Bath 31 Glasgow 26: Delve digs deep as daredevil Bath survive scare from resilient Scots
Monday 12 December 2005
They not only threw the ball around - at times they threw caution to the wind. Had it not been for the prowess of their pack things might have turned out a lot differently.
Gareth Delve, one of the shining lights in the Bath eight, admitted: "That was one of the quickest games I've played in this season. It was hard work and the return match is going to be a real battle."
Delve, a Welshman, was one of the players contributing to the pace of the game. Time and again he would power over the gain line before making high-quality ball available. He was flawless in defence, read the game well and supported team-mates. It can only be a matter of time before the Wales coach, Mike Ruddock, sends for him.
The England hooker Lee Mears also made a big impression. He made one superb break, selling the opposition a dummy on the way, and when he retires from rugby he should take up darts, because he is one of a rare breed - a hooker who can throw in accurately.
He too found the going tough. "That was a full-on match," he said. "We were disappointed to have conceded so many points. But we did score four tries, and at home."
That was certainly a feat, given that Bath have not scored a try at the Recreation Ground in the Premiership all season. But as it was they did not pull clear of a tenacious Glasgow side until a scant 10 minutes remained, when the tank known as Salesi Finau rumbled over on the right wing after some slick handling.
The Scots were magnificent. They had arrived with no points and no hope but they left with armfuls of respect and, more importantly, self-belief.
Although Brian Ashton is not due to take over as director of rugby until the new year, he is apparently going to accompany Bath to Scotland for that vital return match. He and his players are clearly aware that much needs to be done over the next four days if they are to come through successfully at Firhill on Friday night.
Glasgow's coach, Hugh Campbell, said: "Firhill suits our style of play. When we played Edinburgh there in a Celtic League match last week we beat them comfortably."
If Bath cannot fit their new, free-spirited approach to the discipline of their pack, they could well go the same way.
Bath: Tries Welsh, Stephenson, Lipman, Finau; Conversion Barkley; Penalties Barkley 3. Glasgow: Tries Henderson, Parks; Conversions Parks 2; Penalties Parks 3, Gregor.
Bath: M Perry (M Stephenson, 16); S Finau, T Cheeseman (A Higgins, 76), O Barkley, F Welsh; C Malone, N Walshe (A Williams, 76); M Stevens, L Mears, D Bell (D Barnes, 59), S Borthwick (capt), P Short (R Fidler, 66), A Beattie, M Lipman, G Delve.
Glasgow: G Staniforth; H O'Hare, G Morrison, A Henderson, R Lamont; D Parks (C Gregor, 72), G Beveridge (capt; S Pinder, 48); K Tkachuk (L Harrison, 40), S Lawson (F Thomson, 57), E Murray (Tkachuk, 62), T Barker, C Hamilton (D Turner, 57), S Swindall (G Hayter, 63), J Barclay, J Beattie.
Referee: C Berdos (France).
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao live: Mayweather puts on defensive masterclass to win by unanimous decision
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin on Sky Sports Box Office?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does the fight start and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Only 132 pubs in the United Kingdom will show the fight - so where can you watch it?
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 3 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds