Planet Rugby

Bath dominate young Sharks

06th February 2010 16:18

Share:

Michael Stephenson score against Sale

One of three: Michael Stephenson

Bath gave a young and inexperienced Sale side an LV= Cup lesson on Saturday as they scored a five-try 40-7 victory at the Recreation Ground.

Springbok fly-half Butch James made an impressive first appearance in ten months as the hosts ended their tournament campaign with a runaway win.

James, who needed a knee reconstruction after being injured at Newcastle last April, had to play just the first 40 minutes to show he was back in the groove and ready to spearhead a Bath revival in the last three months of the season.

Chief beneficiary was right wing Michael Stephenson, who scored a hat-trick of tries as Bath romped into a 35-7 lead soon after half-time.

Bath's interest in the competition ended with their defeat at Leicester last weekend but Sale are also out of the running for a semi-final spot.

With James back to run the game and Nick Abendanon restored at full-back after six weeks out with a shoulder injury, Bath were quickly into their stride and scored after just 90 seconds.

Abendanon's pass sent Michael Stephenson in at the right corner and Ryan Davis converted from the touchline.

James had made an instant impact with his vision and distribution but it was half-back partner Scott Bemand who paved the way for the next score, handling three times and then winning a penalty just short of the Sale line.

Bath opted for a scrum and Davis sent Matt Carraro over at the posts before adding the conversion.

With 10 minutes gone Bath were already 14-0 ahead but they quickly added to their tally when skipper Stuart Hooper collected a line-out and the pack drove hooker Pieter Dixon over for a third try.

Davis ended a breathless first 15 minutes with another conversion.

A shell-shocked Sale finally roused themselves and number eight Kristian Ormsby drove through some weak tackling to touch down at the other end from a five-metre scrum, Atkinson adding the conversion.

But Bath scored a fourth try on the half-hour when James launched a high kick to the right touchline and Stephenson touched down again. Davis made it four out of four from the touchline to send his side in 28-7 ahead at the break.

The home side changed their entire front row at the break but it made little difference as Scott Bemand broke from a scrum and kicked to the corner for Stephenson to claim his third try. Davis again converted to put his side 35-7 ahead on 47 minutes.

James' departure took some of the sting out of the Bath attack and Sale enjoyed the majority of possession in the third quarter but without the points to show for it.

The defensive effort eventually cost Bath a yellow card as Guy Mercer was sent to the bin on 65 minutes.

With Mercer back on the field, it was Sale's turn to defend and Ben Cohen was yellow carded after illegally stopping a strong run by Johnny Fa'amatuainu.

Bath then had the last word with an unconverted try by Jack Cuthbert.

The scorers:

For Bath:
Tries: Stephenson 3, Carraro, Dixon, Cuthbert
Con: Davies 5

For Sale:
Tries: Ormsby
Con: Atkinson

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Jack Cuthbert, 13 Matt Carraro, 12 Ryan Davis, 11 Michael Stephenson, 10 Butch James, 9 Scott Bemand, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Daniel Browne, 5 Peter Short, 4 Stuart Hooper (capt), 3 Duncan Bell, 2 Pieter Dixon, 1 David Barnes.
Replacements: 16 Lee Mears, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Jonny Faamatuainu, 20 Josh Ovens, 21 Mike Baxter, 22 Tom Cheeseman, 23 Joe Maddock.

Sale: 15 Marika Vakacegu, 14 Oriol Ripol, 13 Jordan Davies, 12 David Bishop, 11 Ben Cohen, 10 Mark Atkinson, 9 Chris Leck, 8 Kristian Ormsby, 7 David Seymour, 6 Carl Fearns, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Dean Schofield (capt), 3 Martin Halsall, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Gavin Kerr.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Rob O'Donnell, 18 Dan Birchall, 19 Chris Jones, 20 Ian Kench, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Alex Cheeseman, 23 David Doherty.

Referee: James Jones

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Preview
Argentina vs South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Preview
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Preview
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 23
Counties Manukau vs OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Preview
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Preview
Bay Of Plenty vs TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs Manawatu09:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 23
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00