Planet Rugby

Bath storm back to beat Newcastle

19th April 2009 17:34

Share:

Bath v Newcastle stock

Flying high: Andy Higgins leads Bath's charge

Bath bounced back from 14-0 down to beat Newcastle 15-14 in the Guinness Premiership on Sunday, setting up a fascinating final weekend of action with three semi-final spots still up for grabs.

Title-challengers Leicester and Harlequins have both seen unbeaten away runs erased at Kingston Park recently but, with their season on the brink of collapsed, Bath rallied to regain their place in the top four.

Mickey Young had created one and scored the other as the Falcons established a commanding 14-0 lead at half-time.

But with their play-off ambitions wavering, Bath fought back after the break with tries from Michael Claassens and Shontayne Hape.

And, after a torrid day in front of goal for Bath's kickers, Ryan Davis converted a penalty to edge out the Falcons by a point.

On a day ripe for Bath's expansive rugby, the visitors threw the ball wide with intent early on.

However, it was the home side who opened the scoring from a turnover in their own half after 13 minutes.

Young, ever aware, hacked the loose ball ahead before collecting, evading two tacklers and threading a crossfield kick into the path of Danny Williams on the opposite wing. Tom May added the conversion.

Bath had the opportunity to reply soon after but Butch James missed from in front of the posts and again drew jeers from the Falcons fans as he blasted an easier attempt even further wide minutes later.

Despite long periods around their opponents 22 with the ball, Bath were kept at bay through a combination of Newcastle's strong defence and their own carelessness.

For the Falcons, forays into the opponents half were rare but threatening.

And Young almost put over Alex Tait in the left corner before he extended Newcastle's lead in the 36th minute.

A Matt Banahan surge down the left wing resulted in another penalty conceded by Bath, and in a flash Young grabbed the ball, took the tap and raced over from 35 yards. Such was the swiftness of the scrum-half, the Bath players scarcely had time to give chase.

Unlike his opposite number, James, May was again accurate with the conversion.

The South African World Cup winner was substituted at half-time but replacement Davis could do no better, missing a penalty after the break.

And again the back-up number 10 scuffed a simple kick minutes later.

Bath's superior possession finally told in the 59th minute when scrum-half Claassens took a quick tap-penalty and forced his way over the line. Davis missed the kick.

The visitors moved to within four points of the hosts when a sweeping backs move led to Hape brushing off a challenge from Tane Tu'ipulotu and coasting into the corner. Davis found the kick from the touchline to reduce the deficit further.

And the fly-half's recalibrated compass put them in front with a penalty with 13 minutes remaining.

Despite late surges from the Falcons, Bath held on for an unlikely and unconvincing win.

However, they will have to find an efficiency of play and a kicker of consistency if they are to ensure a play-off place.

The scorers:

For Newcastle:

Tries: Williams, Young

Cons: May 2

For Bath:

Tries: Classsens, Hape

Con: Davis

Pen: Davis

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Danny Williams, 13 Jamie Noon, 12 Tane Tu'ipulotu, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Tom May, 9 Micky Young, 8 Adam Balding, 7 Brent Wilson, 6 Phil Dowson (capt), 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Rob Vickers, 1 David Wilson.

Replacements: 16 Matt Thompson, 17 Micky Ward, 18 Geoff Parling, 19 Russell Winter, 20 Hall Charlton, 21 Rob Miller, 22 John Rudd.

Bath: 15 Joe Maddock, 14 Andrew Higgins, 13 Tom Cheeseman, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 Butch James, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Stuart Hooper, 7 Michael Lipman (capt), 6 Andy Beattie, 5 Peter Short, 4 Justin Harrison, 3 Duncan Bell, 2 Lee Mears, 1 David Flatman.

Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Paulica Ion, 18 Jonny Faamatuainu, 19 James Scaysbrook, 20 Scott Bemand, 21 Ryan Davis, 22 Michael Stephenson.

Referee: Andrew Small

Touch judges: Robin Goodliffe, Paul Dix

Assessor: Brian Campsall

Television match official: Trevor Parlett, Matt Peters

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs SaracensBath vs Saracens Preview
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand17:05
Argentina vs Australia19:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff BluesConnacht vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Ulster vs EdinburghUlster vs Edinburgh Preview
Zebre vs OspreysZebre vs Ospreys Preview
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs ToulonOyonnax vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Sharks vs LionsSharks vs Lions Preview
Pumas vs Blue BullsPumas vs Blue Bulls Preview
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , October 2
Auckland 60 - 19 WaikatoAuckland vs Waikato Report
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411