Premiership: Bath score five tries at Worcester to romp to big bonus-point 33-17 win

Worcester fans in the ground at Sixways for the first time since March
Worcester had fans in the ground at Sixways for the first time since March but their 2,000 balloted supporters went home unhappy
Gallagher Premiership
Worcester (3) 17
Tries: Humphreys, David Cons: Searle 2 Pen: Weir
Bath (21) 33
Tries: Mercer, Wright, McNally, Stooke, Rokoduguni Cons: Spencer 4

Bath made up for their stuttering start to the new Premiership season as they scored five tries to hammer Worcester.

On a day when Warriors welcomed back 2,000 balloted fans to Sixways for the first time since the Covid-19 season suspension in March, the Blue, Black and Whites spoilt the party.

Zach Mercer, Max Wright and Josh McNally scored first-half tries.

Elliott Stooke and Semesa Rokoduguni both crossed before late replies from wingers Perry Humphreys and Nick David.

After starting the new campaign with a home defeat by Newcastle and a thrashing at Exeter, Bath's win was all the more impressive in the wake of losing both Worcester old boy Josh Matavesi and former Wales stand-off Rhys Priestland to head injuries inside the first quarter.

But, after a first quarter of the game in which Scotland fly-half Duncan Weir's penalty was the only score, Bath went ahead on 21 minutes when Mercer forced his way over from close range - and they never looked back.

Seven minutes later, Oli Morris failed to take Weir's pass and replacement Wright intercepted before skipper McNally finished off a succession of forward drives at the end of a badly interrupted 56-minute first half to earn a 21-3 interval lead.

Bath then took advantage when home lock Anton Bresler was yellow-carded for repeated team infringements as Stooke crashed over for the bonus-point try before scrum-half Ben Spencer darted away from a maul to provide Rokoduguni with an easy run-in.

Replacement kicker Spencer also added a further two points to his three first-half conversions for a fine personal day's work.

Worcester, helped by a yellow card for Bath flanker Josh Bayliss, rallied in the final quarter to score tries from Humphreys, their best player, and David but it was still an error-strewn afternoon to forget.

Worcester director of rugby Alan Solomons:

"We created a host of opportunities but we never closed them out. In the first half we made two massive line breaks but they came to nothing. They had just three opportunities but scored 21 points.

"The positive is that we are showing that we can create great chances but we have to keep hammering away in training to ensure that we learn how to finish them off.

"We kept giving away penalties in the middle third of the park and that gave them field position as three of them came from driving mauls."

Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper:

"We played some great stuff as we had a lot thrown at us. It certainly wasn't straightforward as the players had to put their bodies on the line to adapt to difficult circumstances.

"We lost Josh Matavesi, our back-up 10, and then our fly-half Rhys Priestland in quick succession but Ben Spencer stood up by leading the boys round and kicking the goals. Cam Redpath stood in at 10 and did a really good job for us.

"It was a massive effort from our forwards and it was great to have a crowd in as it gives it a bit of atmosphere and bite for the players."

Worcester: Nanai; Humphreys, Morris, Venter, David; Weir, Hougaard; Waller, Annett, Palframan, Bresler, Merrick,, Hill (capt), Dodd, du Preez.

Replacements: Cutting, Black, Carey, Monks, Batley, Simpson, Searle, Beck.

Sin-bin: Bresler (51).

Bath: De Glanville; Rokoduguni, Redpath, Matavesi, McConnochie; Priestland, Spencer; Obano, Dunn, Judge, McNally (capt), Stooke, Williams, Bayliss, Mercer.

Replacements: Walker, Schoeman, Thomas, Staddon, Reid, Chudley, Wright, Cokanasiga.

Sin-bin: Bayliss (78).

Referee: Tom Foley (RFU).