Aviva Premiership: Louw leaves it late as Bath beat Leicester
Last Updated: 20/04/13 6:29pm
Francois Louw of Bath dives to score the late match winning try
Bath boosted their Heineken Cup hopes after Francois Louw's late try earned a 27-26 victory over Leicester in an Aviva Premiership thriller at the Rec.
A frenetic opening period saw Bath's Simon Taylor grab the first of five first-half tries, the former Scotland No 8 crashing over the line the day after it was announced that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season.
Leicester and England flanker Tom Croft then hit back with a fine finish of his own, leaving his England team-mate David Wilson for dead before sidestepping his way around Bath full-back Ollie Devoto to put the Tigers ahead.
The Tigers'attacking game-plan then cost them, Semesa Rokoduguni intercepting for Bath to run in from 40 metres out and restore the hosts' lead.
A penalty from Flood edged Leicester back in front before Ben Youngs added a sensational solo score - catching the Bath defence unawares by taking a tap penalty before swerving his way upfield for an 80-metre try.
Horacio Agulla countered with a try against his old side, collecting Donald's cross-field chip to go over, with Donald's conversion leaving the score at 19-20 by half-time.
Penalties from replacement Tom Heathcote and Flood added to the scoreboard after the break.
The carefree rugby of the first half though was replaced by an attritional battle, substitutes making an impact from the bench as Bath missed a crucial penalty to narrow the gap to a single point when Heathcote's kick hit the post.
A breakthrough was on the cards and eventually it came - Louw taking the offload from Perenise before spectacularly diving over in the corner to put Bath ahead by a point.
Louw also illustrated his hard work at the breakdown with a crucial turnover from the restart and from there Bath hung on for their best win of the season, in the process keeping their top-six hopes alive.
Fri 24th Apr
Bath43 - 18London Irish
Sat 25th Apr
Sale Sharks23 - 25Harlequins
Gloucester42 - 40Newcastle Falcons
Leicester Tigers38 - 17London Welsh
Northampton25 - 20Saracens
Sun 26th Apr
Wasps0 - 0Exeter
Fri 8th May
Harlequins0 - 0Bath
Sat 9th May
Sale Sharks0 - 0Newcastle Falcons
Gloucester0 - 0London Irish
Northampton0 - 0London Welsh
Wasps0 - 0Leicester Tigers
Sun 10th May
Saracens0 - 0Exeter
Sat 16th May
Bath0 - 0Gloucester
Exeter0 - 0Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers0 - 0Northampton
London Irish0 - 0Wasps
London Welsh0 - 0Saracens
Newcastle Falcons0 - 0Harlequins
Aviva Premiership 2012/13 Round 21
Exeter coach Rob Baxter praised his side after they closed on a place in the Heineken Cup by winning at Wasps.
Exeter closed on the sixth and final Heineken Cup spot for next season with a 37-24 bonus-point victory over Wasps.
Reaction from Soane Tonga'uiha and Brian Mujati after Northampton beat Sale Sharks 47-7 to claim a place in the Aviva Premiership semi-finals.
- Mallinder: Saints staying calm
- Saints secure play-off place
- O'Shea lauds brilliant Care
- Smith praises in-form Aulika
- Ford targets Heineken Cup spot
- Fraser a doubt for Toulon semi
- Quins secure play-off berth
- Irish run riot against Welsh
- Sarries streak comes to a halt
- Fiddes' Cent
- Gloucester v Saracens: Teams
- Wasps v Exeter: Teams
- L Irish v L Welsh: Teams
- Bath v Leicester: Teams
- Worcester v Quins: Teams
- Northampton v Sale: Teams