Youngs and Flood ride Tigers' tide to swamp Bath

Bath 6 Leicester Tigers 37: England pair put Dublin nightmare behind them by orchestrating dream win in the West Country

In the heyday of the 1980s and 90s the silky-skilled Jerry Guscott,Phil de Glanville and Mike Catt held sway on this ground. Yesterday it was the galloping giants of Leicester who inflicted a record margin of defeat in any home league, cup or European match for Bath. This fifth successive away win in the Premiership made the Tigers' path to yet another play-off semi-final, if not a seventh successive final, look assured.

Bath's more nimble attackers, Nick Abendanon, Tom Biggs and Lee Mears, attempted to profit through finesse. Some hope. Abendanon, the full-back, deserved a medal for bravery for taking a path through the Tuilagi brothers Alesana and Manu, late in the first half, given that he had been clattered in every way possible by the Samoan pair, legally and illegally. Later in the match, Abendanon set himself up for a disciplinary charge by coming on to the field after being substituted, to join in a mass brawl.

Bath's worst fault, though, was coughing up turnovers. They had a great start with a couple of breaks by Ben Williams, whose presence at outside centre obliged England's Matt Banahan to shift to the wing. But whenever the ball hit the deck the Tigers moved in for a feast and though their more questionable dabbling cost them a yellow card for the lock Ed Slater, and a penalty kicked by Butch James, they led 10-3. Toby Flood kicked a 12th-minute penalty and Anthony Allen scored a try. A box kick by Ben Youngs from his own line was run back by Abendanon, Leicester ripped the ball off him and Allen, from halfway, brushed past James and dummied Banahan.

Though still a man short, Leicester had a second try after 23 minutes. Youngs's horror show for England in Ireland last weekend was receding in the memory as he darted through a line-out, sold a lavish dummy and gave an inside pass to Tom Croft at full pelt. Flood converted for 17-3 and in the 37th minute it got worse for Bath – whose poor passing mucked up moves from two line-outs – when Thomas Waldrom freed Youngs on an arcing run across his 10-metre line. The scrum-half scooted round two tight forwards, Duncan Bell and Stuart Hooper, and drew Luke Watson to send Flood in for the third try. Abendanon? He was making his way back from another Tuilagi battering.

The international claims of Waldrom – the former Hurricanes and Crusaders No 8 who declared his wish to qualify for England when he joined Leicester last summer – improved markedly in the week when it dawned on him that his maternal grandmother was born in the country he would like to play for. That would circumvent the need to wait three years for residency. The 27-year-old's form makes him worthy of consideration and his dancing feet were prominent in the build-up to Leicester's bonus-point try. It was finished by Flood in the 51st minute after James had kicked a second penalty for Bath.

And so it went on– so it dragged on, painfully, for Bath. "Some of the players said it was an embarrassing scoreboard," said Steve Meehan, their head coach, and they were right. Any thoughts Bath had of advancement among the lower play-off and Heineken Cup places were lost in bungled moves and Tigers pugnacity. A spilled ball was scooped up and run in alone by Croft from 60 metres and Flood converted to reach a personal total of 22 points.

Abendanon received sympathetic applause when he was substituted in the 67th minute but he immediately rejoined the fray, literally and unwisely, as almost every player got involved in a shoving match that ended with an Argentinian from each side, Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe and Horacio Agulla, in the sin-bin. "I saw a cheap shot on one of our players," said Abendanon, who won two England caps in 2007. "I apologised to the referee and touch judges afterwards but it is up to the officials if they take if further."

A few more scuffles and dodgy tackles followed from both sides but as shots fired in anger by Bath they were about an hour too late.

"I thought we started the game really poorly," said Richard Cockerill, the Leicester director of rugby, whose side had come off a three-week break. "But it was a great result."

Bath N Abendanon (J Cuthbert, 66); M Banahan, B Williams, S Vesty (S Hape, 60), T Biggs; B James, M Claassens (M McMillan, 60); D Flatman (N Catt, 55), L Mears (P Dixon, 60), D Bell (D Wilson, 52-76), S Hooper, D Grewcock (I Fernandez Lobbe, 60), B Skirving, S Taylor, L Watson (capt; G Mercer, 72).

Leicester Tigers S Hamilton; H Agulla, M Tuilagi (M Smith, 66), A Allen, A Tuilagi; T Flood (J Staunton, 73), B Youngs (J Grindal, 58); M Ayerza (B Stankovich, 63), G Chuter (R Hawkins, 63), D Cole (J White, 63), S Mafi, E Slater, T Croft, T Waldrom (J Crane, 52), C Newby (capt; B Woods, 60).

Referee D Pearson (Northumberland).

Attendance 12,200

Bath

Pens: James 2

Leicester Tigers

Tries: Allen, Croft 2, Flood 2

Cons: Flood 3

Pens: Flood 2

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
ESPN footage showed a split-screen Murray’s partner Kim Sears and Berdych’s partner Ester Satorova 'sporting' their jewellery
tennis
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee