Mar 08, 2019
Match Report: Bath Rugby 18-9 Saracens Men
Saracens suffered their fourth away defeat in a row in the Gallagher Premiership for the first time since 2010, going down 18-9 against Bath.
Rhys Priestland scored all of the home team’s points with Alex Lozowski’s three penalties not quite enough for a losing bonus.
It was the hosts who started the brighter, barging their way up-field; Jonathan Joseph at first receiver more often than not, Zach Mercer the bulldozing carrier.
Sarries’ defence stood firm and prevented a try but a penalty offence for not rolling away allowed Priestland kick a straightforward three points.
Lozowski’s response from distance drifted wide in the wide before scrum dominance offered a second bite of the cherry for the inside centre and he levelled matters with a sweet strike.
The conditions made it difficult to execute clean rugby and both sides gifted possession to the other due to a greasy ball.
It also meant a lot of phases and hard yards for the forwards and it eventually paid dividends for Bath. Winning a penalty at the breakdown, Priestland opted to punt for the corner and after several picks from his pack towards the posts, the fly-half had another decision to make and decided to take the simple shot at goal.
The former Wales international extended the score to 9-3 shortly before half-time, leaving work to be done for Saracens in the second period.
They got to it early on through Lozowski’s tee-shot and a sublime Max Malins break almost led to David Strettle skipping over in the corner.
Lozowski made things all square with his third successful nudge of the evening following an impressive jackal from Tom Woolstencroft, then an Alex Goode bomb caused havoc in the Bath 22 but Todd Blackadder’s men managed to retrieve and clear metres from their line.
Buoyed by this, the Somerset outfit marched to other end and when Ben Earl was sent to the bin for an infringement at the ruck, Priestland edged them ahead once more.
A late hit on Alex Lewington by Ross Batty saw the replacement hooker yellow carded with 10 minutes remaining, as Earl re-joined the fray, but Priestland notched his fifth and sixth penalties to seal victory.