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Bath will be hoping to end a seven-game losing streak in the Heineken Champions Cup – their worst ever run in European competition – as they host Scarlets at the Recreation Ground on Saturday.
The Welsh side ran out 35-17 winners on their last visit to Bath in January 2018 – just one of two victories away from home in the Heineken Champions Cup in their last 15 attempts.
The game will kick off at 15:15 (UK and Irish time) and will be televised live on BT Sport and beIN SPORTS.
Two familiar foes go toe-to-toe on Saturday 🤜🤛@BathRugby welcome @scarlets_rugby to The Rec 🤝
Who'll come out on top in #HeinekenChampionsCup Round 1? pic.twitter.com/UB4k11Lvng
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) December 11, 2020
- Bath Rugby and Scarlets have met three times before in the Heineken Champions Cup, with the away team on the day winning each of those games (Scarlets twice, Bath once).
- Bath have lost their last seven games, their worst run in European competition, however five of those defeats have come by margins of seven or fewer points.
- Scarlets have lost 13 of their last 15 away games in the Heineken Champions Cup (W2) but one of the two wins in that span came against Bath, in January 2018 (35-17).
- Bath Rugby scored four tries directly from their maul in the Heineken Champions Cup last season, more than any other club in 2019/20.
- Scarlets were one of just two sides to not be shown a yellow card in the Challenge Cup last season (also Edinburgh), although they were one of just seven sides to have a man sent off in 2019/20.
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Scarlets won a breathtaking encounter against Bath Rugby 23-19 in the opening round of the Heineken Champions Cup at The Rec on Saturday afternoon.
Gareth Davies – on his 200th appearance for the Welsh outfit – got the ball rolling for the visitors before a stunning second half score from Kieran Hardy earned Scarlets the victory.
Bath, who scored tries through Ruaridh McConnochie and Will Stuart, thought they’d won it in the final seconds when Ben Spencer – who earlier kicked nine points – touched down. Unfortunately for the scrum-half, he was a yard short of the try line.
What a finish 🤯@scarlets_rugby hold on at the death to deny @BathRugby a first European win in a long, long time 👀
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) December 12, 2020
Bath drew first blood on the scoreboard after Scarlets were caught offside. Scrum-half Ben Spencer kicked the ball through the posts for the opening score.
Scarlets responded with a fantastic move down the left to take the lead. Davies was the beneficiary of some fantastic ball movement, the crucial run and offload coming from Steff Evans to set up Davies for a try on his 200th appearance, with Leigh Halfpenny adding the extras.
Not to be out done, Bath produced a stunning try of their own to re-take the lead. Some excellent ball-handling from Sam Underhill, Jonathan Joseph and Zach Mercer allowed McConnochie to finish of a sensational Bath move. Spencer was unable to kick the conversion.
Prior to the interval the two sides exchanged penalties, Bath’s Spencer kicked two penalties sandwiched by an effort from Halfpenny for the visiting Welsh side. Bath led 14-10 at the break.
That is a magnificent @scarlets_rugby try 🐉
Kieran Hardy with the finishing touch on a brilliant team score!#HeinekenChampionsCup pic.twitter.com/yNFb2Cdezg
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) December 12, 2020
An early second half penalty closed the gap to one point for the visitors before Bath powered through for the first try of the second period.
Starting from a scrum five metres out, Bath extended play through the phases before Will Stuart touched down to extend the hosts lead to six.
Scarlets scored the game-defining try soon after thanks to a sensational offload from Rob Evans, finding the hands of Hardy who scampered over the line. Halfpenny added the conversion, and later a penalty, before the breathtaking end to the game.
Bath travel to La Rochelle next week to take on the Top 14 leaders while Scarlets host Toulon on Friday.
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