Planet Rugby

Bath off the mark

18th September 2009 21:46

Share:

Ben Cohen Joe Maddock

Ben Cohen gets to grips with Bath's Joe Maddock

A vastly improved performance from Bath earned them a handy 25-12 win over Sale in the Guinness Premiership on Friday, their first of the season.

Steve Meehan's men arrived in Stockport bottom of the table after dismal defeats to Gloucester and Wasps but they dug deep to record their first triumph of the season.

Australian centre Matt Carraro (two) and Matt Banahan touched down for Bath, who were forced to hold on in the closing stages after Banahan and replacement Andy Beattie were sinbinned.

Meehan was furious after witnessing a 17-15 home defeat to Wasps last weekend, which followed a 24-5 loss at Gloucester six days previously.

He therefore axed Centre Tom Cheeseman, fly-half Ryan Davis, prop David Flatman, lock Stuart Hooper and flanker Andy Beattie from his starting line-up on duty at Edgeley Park.

Jack Cuthbert, Nicky Little, Peter Short and Jonny Faamatuainu were among those players who gained opportunities, while wing Matt Carraro moved into midfield alongside Shontayne Hape.

Sale were again missing talismanic fly-half Charlie Hodgson due to a toe injury sustained during the opening game against Leicester a fortnight ago.

Number 10 duties remained with in-form Welshman Lee Thomas while full-back Nick Macleod returned to the starting XV, with centre Chris Bell replacing Andy Tuilagi and Chris Jones featuring at number eight.

Sale began strongly and threatened inside the fourth minute when Mathew Tait embarked on fine run down the left flank which almost put Bell in.

Bath forced a penalty which Thomas converted with ease but the visitors responded impressively and drew level four minutes later when Sale conceded a penalty and Little converted from 40 metres out.

The pendulum swung back in Sale's favour in the 12th minute when a fine handling move saw the ball worked out to the right flank but Mark Cueto was denied by some desperate defending.

Sale maintained the pressure, however, and after Bath were caught offside Thomas added his second penalty to make it 6-3.

When the hosts were awarded a penalty in the 15th minute, Thomas tried his luck from 65 metres but his effort fell short.

Bath full-back Cuthbert then failed from distance with a penalty attempt in the 20th minute and, after Thomas extended Sale in the 23rd minute, another penalty from Little reduced the gap to three points.

On the half-hour mark, Carraro burst into life when he collected a pass from Little and handed off Ben Cohen with ease and crossed the line.

Little kicked the conversion to make it 9-13 to the visitors but Banahan took advantage of some weak Sale defending to charge his way over the line in the 44th minute.

Little missed the conversion but five minutes later Bath had their third try when Shontayne Hape sent Carraro bursting clear.

Little added the extras but Sale came back when Thomas added his fourth penalty.

The pressure was on Bath in the closing stages when Banahan was sinbinned for a high challenge on Cueto and Beattie soon followed for killing the ball.

Yet Bath held on for a fine victory which lifts them off the foot of the Premiership.

The scorers:

For Sale:
Pens: Thomas 4

For Bath:
Tries: Carraro 2, Banahan
Cons: Little 2
Pens: Little 2

Yellow cards: Banahan (70, Bath), Beattie (74, Bath)

Sale Sharks: 15 Nick Macleod, 14 Mark Cueto, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Ben Cohen, 10 Lee Thomas, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Chris Jones, 7 David Seymour, 6 Luke Abraham, 5 Dean Schofield, 4 James Gaskell, 3 Eifion Roberts, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Jack Forster, 18 Gavin Kerr, 19 Brent Cockbain, 20 David Tait, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Oriol Ripol, 23 Andy Tuilagi.

Bath: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Joe Maddock, 13 Matt Carraro, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 Nicky Little, 9 Michael Claassens (c), 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jonny Faamatuainu, 5 Danny Grewcock, 4 Peter Short, 3 Duncan Bell, 2 Lee Mears, 1 David Barnes.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 David Flatman, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Stuart Hooper, 20 Andy Beattie, 21 Scott Bemand, 22 Ryan Davis, 23 Michael Stephenson.

Referee: Dave Pearson

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs Leicester19:45
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton Treviso17:00
Glasgow vs Ulster19:35
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs Blues19:35
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954