Premiership: Bath 31-21 Saracens

Bath
Saracens have been European champions for the past two seasons
Aviva Premiership
Bath: (14) 31
Tries: Louw, Rokoduguni 2 Cons: Burns 2 Pens: Priestland 2 Drop-goal: Priestland 2
Saracens: (0) 21
Tries: Penalty, Spencer Pens: Lozowski, Farrell 2 Con: Farrell

Semesa Rokoduguni's late brace clinched victory for Bath against Saracens in a thriller at the Recreation Ground.

The hosts raced into a 14-0 lead courtesy of the boot of Rhys Priestland and a try from Francois Louw.

After the break Mark McCall's side got back to 17-16 with a penalty try, before Ben Spencer put them two points ahead with seven minutes to play.

However, Rokoduguni and Bath were not finished, and the winger's pace and power won the game for the hosts.

Bath remain unbeaten at home since March, while Saracens are off to Philadelphia to face Newcastle Falcons in their next Premiership match.

From the outset Bath dominated the possession and their quick handling caught Saracens off guard.

Jonathan Joseph and Matt Banahan combined brilliantly to create the space wide and flanker Francois Louw flew in for a five-pointer on the left wing.

Two further Priestland penalties pushed the hosts out to a comfortable lead at the break, but the introduction of Saracens' British and Irish Lions saw them find their cohesion.

After further penalties cut their deficit, Ben Spencer pushed the visitors ahead for the first time on 73 minutes.

A late injury to Anthony Watson saw Bath again finishing a match without 15 players on the field but Rokoduguni - who had been in defensive mode for much of the game - stepped up.

The winger's electric footwork made quick work of Saracens' famed defence and with the time in red his final interception sealed a memorable victory for Todd Blackadder and his side.

Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder:

"I'm just so proud of that last try because we had to defend so many phases. It says a lot about our character.

"Our discipline was excellent in the first half and the challenge was to replicate that in the second half.

"There were some good lessons out there. Saracens really disrupted our breakdown in the second half and there was a massive momentum shift. We were really defending for 25-30 minutes and we were hanging on by the skin of our teeth.

"We've been in similar positions and lost. I can't complain about the resilience and the character. You always measure a culture by how hard players are prepared to work for each other - and here it's really strong."

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall:

"We were extremely poor in the first half today. There were a lot of bad decisions on the ball, a lot of mistakes on the halfway line.

"We were unable to build any pressure or control the field position. We were out-energised by Bath.

"But we were transformed in the second half and played well. We looked as if we had done enough to win - but it wasn't to be."

Bath: Watson; Rokoduguni, Joseph, Clark, Banahan; Priestland, Cook; Obano, Dunn, Perenise, Charteris, Stooke, Garvey (capt), Louw, Faletau.

Replacements: Walker, Auterac, Andrews, Phillips, Grant, Fotuali'i, Burns, Tapuai.

Saracens: Goode; Earle, Taylor, Barritt (capt), Wyles; Lozowski, Wigglesworth; Barrington, Brits, Koch; Day, Itoje; Rhodes, Burger, Wray.

Replacements: Tolofua, Vunipola, Figallo, Isiekwe, Earl, Spencer, Farrell, Williams.

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