WORCESTER Warriors had a night to forget at Sixways as they were sent crashing to a 46-25 defeat to Bath in the Aviva Premiership.

The visitors exposed Warriors’ defensive frailties, scoring six tries with five coming in a rampant second-half display.

David Denton went over before Joe Taufete’e and Perry Humphreys crossed towards the end but Worcester failed to salvage a point from a sorry home showing.

Having beaten Bath 25-19 at Sixways last season, Warriors fancied their chances of a repeat as they aimed to get 2018 off to a winning start.

They were also boosted by the return of abrasive lock Will Spencer from a back problem to face his former club.

But they were put straight on the back foot by the visitors who spent the first eight minutes camped in Warriors’ half before Rhys Priestland slotted home a penalty.

Worcester were under heavy pressure and fell further behind courtesy of another three-pointer from Priestland on 15 minutes.

Chris Pennell’s kicking accuracy has been a revelation for Warriors in recent weeks but he struggled to find the target in the opening stages.

The usually reliable full-back missed two kicks from distance but made no mistake with his third attempt from just in front of the halfway line to get Worcester on the scoreboard on the half-hour.

Warriors were getting into the match but Bath then bagged the first try with six minutes left of the opening period.

After Ben Tapuai made a break, Chris Cook flicked the ball inside for flanker Paul Grant who smashed his way over from close range. Priestland added the extras.

But thanks to a Josh Adams run from deep and a Bryce Heem surge Worcester made sure they had the final say before the break.

Bath were pinged at the breakdown and Pennell landed a penalty to close the gap to 13-6.

But the away side took just four minutes to get off the mark in the second half. Priestland, who converted to open up a 20-6 lead, released Matt Garvey who was stopped by Adams only to get back up and crash over.

Looking to respond, Heem gathered his own grubber kick to ground the ball in the corner but the try was ruled out for a knock-on from the wing.

Warriors had Bath pinned back on their try-line with a couple of scrums but the ball went loose and they were made to pay.

On 53 minutes, Cook slipped through a tackle and sent Anthony Watson flying through for a simple score which Priestland converted.

Warriors went on the charge before Denton squeezed in under the posts and Pennell converted.

But any hopes of a fightback were quashed a minute later when James Phillips shook off a tackle and powered over.

Freddie Burns converted to give Bath a 34-13 lead on the hour.

And matters went from bad to worse as Jamie Shillcock’s kick was closed down by Kahn Fotuali’i who finished with ease. Burns converted.

The action continued as Bath’s Phillips received a yellow card and Warriors immediately took advantage against 14 men.

A driving line-out laid the platform for Taufete’e to go over on 73 minutes and Pennell added the extras to make it 41-20.

Burns pushed a penalty wide before Bath scored an unconverted sixth try on 77 minutes when Fotuali’i gathered a stunning pass from James Wilson to score.

The points feast continued as Warriors’ Humphreys went over in the corner for a 79th-minute consolation with Shillcock missing the conversion.

But Warriors could not bag a fourth try for a bonus point.

Warriors: Pennell; Heem, Willison, Mills, Adams; Olver, Hougaard; Waller, Singleton, Milasinovich, O’Callaghan, Spencer, Denton, Lewis, van Velze. Replacements: Taufete’e, Bower, Kerrod, Barry, Faosiliva, Dowsett, Shillcock, Humphreys.

Bath: Watson; Wilson, Joseph, Tapuai, Brew; Priestland, Cook; Obano, Dunn, Thomas, Phillips, Stooke, Garvey, Grant, Mercer. Replacements: van Vuuren, Noguera, Lahiff, Douglas, Bayliss, Fotuali’i, Burns, Wilson.

Referee: JP Doyle.

Attendance: 8,225.