cheap steeler jerseys bin but hold on to beat Leicester Tigers 27
In both contests they led for the vast majority and in both they almost blew it; hanging on to survive late onslaughts but ultimately getting a 27 23 win.
After 14 years without one, it tasted very sweet for the men in their new white strip, especially after losing three players to the sin bin in the final 11 minutes.
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Where once they were comfortable in the Tigers lair, in the closing stages they were shaky.
Yet they managed to make enough last ditch tackles to limit their hosts to two tries at the death, when a third would have seen them steal the spoils.
(Image: David Rogers/Getty Images)
Max Clark repaid the faith in his start at 12 to score two tries in a man of the match performance and Semesa Rokoduguni continued his prolific Premiership record by intercepting his old team mate George Ford and running in from 90m.
Rhys Priestland kicked three conversions and two penalties to help build the lead and even played at scrum half when Fotuali’i was off the field.
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The late drama and numerical disadvantage meant Freddie Burns was denied a chance to face his former club at the stadium where he was a fans’ favourite.
Neat interplay from Ben Youngs, Telusa Veainu and Brendon O’Connor teed up fit again Manu Tuilagi to canter in unopposed.
Any momentum and volume from the home support was soon tempered when Priestland gathered a box kick and, surrounded by Tigers, popped the ball to Matt Banahan.
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The winger charged down the blindside, outpaced Lugovi’i Mulipola and Ben Youngs before passing inside to Clark for the score.
After hammering away at the Tigers’ line with relentless picks and drives, Chris Cook who had an impressive first half, especially with the boot picked out Clark.
The inside centre’s line was hard and perfectly timed and there was no stopping him from close range.
Tigers had Bath in some trouble when the visitors punished them again. Ford was looking for Tuilagi down the left but forced a pass and Rokoduguni pounced to intercept it.
The club’s top scorer of the past two seasons had Veainu and May in pursuit but he had the pace and a cheeky sidestep to evade both of them and put Bath 21 8 up at the break, once Priestland had added the extra points.
The telling stats from Bath Rugby’s 27 23 Premiership win against Leicester Tigers
There were mistakes from both sides in the second half and in the early stages Bath really should have secured the bonus point with a fourth try.
They came close with driving mauls and close range snipes but had to settle for two Priestland penalties to sandwich three points from Ford.
With 11 minutes to go, 27 11 up, Bath looked comfortable before their history of high tackles caught up with them.