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Bath target first win against unbeaten Toulon

Thursday 12th January 2023

12:00 pm (GMT)

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Bath target first win against unbeaten Toulon

Bath centre Ollie Lawrence in Round 1 action against Glasgow

Bath Rugby seek their first EPCR Challenge Cup win of the season as they await the visit of unbeaten Toulon on Saturday.

Bath will know how tough a task they face – they lost 7-29 in France last month, leaving them with successive defeats in Pool A after they were beaten 22-19 at home to Glasgow Warriors in Round 1.

Toulon, meanwhile, are second in the pool, with a 24-21 win at Zebre Parma preceding their commanding victory over Bath in Round 2.

Since then, Bath have had some mixed form, picking up only one win in their last three Gallagher Premiership matches, though Toulon have only managed the same record in the TOP 14.

The match kicks off at 15:15 (UK & Irish time) at the Recreation Ground, and can be watched on Viaplay-Premier Sports or FloRugby.

Key quote:

Bath hooker Niall Annett: “”It’s a big game and we’ve treated it very much like that, it’s a cup final of sorts. It’s one that we’re building heavily towards and has been a big focus in training in the week.”

Bath Rugby

  • Bath have been a nuisance at 51 rucks – more than any other team.
  • Bath have made the joint-fewest clean breaks in the competition (three).
  • Bath are the only team in the tournament who have not stolen a single opposition lineout.

RC Toulon

  • Toulon have beaten the most defenders in the tournament so far. Aymeric Luc and Gervais Cordin have beaten ten each.
  • Toulon’s lineout success rate of 97 per cent is the best in the competition. Four of their seven tries so far have started from lineouts.
  • Toulon are the only team to have been awarded a penalty try from a scrum. They have won eight scrum penalties so far, equal with Cardiff Rugby.

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Bath fall short to Toulon

Sunday 15th January 2023

5:55 pm (GMT)

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Bath fall short to Toulon

Ted Hill scored a brilliant solo try for Bath Rugby as they lost to RC Toulon in the EPCR Challenge Cup.

Bath Rugby fell to a 35-23 defeat to RC Toulon at Kingsholm Stadium on Sunday as the visitors secured their passage to the EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16.

The hosts, who were forced to play away from their usual home due to flooding, managed two tries from Matt Gallagher and one exceptional individual score from Ted Hill.

But Toulon proved too strong, notching a penalty try inside the first minute before crossing through Thomas Salles, Cheslin Kolbe and Adrien Warion. Dan Biggar also kicked a crucial 13 points.

Bath got off to a poor start, and were down to 14 men amid a yellow card shown to Dave Attwood after Toulon’s penalty try.

Orlando Bailey kicked a penalty for Bath three minutes later, but Toulon turned on the style as they put together an impressive passing move to cross for their second score on 10 minutes, Salles finishing clinically.

Bath finally got their breakthrough on 33 minutes when Gallagher crossed following some strong carries, but a penalty from Toulon’s Biggar meant the English side went in 15-8 down at the break.

Bath burst out the blocks at the start of the second half, but Toulon’s defence was equal to them and a 45th minute penalty was the closest the hosts could get, Bailey dragging wide.

By contrast, Biggar stepped up to extend Toulon’s lead to ten points on 56 minutes, and that gap became 17 moments later when a quick penalty kicked through the Bath line was snatched up by Kolbe, who strolled under the posts before the Wales fly-half added the extras.

Bath’s pressure told on 66 minutes when a lofted pass out wide allowed Gallagher to dot down in the corner for his second try, but once again the conversion was missed – this time by Piers Francis.

Almost immediately after the restart, Bath recovered the ball and got themselves within five points; Hill broke through, punted forward and collected to cross, with Francis converting this time.

Yet shortly after, Biggar slotted a penalty to put Toulon 28-20 up, although Francis responded with long-range three-pointer to give the English side hope with four minutes to go.

But it was not to be; Bath went long with a last-minute lineout which was intercepted by the visitors, Warion streaking clear to score before Biggar converted to confirm their victory and passage to the Round of 16.

Bath now face a trip to Scotland to tackle Glasgow Warriors in their final pool stage match on Friday, with Toulon hosting Zebre Parma on the same day.

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