Premiership: Wasps beat Bath 30-22 for first win of the season

Wasps lock Will Rowlands
Will Rowlands put Wasps ahead on the stroke of half-time
Gallagher Premiership
Wasps (13) 30
Tries: Rowlands, Shields, Robson Cons: Sopoaga 3 Pens: Sopoaga 3
Bath (9) 22
Try: Mercer Con: Priestland Pens: Priestland 5

Brad Shields scored his first Premiership try to help Wasps edge a tight game against Bath for their first victory of the new season.

Behind and on the back foot for most of the second half, Shields' try put the hosts ahead with 15 minutes remaining.

Dan Robson then sealed victory with a third try, after Will Rowlands had scored on the stroke of half-time.

Bath had control of the game when Zach Mercer went over in the second half but left Coventry with nothing.

The visitors looked much the stronger after half-time and took the lead through Mercer's close range try - having regained possession when Wasps loosehead prop Zurab Zhvania bizarrely attempted a clearance kick on his own 22.

Wales stand-off Rhys Priestland's fifth penalty in the final minute - for an individual haul of 17 points - looked to have at least rescued a losing bonus point.

But, in attempting to play out of their own half to find the winning try, Bath were penalised at the breakdown and that allowed Lima Sopoaga to extend the winning margin beyond seven points.

Sopoaga struck two first-half penalties to keep Wasps in touch before Bath, 9-6 ahead, knocked on with seconds remaining and Wasps took full advantage when Rowlands took Robson's pass to charge under the posts from the 22.

Wasps were starved of ball in the second half but finally won a scrum in the Bath half and, after a strong carry from number eight Sione Vailanu took them into the visitors' 22, Shields was worked into the right corner.

Minutes later, Bath wing Aled Brew rushed out of the line and failed to make a tackle, which created space for Robson to go in for the winning score.

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young told BBC Coventry and Warwickshire:

"The most important part was getting that win. I would have accepted a win of any style because we needed to get back to winning ways at the Ricoh. That's important for the players.

"They feel the responsibility to win for the supporters. We haven't been where we would quite like to be at home and we know they deserve a bit better.

"We were the better team and close to cracking them on a number of occasions. We played some good stuff. But we were a little bit nervous with the ball.

"We were a bit panicky with the ball and one or two things didn't quite stick but I was really pleased with the defensive display and the effort.

Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper told BBC Radio Bristol:

"We're kicking ourselves because we had a chance to get at least a point and didn't, so that's not good enough. It was very frustrating for the players and coaches.

"At the end we could have come away with a point but there were a number of times earlier in the game when we shot ourselves in the foot and we have to be better than that.

"We pride ourselves on certain areas of the game and we just didn't deliver which is very frustrating for us all. There were opportunities to win the game in the second half.

"We have to front up and make sure we don't operate like that again. We were playing around at the end. We had a chance to take a point and should have put the ball off the park."

Wasps: Minozzi; Kibirige, Fekitoa , Gopperth, Odogwu; Sopoaga, Robson (capt); Zhvania, Taylor, Brookes, Gaskell, Rowlands, Shields, Carr, Vailanu.

Replacements: Cruse, Harris, Toomaga-Allen, Flament, Johnson, Wolstenholme, Searle, Le Bourgeois.

Bath: Burns; Rokoduguni, Wright, Roberts, Brew; Priestland, Fox; Boyce, Walker, Stuart, Stooke, Ewels (capt), Williams, Bayliss, Mercer.

Replacements: Dunn, Obano, Thomas, McNally, Ellis, Butt, Davies, Hamer-Webb.

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