Bath strengthened their position on the table after claiming a hard-fought 23-14 win over Newcastle on Saturday.
Bath strengthened their position on the table after claiming a hard-fought 23-14 win over Newcastle at the Recreation Ground on Saturday.
Gavin Henson played a pivotal at fly-half for the home side, finishing with 13 points in an encouraging performance.
The former Wales international kicked two penalties and a conversion, along with conversion for tries by Stuart Hooper and Jonathan Joseph.
Henson’s late penalty denied Newcastle a losing bonus point as Dean Richards’ side battled well at The Rec, scoring two tries through Mark Wilson and Sinoti Sinoti.
Newcastle fly-half Juan Pablo Socino missed a couple of early penalties as the visitors took control of the opening quarter, before Bath’s scrum began to dictate.
Henson’s drop goal put Bath ahead before Wilson captalised from a well-worked catch and drive by Newcastle to score the game’s first try, after lock Calum Green had been denied by the TMO in the passage before.
Bath countered though with an effective maul of their own to send captain Stuart Hooper over for their first try. Henson converted for a 10-7 lead at half-time.
Newcastle’s defence had held firm for the majority of the opening 40 minutes, but they cracked with Olly Woodburn’s break in the second period.
The giant wing made the opportunity for England centre Jonathan Joseph to get up to speed to carve his way to the line. with Henson adding the extra two.
Matt Garvey made a welcome appearance following ankle surgery as Bath built up the pressure of Newcastle, with Socino the man to pay when he departed to the bin.
Henson added another penalty before Newcastle rallied, Sinoti going over after Scott Lawson was denied previously by the TMO. The wing found himself in the right place as Newcastle’s maul did enough.
Henson’s next penalty though meant that the Falcons headed back north with nothing.
Tries: Hooper, Joseph
Cons: Henson 2
Pens: Henson 2
Drop Goal: Henson
For Newcastle Falcons
Tries: M Wilson, Sinoti
Cons: Socino, Clegg
Yellow Card: Socino (64th minute)
Bath: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 Gavin Henson, 9 Micky Young, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 David Sisi, 6 Charlie Ewels, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Matt Garvey, 20 Tom Ellis, 21 Max Northcote-Green, 22 Chris Cook, 23 Richard Lane.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Sinoti Sinoti, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Juan Pablo Socino, 9 Ruki Tipuna, 8 Mark Wilson, 7 Andy Saull (c), 6 Sean Robinson, 5 Dom Barrow, 4 Callum Green, 3 Scott Wilson, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements: 16 Alex Rogers, 17 Scott Lawson, 18 Oliver Tomasczyzk, 19 Scott MacLeod, 20 Ally Hogg, 21 Mike Blair, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Alex Tait.
Referee: Ian Tempest