Bath rolled back the years at Welford Road on Saturday, achieving a hat-trick of Welford Road wins for the first time in more than 100 years with a performance that oozed creativity capped by an outrageous try-creating dummy executed by replacement Josh Matavesi on 53 minutes. 

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With the score 31-6 in favour of Bath, Matavesi caught the ball near the ten-metre line inside his own half from a Harry Potter clearance and he then embarked on a counterattack.

Approaching halfway he feigned a pass to his left before straightening his line, bursting past off-balance Leicester forward Tomas Lavanini and then sprinting clear into opposition territory. 

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There, he drew what remained of the Tigers cover before giving the try assist pass to young Tom de Glanville, who scored his first Premiership try. 

“Everyone who has come off the bench for Bath has had an impact. It’s like a training run for some of them,” chirped Austin Healey, who was commentating on the game for BT Sport. 

“Matavesi comes across the field… they [Leicester] just don’t get the defensive line in place. Lavanini is left just floundering in the midfield… look, he picks him off. He knows exactly where he wants to go.”

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Fellow pundit Ben Kay added while watching the replay of Matavesi: “Just look at the smile. Throws the biggest dummy ever.”

The try was one of six delivered by Bath in a comprehensive 38-16 win which kept them firmly in the race for the Gallagher Premiership play-offs against a Leicester XV where new head coach Steve Borthwick handed out three debuts and made 13 changes, resting all his England contingent apart from prop Dan Cole.

 

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