Leicester make it eight from eight as Bath's wait for a first win goes on
George Ford scored 25 points as Leicester maintained their 100 per cent start to the Premiership season with a 40-23 win over Bath.
Winless Bath made the table-toppers fight all the way for an eighth straight victory with a performance of spirit and commitment which belied their league position.
Max Clark and Josh McNally touched down for Bath, with Danny Cipriani converting both and kicking three penalties, but they remain at the bottom having picked up only three points from their opening seven games.
Leicester took a third-minute lead through a Ford penalty. Two powerful bursts from Nemani Nadolo put the defence on the back foot and when Bath were penalised, Ford knocked over a straightforward kick.
The visitors immediately responded with a well-created try. Leicester overthrew a line-out in their 22 for Bath to capitalise when an expertly-timed pass from Cipriani to Tom Dunn was the catalyst for Clark’s score.
Bath wing Will Muir was then sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on and the home side took advantage of the wing’s absence by scoring a try from Dolly following an unstoppable line-out drive.
Leicester suffered an injury blow when former Bath player Freddie Burns departed with a rib injury and they lost their lead when a Cipriani penalty brought the scores level.
Muir returned from the bin just as fellow wing Semesa Rokoduguni left the field to fail a head injury assessment before Ford put his side back in front with a second penalty.
Leicester increased their lead when Matt Scott, who returned from Scotland’s international camp in midweek, benefitted from a half-break from Dan Kelly to score.
But Bath remained in contention as a simple penalty from Cipriani made it 20-13.
The visitors matched their opponents in the first half and they looked to have scored a second try. Tigers’ number eight Cyle Brink was yellow carded for not rolling away before McNally forced his way over, but TMO replays showed a double movement from the Bath captain.
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Leicester took their advantage to 10 points within two minutes of the restart with another penalty from Ford.
Bath’s injury woes continued when the impressive Clark required a head assessment, with the highly promising Max Ojomoh replacing him.
They overcame the setback to pick up their second try when McNally forced his way over from close range.
But Leicester restored daylight between the sides when Ford darted over in the corner after an alert Richard Wigglesworth had picked him out with the pass.
Bath still would not lie down, with Cipriani kicking a third penalty, but Ford’s fourth and a bonus try from Cowan-Dickie finally shut the door on their brave effort.
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