Bath started their Aviva Premiership campaign with an impressive 21-0 win over Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park on Friday.
Bath started their Aviva Premiership season with a solid 21-0 victory over Newcastle at Kingston Park on Friday.
Some of the home crowd may have expected the awful conditions in the North East to play into the hands of the hosts rather than the exciting backline assembled by the visitors over the off-season.
The men from the West Country don't have a bad pack of forwards either though and they had the edge over their opponents from start to finish as they dealt with the driving rain and significant gusts of wind as well as could be expected.
The kickers also had contrasting fortunes in the first-half as George Ford marked his first appearance in a Bath shirt with two successful penalties, while Phil Godman sent a drop-goal and penalty attempt wide of the mark.
Ford added another three points midway through the second-half before Bath effectively sealed victory really, given the conditions and the pattern of play, with the first try of the game not long after the hour mark.
Replacement Anthony Perenise, who scored the last time the two sides met in the Premiership at the Rec too, was the man to flop over the line after a powerful collective drive from the pack.
The visitors added some extra gloss to the victory on a night for the forwards in the dying stages as well as they were awarded a penalty try after a driving line-out. It was a measure of the total forward dominance enjoyed particularly in the second-half by Bath.
The Rec outfit will be confident of a much-improved season while the Falcons now have more of an idea of just how much improvement is needed for them to compete.
Tries: Perenise, Penalty
Pen: Ford 3
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Danny Barnes, 12 Jamie Helleur, 11 Tom Catterick, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Ally Hogg (c), 7 Andy Saull, 6 Dom Barrow, 5 Scott MacLeod, 4 Carlo del Fava, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Matt Thompson, 1 Franck Montanella.
Replacements: 16 Rob Vickers, 17 Scott Wilson, 18 Gary Strain, 19 Mark Wilson, 20 Chris York, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 Adam Powell.
Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Mat Gilbert, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Alafoti Fa'osiliva, 21 Micky Young, 22 Gavin Henson, 23 Tom Biggs.
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Robin Goodliffe and Paul Dix
TMO: Trevor Fisher