Dec 16, 2018
Match Report: Bath United 31-24 Storm
Saracens Storm went down 31-17 in the wet against Bath United in the Premiership Rugby Shield.
Hooker Ross Batty scored twice and Max Clark went over before Max Malins, who kicked seven points, replied.
Christopher Tolofua added another shortly after Victor Delmas extended United’s advantage and Levi Davis’ try meant Ralph Adams-Hale’s late score was in vain.
Bath hammered at the Storm door early on, but the visitors went after their West Country opponents; Dom Morris, Viliami Hakalo and Ali Crossdale showing physical intent in several dominant tackles.
However, Sarries ill-discipline in the opening quarter cost them dearly. Awarded several kickable penalties inside the 22, Bath opted for the corner each time and it eventually paid off with Batty peeling off a rolling maul and skidding over.
United kept their foot to the floor and secured a second score in similar circumstances. The long frame of Luke Charteris plucked Batty’s throw out the air, presenting a perfect platform for the hooker to break off and jog under the sticks.
Two became three just past the half-hour mark. Slick hands from Aled Brew and Levi Davis released Clark down the left flank and the centre displayed enough of a leg drive to ground.
Storm’s response was immediate. Tom Whiteley darted through a gap to get the Men in Black on the front foot and when Tonga international Sione Vailanu punched a hole from the following play, Malins was on his shoulder to receive an offload and ran in.
It was short-lived comeback as Bath were straight back on the attack from the restart and grabbed their bonus-point score.
Clark’s well-timed line saw him brought down five metres out and Delmas crashed over on a short line with Saracens’ defence scrambling.
Adam Powell’s side did manage a second before the break, giving United a taste of their own medicine. The forwards set well and Tolofua was walked over at a canter.
Malins added three points soon after the break to reduce the deficit but not for long as Davis slid over in the corner for the home outfit’s fifth try of the afternoon.
The two teams continued to slog it out in the rain, neither threatening the other’s line until Adams-Hale powered home for a consolation which earned a losing bonus.