James turns screw on rock-bottom Bristol
Bath 45 Bristol 8
Sunday 08 March 2009
What began as a contest ended in something of a rout as Bath asserted their superiority at the set-piece, in the loose and out wide, in the process ending an unhappy little run that had seen them take two points from two matches.
Their hooker, Rob Hawkins, looked impressive, revealing confident hand-ling and comfortable running. Their fly-half, Butch James, was also in commanding form, collecting 15 points from six conversions and a penalty.
Bath, having slipped to sixth, needed a win with a bonus point, and the Kiwi wing Joe Maddock did his bit with two first-half tries, celebrating his 100th appearance in style. Bristol, however, defended bravely, keeping Bath out for more than half an hour after Maddock's sixth-minute try.
When the home side eventually collected their second score it owed a great deal to a patient build-up by the forwards, Hawkins and the prop David Barnes, as well as the back row, making a great deal of ground. That was followed by a muscular break from the wing Andrew Higgins which almost saw him to the line. Maddock picked up and powered over.
Before that, after 15 minutes, Bath had conceded a soft try when the Bristol wing Lee Robinson had won the chase to Shaun Perry's kick. Ed Barnes missed the conversion but then landed a penalty to give Bristol a taste of the lead. It was just a snifter, because two minutes later James kicked his penalty, and then came Maddock's second score.
Barnes missed a penalty early in the second half and a minute later Bath went further ahead when James, who had shown some stunning touches with hand and foot, pushed a grubber kick through for his captain, Alex Crockett, to touch down.
Then Bath really turned the screw. After putting the squeeze on Bristol – who had lost their replacement scrum-half, Haydn Thomas, to the sin-bin – at three successive scrums, the home team were eventually awarded a penalty try. A fifth five-pointer followed when the replacement No 8 Daniel Browne found himself with support outside and a dispirited defence. He sold a dummy and ran in unopposed. Then a blistering break by Nick Abendanon put Crockett over for his second try of the match.
Bristol's afternoon ended ignominiously, with Robinson being sent to the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle on the Bath scrum-half, Scott Bemand.
Bath: J Maddock; A Higgins (N Abendanon, 54), A Crockett (capt), S Hape (S Berne, 61), M Banahan (M Baxter, 64); B James, S Bemand; D Barnes, R Hawkins (M Lilley, 74), D Bell (P Ion, 60), S Hooper, P Short, A Beattie, J Fa'amatuiainu (D Browne, 47), J Scaysbrook (C Goodman, 69).
Bristol: T Arscott; L Robinson, Neil Brew, L Eves (L Arscott, 60), Nathan Brew; E Barnes (C Ashwin, 72), S Perry (H Thomas, 50); M Irish, D Blaney (O Hayes, 19), D Crompton (W Thompson, 73), R Winters, N Budgett (D Attwood, 69), R Pennycook (A To'oala, 60), D Ward-Smith, J El Abd (capt).
Referee: D Rose (Warwickshire).
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way
Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online
Anderlecht vs Arsenal match report: Kieran Gibbs and Lukas Podolski pounce as Arsenal leave it late
How Real Madrid started copying Barcelona's old pass masters, and began reaping the rewards
Liverpool vs Real Madrid player ratings: Was Cristiano Ronaldo the star man? And how did Mario Balotelli fare?
Liverpool vs Real Madrid match report: Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema run Reds ragged at Anfield
Arsenal player ratings
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'