The 100th anniversary of the first match ever played between Bath Rugby and Leicester Tigers ended in the most dramatic of fashions as Bath held off a second-half fight back from the visitors to clinch a 27-20 win in front of a packed Recreation Ground.
Both sides failed in their first attempts at goal, but Tigers' French scrum-half David Mele was more successful with his second, giving the visitors the early lead. On the restart, tighthead prop Dan Cole knocked on attempting to steal the loose ball. A strong Bath scrum won a second shot at goal for Ford, who made sure this one was straight and true. 3-3.
On 21 minutes, and to rapturous applause from the home crowd, Jonathan Joseph broke Tigers' hopes of a try after intercepting a Ryan Lamb pass in his own half and gliding through the defence and all the way under the posts. Ford's conversion made it 10-3.
Bath were on the attack once more when the Tigers loosehead, Logovi'I Mulipola, was yellow carded for a shoulder charge on lock Dave Attwood. It wasn't long until the dominant Bath pack won a shot at goal with another strong scrummage – Ford punishing Tigers' indiscipline with a further three points to go ahead 13-3.
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