Bath narrowly secured a 20-19 victory over their regional rivals from the West Country, as Bristol came close to an exciting win in the Premiership.
In the 67th minute, a penalty by Finn Russell secured the win for the home team. Despite tries from Rich Lane and Max Malins that brought Bristol back into the game, Pat Lam’s team ultimately suffered their fourth consecutive loss due to inaccurate kicking.
Bath responded to Magnus Bradbury’s early try with two quick tries from Ollie Lawrence and scrum-half Ben Spencer within a span of two minutes.
Bristol made a fast start, with Bradbury scoring a try after a series of pick-and-drives towards the home posts after five minutes. Sheedy successfully converted the try. Russell then responded with a penalty and Bath had their chance to attack and score, with Lawrence getting past O’Conor and Oghre to score their first try.
After Lawrence made a strong run from the restart, Russell quickly regained possession and prepared to kick the ball from the tee once more. His teammate, Redpath, served as a connection between them and passed the ball to Spencer, who scored a try in the corner.
After thirty minutes, Virimi Vakatawa, a France international, proved to be a major threat for the opposing team. He left the home defenders struggling and then passed the ball to Miles Reid from Bath just before reaching the line.
Bristol’s captain, Harry Randall, led another impressive counterattack that could have resulted in a try. However, when the ball was passed to the left, possession was lost near the Bath line.
At halftime, Bath was leading 17-7 and both teams took a more cautious approach in the second half. However, Bristol managed to score two tries within four minutes.
Initially, Lane seized a kick from Sheedy and successfully scored a try in the left corner. Later, substitute full-back Malins, who was unable to play last week due to illness, completed an impressive counterattack initiated by Gabriel Ibitoye.
On the 60th minute, Sheedy was unsuccessful in scoring any points, and although Russell had a chance to make an easy penalty, he also missed, resulting in Bristol maintaining their lead of 17-19. However, Sheedy was also unable to make a kick on the opposite end.
Malins gave Bath a chance by kicking out of their own 22, and Russell helped his team take the lead with a penalty in front of the posts. Sheedy had another chance from a difficult angle, but his penalty kick fell short despite being well executed.
On Friday, Bath revealed that they have acquired the services of Hame Faiva, a hooker from New Zealand who previously played for Benetton and Worcester, for the World Cup.
In the meantime, Arron Reed from the Sale wing scored two tries, leading his team to the top of the table with a 40-22 comeback win against Newcastle at their home stadium.
During the last few minutes, outside-centre Sam James and wing Tom Roebuck both scored points as Sale successfully stopped an impressive comeback from Newcastle in the second half.
Ben Curry from England and Rob du Preez from South Africa each scored a try in the first half of a thrilling match. Newcastle’s Louis Brown, Callum Chick, Bryan Byrne, and Iwan Stephens also contributed to the scoring.