Leicester’s age-defying Mike Brown leads the way to a convincing victory over undermanned Bath, securing a bonus-point win.

Mike Brown presented a strong argument for a new contract at Leicester while Johann van Graan, the head coach of Bath, saw his risky selection backfire in the Midlands.
Instead of sending a nearly second-string team to Leicester, Van Graan’s decision proved to be a failure as the hosts dominated the game. The veteran Brown, playing on the wing, and the lock duo of George Martin and Ollie Chessum were the standout players. Brown, who is now 38 years old, aims to secure a new deal with the club and exhibited an explosive performance that demonstrated his enduring ability.
In his 50th game for Leicester, Chessum partnered with Martin in the engine room for the first time at club level. They outplayed the Bath pack, helping Leicester regain their momentum in the playoff chase. Leicester secured the bonus point before halftime and closed the gap to fourth place to just seven points, preventing them from falling behind their rivals.
Bath, under Van Graan’s leadership, had the opportunity to begin the new year at the top of the table. However, they were never in contention as Leicester dominated the match. Adding to Bath’s struggles, back-rowers GJ van Velze and Jaco Coetzee received yellow cards in quick succession, putting them at a further disadvantage.
The visitors’ team selection was a topic of confusion, as key players such as Finn Russell, Joe Cokanasiga, Ollie Lawrence, Ben Spencer, Beno Obano, and Alfie Barbeary were absent. This left the 25,849 fans who had bought tickets questioning the rationale behind Bath’s choices.
Next weekend, Bath will face the low-ranked Gloucester before their European games against Racing 92 and Toulouse. Despite victories against Ulster and Cardiff, Bath failed to maintain their momentum in this impressive league campaign.
Leicester were also missing Ben Youngs and Anthony Watson due to injuries, and made some minor changes to their lineup. However, after a disappointing performance against Exeter last weekend, they regained their form and ended their five-match winning streak in Devon.
Although Bath took the lead with a try from scrum-half Louis Schreuder just three minutes into the game, Leicester quickly took control. Their dominant driving lineout resulted in tries from Matt Rogerson and James Cronin, sandwiched between a try from the energetic Brown.
Martin secured the bonus-point score, marking only the third time Leicester has scored four tries this season. Bath had only managed a penalty kick by Orlando Bailey just before halftime, in addition to Schreuder’s try.
The second half mirrored the first, with Tigers earning a penalty try in the 43rd minute. This allowed head coach Dan McKellar to substitute the outstanding Tommy Reffell after 52 minutes. Martin was also replaced early on. Bath managed to score late tries through substitutes Louie Hennessey and Ewan Richards, but the outcome of the game was decided long before then. Bath’s chances of victory had diminished as soon as their lineup was announced.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *