Bath 13-18 Leinster (FT)
12.48 – Hello, and welcome to our live coverage of Bath v Leinster.
We’re just underway here…
12.49 – Here are the teams by the way…
Bath: Nick Abendanon;Jack Cuthbert, Dan Hipkiss, Olly Barkley, Matt Banahan; Stephen Donald, Michael Claassens; David Flatman, Chris Biller, David Wilson; Dave Attwood, Ryan Caldwell; Francois Louw (capt), Guy Mercer, Simon Taylor
Replacements: Charlie Beech, Nathan Catt, Anthony Perenise, Will Spencer, Andy Beattie, Chris Cook, Tom Heathcote, Sam Vesty
Leinster: Rob Kearney; Isa Nacewa, Fergus McFadden, Gordon D’Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald; Jonathan Sexton, Isaac Boss; Heinke van der Merwe, Richardt Strauss, Mike Ross; Leo Cullen (capt), Damian Browne, Kevin McLaughlin; Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip
Replacements: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Nathan White, Devin Toner, Shane Jennings, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Eoin O’Malley
12.53 – Wonderful counter-attack from Leinster, involving Fitzgerald, Sexton and Heaslip. However, they are eventually penalised for not releasing at the breakdown.
12.56 – From the sublime to the ridiculous… Fitzgerald’s poor kick into touch hands Bath the initiative, after the Leinster winger’s previous wonderful solo run nearly earned Leinster a try.
12.58 – Leinster are hanging on at the moment, manfully defending in their 22, as Bath choose to go for the try – kicking into touch rather than taking the three points. The decision backfires, however, as Leinster win the lineout.
13.02 – So close! Rob Kearney surges through the Bath defence, but O’Brien can’t quite keep hold of his subsequent pass. It’s been a really entertaining opening to this game.
13.04 – BATH 3-0 LEINSTER: Olly Barkley makes no mistake with his penalty, opening the scoring after 15 minutes.
13.10 – Huge hit by Nacewa on Hipkiss. Will that be the signal for Leinster to begin to exert their dominance on this game?
13.13 – Leinster are again under the cosh, defending deep in their 22. However, the move breaks down, as Bath are eventually penalised for a forward pass.
13.16 – Despite failing to register a score so far, there is no shortage of adventurous play for Leinster. They have chosen to run the ball in their 22, when they could easily have kicked it, on several occasions now.
13.19 – Another scrum for Bath in the Leinster 22. The visitors have been forced to defend doggedly for the majority of this first half.
13.23 – Leinster finally seem to have an opportunity, with a lineout just outside the Bath 22, but they lose possession, infuriatingly.
13.26 – Barkley kicks another successful penalty to make it 6-0 – a scoreline that is by no means generous to Bath.
13.30 – PENALTY MISSED! Sexton, who has arguably been Leinster’s best player, slices a penalty horribly, to compound Leinster’s first half misery.
13.32 – BATH 6-3 LEINSTER: It’s not often I’ll type this, but after over 40 minutes of play, Leinster have finally registered their first score of the game, courtesy of a Sexton penalty.
13.33 – HALF TIME: BATH 6-3 LEINSTER
13.36 – On reflection, Leinster will probably be relatively happy going in at half time with that scoreline. Bath have undoubtedly been the more dominant team, in a game that has been more entertaining and open than the scoreline suggests.
13.42 – For anyone who’s interested, Glasgow are currently leading Montpellier 12-10 in the other game in the pool.
13.47 – And the second half is underway…
13.50 – Fairly scrappy opening to the second half, with neither side threatening as of yet.
13.52 – Brilliant run from O’Brien who storms through the Bath defence and is tackled ten yards from the hosts’ try line. Perhaps he could have looked to pass it earlier there.
13.55 – BATH 6-6 LEINSTER: We’re all square as Leinster get the three points that their early second half pressure has merited, with Sexton kicking his second successful penalty out of three attempts.
13.59 – Incredibly selfish play from O’Brien. All he had to do was pass it out to the wing and Leinster were in for a try, but he instead chose to back himself and ended up losing possession.
14.02 – Ciarán Ó Raghallaigh sums up everyone’s frustration:
14.04 – BATH 6-9 LEINSTER: Sexton kicks another successful penalty, as the game begins to swing in Leinster’s favour.
14.14 – BATH 6-12 LEINSTER: Leinster have just come agonisingly close to getting their first try of the game, but the video referee confirms they were held up on the Bath try line. The referee was playing advantage though, so Leinster get a penalty, which Sexton comfortably slots over.
14.15 – TRY FOR BATH!
14.19 – BATH 13-12 LEINSTER: Cuthbert exploits space on the Leinster left wing before offloading to Banahan, who storms over the line. Barkley makes no mistake with the conversion.
14.20 – Will Leinster, and in particular Sean O’Brien, end up regretting those missed opportunities?
14.23 – Leinster have ten minutes to avoid their first Heineken Cup defeat of the season.
14.24 – PENALTY TO LEINSTER!
14.26 – BATH 13-15 LEINSTER: Sexton demonstrates nerves of steel, enabling Leinster to regain their lead in the process.
14.29 – YELLOW CARD! Bath’s captain Francois Louw is effectively sent off for what the referee deems to be a high tackle. It’s slightly harsh, judging by replays.
14.30 – Leinster lose possession deep inside the Bath 22. One last chance for Bath?
14.33 – Jonny Sexton – who has scored all of Leinster’s points this afternoon with 5/6 successful kicks – gets the Man of the Match award.
14.35 – FULL TIME: BATH 13-18 LEINSTER: Sexton scores another penalty with the last kick of the game.
14.42 – Paul Wallace has described the battle for the Irish No 10 jersey as “a very difficult decision” for Declan Kidney to make, in light of the excellent form of both O’Gara and Sexton.
14.49 – In summary, it wasn’t the best performance that Leinster have ever produced, however they showed impressive resolve to eke out the victory, despite suffering a scare when Bath went ahead courtesy of that Banahan try.
Joe Schmidt’s men are now firm favourites to progress as group winners, having won two and drawn one game in Pool 3. Moreover, they still have two home games to play and so, look on course to secure a coveted quarter-final home tie.
14.53 – And finally, in case you were wondering, Glasgow have beaten Montpellier 20-15.
That result means Leinster sit top of Pool 3 on 11 points, followed by Glasgow (8 points), Bath (6 points) and Montpellier (4 points).
14.58 – Okay, that’s it from me. Thanks for reading and commenting. It’s been emotional… sort of.
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