Bath give new life to their Champions Cup hopes

Montpellier 5 Bath 30

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The Independent Online

Bath made light of terrible conditions in the south of France last night, rolling to an easy victory to keep their European Rugby Champions Cup hopes on course.

The visitors, who had lost their first two games of the new tournament against Toulouse and Glasgow gained 15 points from the increasingly assured boot of George Ford and a powerful performance from their pack as Montpellier lost their discipline in the mud and driving rain.

With the game safely in Bath’s pocket, Sam Burgess was brought on for the last half-hour for his second appearance for the West Country club and once again made his presence felt with two bullocking runs and a huge hit.

Henry Thomas, the tight head prop, scored the visitors’ first try, crossing the whitewash in the 36th minute to set the tone for the rest of the contest.

It had looked like being a tricky evening for Bath, however Montpellier conceded a penalty try before three home players were banished to the sin-bin for indiscretions near their own try-line. No 8 Leroy Houston scored Bath’s third to give them renewed hope of making the knockout stages.

Montpellier: Fall (Sicard 62); Artru, Ranger, W Olivier, Dupont; Selponi (Pelissie 58), Paillaugue (Irabiren 71); Watremez, T Bianchin (Geli 41), Cilliers (Atoub 41), Tchale-Watchou, Privat (Ouedraogo 63), Battut (Donnelly 63), Galletier (Bianchin 52), Tulou. Replacements not used: Leleimalefaga.

Bath: Watson; Agulla, Joseph, Eastmond (Burgess 53), Banahan; Ford, Cook; Auterac (James 50), Batty (Webber 50), Thomas (Wilson 52), Hooper (Attwood 54), Day, Sisi, Fearns, Houston. Replacements not used: Faosiliva, Stringer, Devoto.

Referee: I Davies (Wales)