Planet Rugby

Bath take Albi by storm

07th December 2007 19:46

Share:

Butch James Bath

Rich Pickings: Butch James supplied 21 of Bath's 26 points

Bath made it three European Challenge Cup wins out of three with a brave 26-18 result at the rain-lashed Maison des Sports on Friday night, thereby opening clear water at the top of Pool One.

Butch James scored 21 of the 26 points, including six kicks from six shots at goal, as Bath virtually cemented their quarter-final place in the European Challenge Cup after only three of the six pool matches.

Albi fly-half Matthieu Maillard stunned Bath with a try in the seventh minute and two penalty goals, but James kept his cool to slot the goals - including the extras to a try from flanker Andy Beattie.

Home prop Jerome Filitoga was sin-binned in the 21st minute, and although Albi held firm during his 10-minute rest, they conceded Beattie's try as he ran back on to the field and James' professionalism did the rest.

Bath kept their cool during 15 phases on the Albi line, before James muscled his way over the line to seal a match-winning lead. Albi hit back with a try to replacement Frederic Manca, and although Bath may regret not going for the try bonus point, they seem in little danger of not winning the pool and earning a home quarter-final.

The scorers:

For Albi:

Tries: Maillard, Manca

Cons: Maillard

Pens: Maillard 2

For Bath:

Tries: Beattie, James

Cons: James 2

Pens: James 4

Albi: 15 John Stewart, 14 Justin Mensah-Coker, 13 Thomas Sanchou, 12 Thibault Lacroix, 11 Patrice Serre, 10 Matthieu Maillard, 9 Sébastian Pages, 8 Lilian Ducos, 7 Franck Marechal, 6 Yohann Misse, 5 Arnaud Mela, 4 Philippe Guicherd (c), 3 Christophe Lafoy, 2 Nicolas Grelon, 1 Jérôme Filitoga.

Replacements: 16 Mathieu Larrouy, 17 Pierre Saby, 18 Guillaume Ribes, 19 Paul Guffroy, 20 Frédéric Manca, 21 Dimitri Senio, 22 Tim Bowker.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Joe Maddock, 13 Tom Cheeseman, 12 Shaun Berne, 11 Michael Stephenson, 10 Butch James, 9 Nick Walshe, 8 Daniel Browne, 7 Michael Lipman, 6 Andy Beattie, 5 Peter Short, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Lee Mears, 1 David Barnes.

Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 Paulica Ion, 18 Martin Purdy, 19 Jonny Faamatuainu, 20 Chris Goodman, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Olly Barkley.

Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)

Touch judges: Ted Coutts (Scotland), David Anderson (Scotland)

Television match official: Iain Heard (Scotland)

Match commissioner: Iain Goodall (Scotland)

Meanwhile, Newcastle's hopes took a hit as they slipped to a 16-13 loss to Connacht in Ireland tonight.

Jonny Wilkinson converted Tom May's first-half try and added a couple of penalty goals in the opening hour, but the plucky Irish province kept in touch through a Conor O'Loughlin try and the boot of fly-half Andy Dunne.

Dunne dropped a goal to level the scores at 13-all, and kept his cool to kick a penalty goal in the dying minutes to seal a hard-fought victory. The Falcons are still odds-on to top the pool, but have crucial games against Brive and a return match against Connacht to come.

The scorers:

For Connacht:

Try: O'Loughlin

Con: Dunne

Pens: Dunne 2

Drop goal: Dunne

For Newcastle:

Try: May

Con: Wilkinson

Pen: Wilkinson

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy, 14 Aidan Wynne, 13 Darren Yapp, 12 Mel Deane, 11 Ofisa Treviranus, 10 Andy Dunne, 9 Conor O'Loughlin, 8 John Muldoon, 7 Jonny O'Connor , 6 Mike McCarthy, 5 Andrew Farley (c), 4 Michael Swift, 3 Robbie Morris, 2 Adrian Flavin, 1 Brett Wilkinson.

Replacements: 16 John Fogarty, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 David Gannon, 19 Ray Ofisa, 20 Conor McPhillips, 21 Tim Donnelly, 22 Matt Mostyn.

Newcastle:15 Mathew Tait, 14 Tom May, 13 Jamie Noon, 12 Toby Flood, 11 John Rudd, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Hall Charlton, 8 Phil Dowson (c), 7 Ben Woods, 6 Brent Wilson, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Geoff Parling, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Andy Long, 1 Joe McDonnell.

Replacements: 16 Matt Thompson, 17 Micky Ward, 18 Sean Tomes, 19 Russell Winter, 20 Lee Dickson, 21 Steve Jones, 22 Tim Visser.

Referee: Franck Maciello (France)

Touch judges: Jean-Pierre Matheu (France), Eric Briquet-Campin (France)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Pumas vs Western Province19:00
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39