Premiership: Bath 31-39 Wasps – Josh Bassett scores two tries as visitors win

Premiership: Bath 31-39 Wasps - Josh Bassett scores two tries as visitors win
Josh Bassett scores a try for Wasps
Josh Bassett scored twice for Wasps as they kick-started their Premiership campaign with a win at Bath
Bath (7) 31
Tries: Gallagher, Dunn 2, Joseph Cons: Bailey 2, Francis 2 Pen: Francis
Wasps (31) 39
Tries: Bassett 2, J Willis, Porter Cons: Umaga 2 Pens: Umaga 5

Wasps put their financial woes to one side and held off a Bath comeback to secure their first Premiership win of the season at the Recreation Ground.

Bassett doubled his tally but two tries from Tom Dunn and one from Jonathan Joseph cut the gap to eight points.

Yet Wasps’ defence survived the late onslaught for a bonus-point victory.

Wasps travelled to Bath under a dark cloud as owners Wasps Holding Limited filed notice on Wednesday at the High Court over an unpaid tax bill.

Despite saying the move was to give the club more time to find investment, rather than meaning they were in administration, it leaves question marks over Wasps’ long-term future.

On the field at least, the visitors had the advantage, having won their last six league meetings with Bath, and they soaked up early pressure to get the first points on the board through two Jacob Umaga penalties.

A trio of tries in seven minutes then opened the floodgates. Bassett tapped down his own chip and Willis added another from close range after intervention from the television match official, while Porter’s try stood out for some excellent ball handling in the build-up.

Matt Gallagher – a last-minute injury replacement before kick-off – pulled one back for Bath on half-time but it seemed the same story of old for a winless team who, despite more visits to the Wasps 22, had barely any points to show for it.

Bassett’s second pushed the advantage to 29 points however Bath captain Dunn started to turn the tide when he was walked over the line in the pack.

When Willis was sent to the bin for a head collision Bath further capitalised, as Joseph side-stepped under the posts before Dunn set up a nervous finale with his team’s fourth of the night to ensure they went away with a point.

Still, it was too little too late as Umaga’s fifth penalty ensured Wasps went away with a morale-boosting victory. Bath, meanwhile, are still searching for their first win of Johann van Graan’s reign.

Bath: Gallagher, Cokanasiga, Joseph, Ojomoh, Muir, Bailey, Schreuder; Boyce, Dunn (capt) Stuart, Attwood, McNally, Reid, Cloete, De Carpentier

Replacements: Doughty, Schoeman, Coetzee, Roux, Van Velze, Green, Francis, Bayliss

Sin bin: Louis Schreuder (41 mins)

Wasps: Umaga, Hougaard, Spink, Odendaal, Bassett, Atkinson, Porter; West, Frost, Alo, Launchbury (capt), McDonald, Carr, J Willis, T Willis

Replacements: Oghre, Hislop, Ryan, Cardall, Morris, Robson, Mills, Kibirige

Sin bin: Jack Willis (60 mins)

Referee: Wayne Barnes

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