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Bath come from behind to sink Worcester in Aviva Premiership

Published 13/02/2016

Tom Homer's kicking helped Bath to victory at Worcester.
Tom Homer's kicking helped Bath to victory at Worcester.

Bath hit back from a 14-3 deficit to record a morale-boosting 16-14 Aviva Premiership victory over Worcester at Sixways.

A lethargic Bath were deservedly behind as Cooper Vuna and Donncha O'Callaghan tries, both converted by Tom Heathcote, had Worcester in first-half control.

However, the second half introduction of replacement scrum-half Jonathan Evans galvanised the visitors.

Evans scored their only try and Tom Homer converted - adding to his three penalties - as Bath squeezed over the line.

Flanker Carl Kirwan, made his top flight debut for Worcester with backs Tom Heathcote and Andy Symons both recalled to the starting line-up after last week's defeat at London Irish.

Fijian lock Tevita Cavubati was an absentee for the hosts after picking up a nine-week ban for biting an opponent - he was replaced by Darren Barry.

For Bath, flanker Guy Mercer made his 100th appearance for the club with Scotland Under-20 international Adam Hastings son of former British Lion, Gavin, included for his debut at fly-half.

England squad members Henry Thomas and Semesa Rokoduguni were also in the visitors' starting line-up.

Bath had the first chance for points and Homer made no mistake with his penalty kick to give his side a seventh minute lead - but six minutes later Warriors responded with an excellent try.

A well-timed pass from Heathcote sent Wynand Olivier through a gap in the Bath defence before the centre fed Chris Pennell, who sent Vuna in for the try. Heathcote converted.

Within minutes, the visitors had suffered another blow when they lost prop Nick Auterac with an injury. He was replaced by Beno Obano.

After 24 minutes, Worcester extended their lead with another well created try. From a ruck in the visitors 22, Luke Baldwin opted to use the blind side, before good inter-passing from Gerrit-Jan Van-Velze and Olivier gave O'Callaghan the opportunity to crash over.

Heathcote converted with a superb touchline kick before Homer's second penalty cut the arrears - but Bath continued to have problems.

Seven minutes before the interval, lock Tom Ellis limped off to be replaced by Dominic Day but Bath were allowed to remain in contention as the hosts continued to give away penalties.

Worcester conceded nine penalties in the first half, seven in their own territory - but Bath could not take advantage and they still trailed 14-6 at the interval.

Within two minutes of the restart, Bath centre Max Clark was sin-binned for a sliding tackle on Bryce Heem - but the home side were still giving away the majority of the penalties.

Val Rapava Ruskin was penalised at a maul but surprisingly Homer was off target with a straightforward kick, before Evans replaced the disappointing Niko Matawalu at scrum-half.

Within two minutes of his introduction, Evans had created and scored Bath's first try. An excellent kick from him saw Rokoduguni beat Chris Pennell in the air to secure possession before the wing raced away to send Evans over for the try, which Homer converted.

Clark returned from the sin-bin before Heathcote missed with a long range penalty, which left Worcester with a one-point advantage going into the final quarter.

However Bath were dominating the second half and when Worcester conceded another scrum penalty Homer put his side back in front with 12 minutes remaining.

Warriors' replacement, Ryan Mills and Heathcote had late chances to win the game but both failed with kickable penalties - enabling Bath to come away with a much-needed victory.

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