Bath Rugby player ratings from Saracens defeat - 'Finnless but not rudderless'

Bath Rugby were edged out 15-12 in a physical, tactical encounter with Saracens at the Recreation Ground on Friday night with a late Owen Farrell penalty denying the hosts a brilliant comeback

It was an arm wrestle in the first half, and despite limited chances on offer, Saracens struck gold twice, first with Tom Parton after a lung-busting set of phases. The second try came on the stroke of halftime when a neat cross-field chip from Farrell found Segun in yards of space as the visitors went 12-0 at the break.

READ MORE: Saracens edge Bath Rugby in gritty battle of the play-off contenders

Bath could have been down more after the break, but two line-out steals from Charlie Ewels saved their blushes, and when young prop Archie Griffin won a scrum penalty off Mako Vunipola, the hosts were galvanised and scored twice n ten minutes. A close-range effort from Thomas du Toit, his 10th try in all competitions, followed by a driving maul effort finished by Cameron Redpath, meant Bath levelled the score.

The Blue, Black and White looked to be turning the screw on the Champions, but when Theo Dan broke from his own half, the visitors found a way to win as Dan's break and then kick forced Cameron Redpath to carry the ball over his own try line. A penalty from Farrell after Jacques du Plessis was caught offside was the killer blow, and despite a late barrage from the hosts, Saracens held on for a critical win.

Rugby reporter Sam Jess takes a closer look at the individual performances from the Bath players...

15 Matt Gallagher - 7

Mr Consistent at the back as always, Gallagher had to survive an onslaught of Saracens's kicks throughout the contest. A neat half-break gave Bath some rare, quick front foot ball, but despite a few neat breaks, he was never able to show that attacking intent.

14 Joe Cokanasiga - 6

The winger didn't get much of the ball for large parts, but when he did, he forced several tacklers to commit to him at once. A brilliant last gasps tackle on Tom Parton saved Bath what could have been a mountain to climb early in the second half.

TNT Sports commentator Austin Healy said on comms at half time if Bath can get the ball to him more, he could prove to be the winning ace in the match but without the injured Finn Russell they were unable to do so.

13 Ollie Lawrence - 6

The centre might not have had the space and freedom to show his attacking work, but it was a game full of grating and close-range work and defence.

12 Max Ojomoh - 7

The centre was everywhere in making the hard yards against the powerful Saracen's defence, but with his side chasing the game, Ojomoh started to show some more attacking freedom using his quick feet to free space.

11 Will Muir - 8

He had a few drop balls chasing kicks, which he could have caught, but the winger was soon making up for it with some better efforts. There were a few half chances, but his best moment of the first half came chasing the elusive Juan Martin Gonzalez, who looked to be striding away from a killer score. A brilliant chase and flick back from the last kick-off almost gave Bath the winning score but his side were unable to make the moment count.

10 Orlando Bailey - 7

Bath, may be Finnless, but they are not rudderless. It was a steady performance last week, but this week, Bailey was a lot more confident taking the ball to the line, with some degrees of success, particularly as a runner. Bailey's adjustment to the line speed was key to his side's recovery in the game. Some neat work in the kicking game showed his worth but a nasty-looking head injury meant he left the field early.

9 Ben Spencer - 8

Against his former side, Spencer showed some brilliant energy and work rate. His kicking game was again exceptional, with pinpoint box-kicks pinning Saracens back. Despite a nasty-looking landing on his shoulder, Spencer powered on and continued to put his side in the right areas.

1 Beno Obano - 7

In what was a physical old encounter, Obano was amongst the tight stuff with some big carries, but he was never able to show some of the power that he had done in previous games.

2 Niall Annett - 5

Returning to the starting line-up, having rested last week, Annett made a solid start before spilling a simple carry, eventually leading to a goal line dropout. The hooker made amends moments later, forcing a knock-on with a big hit on Elliot Daly. After a bright first half, Annett missed his man in two consecutive lineouts in Sarcens's half, denying Bath some big chances to wrestle their way back into the game.

3 Will Stuart - 6

It was quite an odd game for Stuart with not a lot of bright moments, but that's not to say he was poor; he was just involved in a lot of the dirty work.

4 Quinn Roux - 6

Again, a solid enough game for Roux, but a few lineout wobbles meant Roux's game was not quite there,

5 Charlie Ewels - 8

After a stellar display last week, Ewels started well with an early charge down on a Farrell kick. His game is at his best once again, and after a solid first half, the lock made a brilliant steal. A brilliant line break in the closing minutes again showed his worth, but when they needed it most with the last significant attack of the game the lineout failed.

6 Ted Hill - 7

It was quite an attritional start to life for Hill under the lights, but a brilliant hit on Segun burst his game into life. While he was never able to get the freedom and space, he showed his power work in a physical display.

7 Sam Underhill - 7

Underhill was his attritional self as usual, making some gritty tackles and turnovers at the breakdown. He was a key figure for Bath in the comeback, but it felt like he was stopping Saracens more than showing his game.

8 Alfie Barbeary - 8

It was an attritional game for the number eight with lots of strong graft and power, and had he caught a ball from Annett from a 5m line out, he would have likely given his side a try, but he was unable to gather the trick play at the lineout.


16 Tom Dunn - 7

Nailed his first two lineouts when his side desperately needed a platform to attack from.

17 Thomas du Toit - 8

Scoring tries once more with a strong surge from close range, his sixth in the Premiership.

18 Archie Griffin - 8

Off the bench and against Mako Vunipola, the prop was strong and showed a brilliant fight, helping his side earn a penalty, which changed the game.

19 Jacques du Plessis - 6

His towering presence was key at the lineout, but an offside penalty with only minutes on the clock proved costly

20 Josh Bayliss - 7

A livewire off the bench, Bayliss gave Bath energy and an improved attacking sense.

21 Louis Schreuder - 6

On for the injured Bailey, Schreuder's work came mostly on the wing, with Spencer moving to fly-half. A neat chip and gather almost worked, but after the bounce did not favour him, he was out of position, which led to the crucial Theo Dan linebreak.

22 Cameron Redpath - 7

After suffering an ankle injury just a few weeks ago, Redpath returned with a try after only seconds of coming onto the pitch, finishing off a driving maul. Some lovely footwork. His night ended on a sour note when he carried the ball over his try line and failed to clear his lines.

23 Jaco Coetzee - N/A