Planet Rugby

Banahan treble just the trick

22nd December 2007 16:15

Share:

Matt Banahan try v Leeds

Matt Banahan dives over for his opening score

Bath went top of the Guinness Premiership on Saturday, with a Matt Banahan hat-trick leading them to a fine 41-10 win over struggling Leeds at the Rec.

The home side was dominant for most of the match, starting with Banahan's opening try in the opening minute, and Banahan's third sealed the bonus point just after the hour mark.

Gloucester may yet overtake Bath to be the Christmas leaders if they win well at Newcastle on Sunday, and those two go head to head at the Rec in two weeks' time.

Scrum-half Michael Claassens and full-back Nick Abendanon also claimed tries and Olly Barkley landed seven kicks out of seven to make it a perfect afternoon at The Recreation Ground.

Leeds, second from bottom and already with the worst defensive record in the league, suffered late withdrawals in their pack but stuck to their task until their meagre source of possession finally ran dry.

Bath gave themselves the best possible start as Banahan crashed over in the right corner after just 38 seconds.

Leeds had collected the ball at the kick-off but promptly lost it and Bath switched play left, then right before Abendanon fed the giant wing with the scoring pass.

Barkley landed a difficult conversion and, when Leeds were stretched again in the seventh minute, Barkley added a 30-metre penalty to put his side 10-0 up.

Despite their record of only one Premiership win all season, Leeds were initially competitive at the breakdown and even forced a scrum turnover.

But Bath were too often masters of their own undoing when presented with scoring chances.

As Leeds refused to roll over as easily as expected, Barkley contented himself with a second penalty on the half hour.

There was encouragement for the visitors almost straight away as Alberto Di Bernardo landed a penalty from barely 20 metres.

Bath came out firing for the second half and again delivered an early blow through Banahan.

Leeds turned over possession in the Bath half and the home side swiftly moved the ball left before Barkley and Abendanon set Banahan free to run in from 30 metres.

Ominously, possession began to dry up for Leeds, and they had a lucky escape when Leigh Hinton only just saved the try when Butch James charged down Di Barnardo's clearance.

The Leeds fly-half attempted a penalty from inside his own half but it backfired badly as Bath ran the ball back from under their own posts, keeping it in play for nearly two minutes before Claassens strolled over and Barkley added the conversion.

Banahan celebrated his hat-trick almost immediately from another long range attack, Barkley having a hand in the try and also adding a conversion.

Tom Biggs saved face for Leeds with an opportunist effort after 69 minutes but it was the impressive Barkley who nudged a clever kick through for Abendanon to score Bath's fifth try on the final whistle, Barkley notching the conversion.

The scorers:

For Bath:

Tries: Banahan 3, Claasens, Abendanon

Cons: Barkley 5

Pens: Barkley 2

For Leeds:

Try: Biggs

Con: di Bernado

Pen: Di Bernado

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Joe Maddock, 13 Alex Crockett, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 Butch James, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Daniel Browne, 7 Michael Lipman, 6 Andy Beattie, 5 Danny Grewcock, 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 Nick Walshe, 21 Shaun Berne, 22 Andrew Higgins.

Leeds: 15 Leigh Hinton, 14 Apo Satala, 13 Rob Vickerman, 12 Lee Blackett, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Joe Bedford, 8 Rhys Oakley, 7 Calum Clark, 6 Jon Dunbar, 5 Pablo Bouza , 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 Tommy McGee, 2 Vili Ma'asi, 1 Mike MacDonald.

Replacements: 16 Michael Cusack, 17 Phil Nilsen, 18 Danny Paul, 19 Adam Balding, 20 James Brooks, 21 Jonny Hepworth, 22 Jon Goodridge.

Referee: Dean Richards

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs SaracensMunster vs Saracens Preview
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks15:15
Castres vs Leinster13:00
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Brive vs Zebre18:30
Grenoble vs London IrishGrenoble vs London Irish Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs LionsWestern Province vs Lions Preview
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615