This twice postponed match was eventually played on a cold and cloudy morning. In the first half, Bath dominated much of the play. The visitors seemed better organised and ran well with the ball in hand and built up an early 21-0 lead through three converted tries.
Bridgwater scrapped hard and defended quite well close to the breakdown but struggled when the visitors spread the ball wide. As Bath ran in a fourth, and unconverted, try on the stroke of half time there was some reluctance on the part of the defence to make a telling tackle.
With a half time score of 0-26, one wondered what the second half would bring.
The game bore a remarkable similarity to yesterday’s Wales v Ireland game as the home side turned things around in the second half.
Bridgwater scrapped much harder and the game became a little fractious. An injury to one of the home side held up play for many minutes.
Bridgwater spent much of the half inside the Bath 22 as the visitors conceded a raft of penalty kicks. One incident should perhaps have resulted in a penalty try. Bridgwater ran a 5m penalty under the posts and were illegally stopped on the line by a high tackle that was only penalised with another penalty kick.
Eventually, the pressure told. Bridgwater, for a change, moved the ball wide at a penalty and Brendon Padfield went on an arcing run to the right and scored in the corner. Arrol Hold was short with the conversion attempt.
Almost immediately, a loose Bridgwater pass in their own 22 was intercepted by Bath who scored an unconverted try in the corner.
Taylor Galloway then made a very good catch on halfway from a loose Bath kick and ran hard towards the grandstand touchline. He was almost rewarded with a try but was tackled into touch just short of the corner flag.
Bridgwater will take heart from their second half performance against a bigger side and perhaps learn to spread the ball wider rather than drive up the middle all the time. The old maxim of ‘let the ball do the work’ still applies, provided you can give and take a pass.
Match report by Tony Pomeroy