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 , November 28
Bath vs HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Preview
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South AfricaWales vs South Africa Preview
England vs AustraliaEngland vs Australia Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs UlsterMunster vs Ulster Preview
Cardiff Blues vs TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Preview
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , December 4
La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821