Bath 27-26 Leicester

Bath (19) 27

  • Tries: Taylor, Rokoduguni, Agulla, Louw
  • Cons: Devoto, Donald
  • Pens: Heathcote

Leicester (20) 26

  • Tries: Croft, Youngs
  • Cons: Flood 2
  • Pens: Flood 4

Francois Louw's late try ensured Bath kept their hopes of a Heineken Cup spot alive with victory over Leicester.

Bath twice led in the first half through tries from Simon Taylor and Semesa Rokoduguni.

Horatio Agulla also touched down for Bath but Ben Youngs' brilliant try plus Tom Croft's score and Toby Flood's boot ensured Tigers led 20-19 at half-time.

Two Flood penalties extended Tigers' lead but Louw went over in the corner seven minutes from time to win it.

Louw's try also secured Bath a bonus point and lifted them to sixth in the table, three points above Exeter who face London Wasps at Adams Park on Sunday.

And Harlequins' win at Worcester means that Leicester are yet to confirm home advantage in the play-off semi-finals.

It did not take Leicester long to move ahead in what would prove to be a thrilling first half as Bath hooker Rob Webber was caught offside in front of his own posts to give Flood the simplest of penalties.

But he atoned with a fine burst towards the Tigers line which resulted in Taylor forcing his way over from the next phase of play, Ollie Devoto adding the extras.

Bath's lead was short-lived though as Croft burst between two potential tacklers from deep and swerved past Devoto to touch down next to the posts, Flood kicking the conversion.

But the hosts were soon back in front when Rokoduguni intercepted Mathew Tait's floated pass and raced in from halfway.

Flood's second penalty put Leicester back in front before England scrum-half Youngs scored one of the tries of the season.

Catching the Bath defence asleep while retreating, Youngs took a quick tap penalty inside his own 22 and raced fully 80 yards to the line without a finger being laid on him.

Flood once more kicked the extras, but back came Bath once more as Agulla collected Stephen Donald's cross-field kick and easily went round the challenge of Tait to touch down against his former club.

That meant the Tigers went into the break with just a slender one-point lead, but Flood extended that to seven points with two more penalties in a much lower key second period.

Tom Heathcote reduced the arrears, and with the minutes ticking away, South African Louw burst clear to dive over and ensure Bath's hopes of a top-six finish will go to the final game.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Bath coach Mike Ford:

"It's pretty pleasing how well we played. What we've done is give ourselves a chance (of qualifying for the Heineken Cup).

"We're going to have two weeks' preparation to play Saracens. It's in our hands - we've got something to play for.

"We're just pleased that, against the top try-scoring side in the Premiership, we kept a tight rein on them."

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill:

"It was a good game for the neutral - four tries to two. They deserved their win but we were a bit inaccurate at times. You can't let Bath run at you because at some point you'll break and we did and they scored. We have only ourselves to blame.

We were a bit sloppy today which was frustrating but Bath were good for their win.

"Wherever we go, it's the other team's cup final. We understand that.

"We need to beat (London) Irish to make sure of a home semi, so we've got two weeks to prepare for that."

SATURDAY'S LINE-UPS

Bath: Devoto, Rokoduguni, Williams, Eastmond, Agulla, Donald, Claassens, James, Webber, Wilson, Day, Attwood, Louw, Mercer, Taylor.

Replacements: Heathcote for Williams (53), Stringer for Claassens (70), Catt for James (61), Guinazu for Webber (61), Perenise for Wilson (60), Spencer for Day (70), Gilbert for Mercer (70), Kosta for Taylor (64).

Leicester: Tait, Smith, Tuilagi, Allen, Thompstone, Flood,B. Youngs, Mulipola, T. Youngs, Cole, Mafi, Parling, Croft, Salvi, Waldrom.

Replacements: Murphy for Thompstone (64), Castrogiovanni for Cole (71), Slater for Mafi (44), Crane for Waldrom (53). Not Used: Hawkins, Balmain, Harrison, Bowden.

Att: 12,200

Ref: Tim Wigglesworth (RFU).