A DISASTROUS first half saw London Welsh slump to defeat at Bath in their opening LV= Cup match at the Recreation Ground on Saturday.

The Exiles trailed 30-0 at the interval, and although they stemmed the flow of tries after the break, the damage had been done.

Bath needed just five minutes to open the scoring, Max Northcote-Green being driven over for a try.

Former Welsh fly half Gavin Henson saw his conversion come back off a post, but he was on target with a penalty soon after.

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A passage of kicking ended with Welsh’s Rhys Crane finding touch from outside of his 22, and the home side made the Exiles pay, Olly Woodburn going over in the corner.

Henson’s conversion opened up a 15-0 lead and a penalty extended it yet further.

Bath were in full flow and a penalty try increased the advantage before the hosts wrapped up the four-try bonus point on the stroke of half-time.

From turnover ball in their own half, Matt Banahan broke through to touch down and round off a comprehensive first-half display by the home side – Henson’s conversion attempt again hitting an upright.

A double half-time change in the front row by Welsh had the desired effect, evening out the scrum battle.

But that alone couldn’t prevent Bath from extending their lead, Banahan collecting a crossfield kick before laying it off for Northcote-Green to claim his second try of the afternoon. Henson did the rest.

Welsh responded well, however, and got on the scoresheet.

A couple of quick penalties allowed Will Robinson to take the visitors into the Bath 22 and Robinson’s flat, fizzing pass sent Nick Scott over in the corner.

Robinson added an excellent conversion from the left touchline.

However, Bath were to have the final say with two late scores.

Richard Lane dived over for try No 6, before Marcus Garratt completed the scoring, sealing an emphatic victory.

 WELSH are in Pool 4 along with Exeter, Harlequins and Ospreys.

They face teams from Pool 1 in each of their matches, with the top side going through to the semi-finals.


Exeter 28, Gloucester 27; Saracens 25, Harlequins 20.

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