season, Wasps have been dormant in the marketplace. "I'm happy with the squad I've got," Smith said. "To tell you the truth I thought we'd be a mid-table team last season. Our success was based on hard work and that is the route for us rather than signing expensive individuals. We have shareholders to answer to".

As it is, the shareholders have had precious little to sustain them this season although Wasps seem to have been plagued by insecticides, the injury to Dallaglio being the latest in a long line. With Alex King nursing a knee injury and Gareth Rees at stand-off, at least Paul Sampson could show his pace at full-back and one of his breaks led to a cracking try for Kenny Logan.

It might have been uncomfortably close for Bath but for Rees missing rugby's equivalent of a couple of open goals. No such problems for Bath in that department and once again Jon Callard (a little corner of Bordeaux will be forever his) kept them ahead of the game with 18 points. "If you fail with your kicks it gives the opposition hope and gets the crowd frustrated. Jon never looks like missing them," Robinson said.

The last time Bath omitted Callard for Matt Perry, Catt kicked like a foal on ice and they went out of the Tetley's Bitter Cup. On Saturday Callard wasn't the only veteran to get a Cupid's arrow from Robinson. At half-time Ieuan Evans, having just completed a hazy run, asked Robinson: "How much longer do you want me to continue?" "Forty minutes," Robinson replied.

Evans not only went the distance but scored one of the most popular tries seen at the ground when he took a pass from Jeremy Guscott in the final minute. "His attitude has been fantastic," Robinson said, "and I was delighted that he finally got a pass from Jerry. We haven't been giving him enough of the ball." Evans is not complaining.

Bath: Tries De Glanville, Lyle, Guscott, Evans; penalty try; Conversions Callard 3. Pens Callard 4. Wasps: Tries Logan, Scrivener, Sheasby; Conversions Rees 3, Pens Rees 2.

Bath: J Callard (M Perry, 60); I Evans, P de Glanville (R Butland, 75), J Guscott, A Adebayo; M Catt, A Nicol (capt; S Hatley, 77); D Hilton, M Regan (F Mendez, 50), V Ubogu (J Mallett, 50), M Haag, N Redman, R Earnshaw, D Lyle (D Jones, 27), E Peters.

Wasps: P Sampson; S Roiser, N Greenstock, L Scrase, K Logan; G Rees (capt), A Gomarsall; D Malloy (A Black, 65), S Mitchell (T Leota, 71), W Green, M Weedon, S Shaw, C Sheasby, P Scrivener (D Walton, 76), M White.

Referee: B Campsall (Yorkshire).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They make daily deliveries to most foodservice...

Recruitment Genius: Transport Planner

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They make daily deliveries to most foodservice...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - C#, ASP.Net, MVC, jQuery

£42000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking for a C# ...

Recruitment Genius: General Driver - Automotive

£15500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's leading Motor Re...

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food