A Freaky Friday-inspired Premiership fixture at Sixways Stadium yesterday (Saturday) displayed a rare show of events that saw an 11-man Bath side go down in the 99th minute after holding a commanding 16-point lead as both sides headed for half-time oranges and caffeine tablets. And like the 2003 remake of the 1973 classic, Bath's fates would spiral out of control shortly after donning their counterparts first-half traits.
Despite dominating Leicester Tigers' pack six days earlier in a rousing home victory, Bath's forwards struggled to gain the ascendancy at Sixways, finding first-half success off the back of their hosts' indiscipline and inaccuracy. The prime example of which came in the form of Zach Mercer's 33rd minute try. Bath's singular try for the day followed a lineout steal from substitute flanker Josh Bayliss, allowing the visitors' backline to spread the ball wide and put themselves into position for Mercer to crash over from short range. Freddie Burns' 38th minute shot at goal shortly after Mercer's score would hand the visitors both a commanding half-time lead and their final points of the day.
In true Freaky Friday, body swapping-fashion, Worcester's indiscipline proved infectious. While Bath capitalised on Worcester's indiscretions in the first-half for their 16-point lead it would be the home side that began to build on the scoreboard off the back of their opponent's infractions.
The visitor's astonishing unravelling - assisted by Worcester's much-improved second 40 - began with a 63rd-minute red card for substitute hooker Ross Batty. Having taken Worcester openside Sam Lewis high, off the ball and flipped onto his head with force - as adjudged by referee Ian Tempest - Batty was sent off for the final quarter and the first of four cards for Bath.
Two second-half penalties for Warriors fly-half Duncan Weir and the first of Bryce Heem's brace took the home side within five points of Todd Blackadder's charges before the afternoon's true drama would unfold.
A scrum five metres infront of Bath's posts forced penalty after penalty from the visitors frontrow, with replacement tighthead Max Lahiff the first to see yellow, shortly followed by replacement loosehead Max Noguera. Now down to 12 men, Aled Brew received a 95th minute yellow for encroaching offside.
Just short of a century of minutes played and 20-minutes after Worcester first broke into Bath's 22, the familiar sight of a Ryan Mills miss-pass sent Heem over for his second, match-winning score; with Weir holding his nerve from the tee to tie up a two-point victory.
A much-needed win for Alan Solomons' men in a weekend where their expected relegation contenders Newcastle Falcons suffered a 38-17 defeat at Harlequins' hands.
Tries: Heem (59, 98)
Conversions: Weir (99)
Penalties: Weir (26, 48, 67)
Tries: Mercer (33)
Conversions: Burns (35)
Penalties: Burns (9, 18, 21, 37)