Premiership: Bath 39-26 Wasps

Sam Burgess
Sam Burgess crosses against Wasps for his first try in the Premiership
Bath: (20) 39
Tries: Louw, Rokoduguni, Burgess, Banahan, Devoto Cons: Ford 4 Pens: Ford 2
Wasps: (5) 26
Tries: Leiua, Hughes, Jacobs, Lozowski Cons: Goode 2, Lozowski

Sam Burgess scored his first try for Bath as they closed the gap on Premiership leaders Northampton to one point with victory over Wasps.

Francois Louw and Semesi Rokoduguni helped Bath to a 20-5 half-time lead, with Alapati Leiua replying for Wasps.

Burgess touched down after the break, before Matt Banahan secured the bonus point and Ollie Devoto extended the lead after Nathan Hughes's try.

Tries by Ben Jacobs and Alex Lozowski earned the visitors a bonus point.

Bath took advantage of Northampton's defeat at Sale to move to within a single point of the league leaders and maintain their unbeaten home record in the Premiership.

Ford turned down an early shot at goal in favour of a kick to the corner and their ambition was rewarded when Louw crashed over under the posts following a powerful catch and drive.

The under-pressure Wasps defence was repeatedly stretched as Bath continued to go on the offensive, but the visitors hit back against the run of play with their first meaningful attack.

Fly-half Andy Goode and Jacobs combined to send number eight Hughes through a gap and centre Leuia was on hand to cross.

Sam Burgess
Bath have not been beaten at The Rec in a Premiership match since last March

But, though Wasps maintained an attacking threat in an open first period, they were hurt by their inability to keep possession.

The impressive Louw turned over another promising foray into Bath territory and the ball was quickly worked to England wing Rokoduguni, who was able to finish from distance.

The home pack was starting to dominate the set-piece and a scrum penalty allowed Ford to extend the lead to 15 with his fourth successful kick of the half.

Any thoughts of Wasps mounting a second-half comeback were snuffed out when Burgess scored his first try for Bath - and only his second in rugby union, having notched for the club's A League team in December.

The 26-year-old, who arrived from rugby league side South Sydney Rabbitohs in the autumn, shrugged off two tackles to go over from close range after Ford's offload.

Although Hughes did cross shortly after, Banahan sealed the bonus point and replacement Devoto looked to have killed off the contest until Wasps rallied for a final time.

First Jacobs went over and then replacement fly-half Lozowski's fine solo effort meant they would leave with at least a bonus point for their efforts.

Bath director of rugby Mike Ford:

"Sam Burgess played his best game and he is definitely on the right track.

"We are still only scratching the surface with this team - it's exciting because we know we can get so much better.

"Where we are sitting in the league is very satisfying at the moment."

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young:

"We could have rolled over and chucked the towel in, but I was really pleased with how we came back.

"We went away with a point, but I am not sure if we deserved or not, if I am quite honest - for 70 minutes I thought we were second best in most areas.

"They had us under pressure in the set-piece, we struggled to get any penetration with ball in hand, and we struggled to contain them when they had ball in hand."

Bath: Watson; Rokoduguni, Joseph, Burgess, Banahan; Ford, Cook; Auterac, Batty, Thomas; Hooper (capt), Attwood; Garvey, Louw, Houston.

Replacements: Webber, James, Wilson, Day, Fearns, Stringer, Devoto, Woodburn.

Wasps: Miller; Wade, Leiua, Jacobs, Bassett; Goode, Simpson; Mullan, Festuccia, Cittadini; B Davies, Myall; Jones, Haskell (capt), Hughes.

Replacements: Shervington, McIntyre, Swainston, Gaskell, Johnson, C Davies, Lozowski, Daly.

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