Du Toit scores as Bath beat Saracens
PREMIERSHIP SATURDAY WRAP: Bath made it two wins from two matches in the Premiership with a 25-16 victory over Saracens on Saturday.
In Saturday’s other matches, Bristol edged Northampton 33-27 while Gloucester beat Newcastle 18-14.
On Friday, Sale Sharks were too good for Leicester in a 24-17 win
Andy Christie’s try gave Sarries an early lead against Bath, but the visitors struck back with Tom de Glanville, Miles Reid and Ruaridh McConnochie going over during an impressive first-half display.
Alex Lozowski’s penalty reduced the deficit to four points after the break, but Thomas du Toit’s bonus-point score secured the victory despite Chris Cloete’s late yellow card.
The result leaves Saracens rooted to the bottom of the Premiership table, while Bath go top after back-to-back bonus-point wins.
Saracens came out of the blocks firing, with Christie charging down a careless Finn Russell chip before regathering and crossing underneath the posts to help put his side 7-0 ahead.
However, the Scotland flyhalf made amends immediately, deceiving the onrushing Sarries defence with a stunning offload to feed De Glanville for Bath’s first try of the match.
The visitors then took a 12-7 lead after Reid muscled his way across the whitewash from close range.
Lozowski reduced the difference to two points with a penalty midway through the first half, but Bath were back in control less than two minutes later.
Ben Spencer produced a delightful cross-field kick from the base of a ruck to feed McConnochie, and the winger capitalised, going over in the corner on his first start of the season.
Lozowski took another shot at goal 12 minutes before half-time, but his effort drifted agonisingly wide.
The Saracens centre did kick his second penalty of the afternoon shortly after to keep the hosts within touching distance, but Russell restored Bath’s seven-point advantage moments later.
Saracens were on the front foot as the heavens opened after the break, but Aled Davies knocked the ball on at the base of a ruck on the edge of Bath’s 22, and the visitors cleared the ball downfield.
It was not long before Saracens were back in the visitors’ half, and after the hosts won a penalty, Lozowski made it 20-16 from the tee.
However, that only seemed to anger Johann van Graan’s side, and they were in the ascendency again six minutes later when Du Toit touched down from the back of a driving maul.
The hosts showed immense heart to stay in the game in difficult conditions and had the opportunity to launch an attack from a lineout in Bath territory with 10 minutes left to play.
But the conditions got the better of replacement hooker Samson Adejimi, and his throw was judged not straight as the match started to slip away from Sarries.
Bath controlled the closing stages, dominating possession and limiting Saracens to scraps as they capped an excellent afternoon with a statement victory.
Saturday, October 21:
Saracens 16-25 Bath
Try: Adam Christie
Con: Alex Lozowski
Pens: Lozowski 3
Tries: Tom De Glanville, Mile Reid, Ruaridh McConnochie, Thomas du Toit
Con: Finn Russell
Northampton 27-33 Bristol
Tries: Tom Seabrook 2, Tom Pearson, Tommy Freeman
Cons: Finn Smith 2
Pen: F Smith
Tries: Magnus Bradbury 2, Max Lahiff, Harry Thacker
Cons: Callum Sheedy 2
Pens: Sheedy 3
Newcastle 14-18 Gloucester
Tries: Penalty Try, Adam Radwan
Con: Brett Connon
Tries: George McGuigan, Jacob Morris
Con: George Barton
Pens: George Barton 2
Friday. October 20:
Leicester Tigers 17-24 Sale Sharks
Tries: Mike Brown, Hanro Liebenberg, Ollie Hassell-Collins
Cons: Jamie Shillcock
For Sale Sharks:
Tries: Tom Roebuck, Dan du Preez, Robert du Preez
Cons: Robert du Preez 3
Pen: Robert du Preez