Planet Rugby

Bath cruise past Leeds

05th September 2010 17:09

Share:

Matt Carraro try Leeds v Bath

Next stop, the try line: Matt Carraro

Bath established their Aviva Premiership title credentials with a comfortable 32-16 bonus-point victory against Leeds at a sunkissed Headingley Carnegie on Sunday.

Steve Meehan's men rarely hit the heights expected of them this season but they took their chances in clinical fashion and were certainly too good for their hosts.

Full-back Nick Abendanon touched down in the first half before Sam Vesty, Matt Carraro and captain Luke Watson added further scores after the break to secure the bonus point.

Leeds, who claimed a late consolation try through debutant Steve Thompson, handed starting roles to five new signings in Lachlan Mackay, Semi Tadulala, Miguel Alonso and former Bath duo Michael Stephenson Daniel Browne.

Yet Thompson, their most high-profile summer recruit, began on the bench with Andy Titterrell given the chance to shine in the number two shirt.

The visitors were hit by the late withdrawal of Olly Barkley due to injury, but Meehan was still able to hand out debuts to a quartet of summer signings.

Heading that list was England skipper Lewis Moody, Vesty and Simon Taylor and Leeds old boy Tom Biggs.

Yet the early pressure came from Leeds when a fine sequence of passing saw the ball pass through several pairs of hands before Browne narrowly failed to keep the ball in the field of play.

Leeds refused to allow Bath to settle when they had the ball in hand and home captain Marco Wentzel threw himself at Vesty to charge down the fly-half's attempted kick.

Leeds were initially more effective at the breakdown and could have led in the 14th minute when Moody was penalised but Ceiron Thomas's attempt at goal sailed narrowly wide.

The hosts were more effective at the line-out, twice stealing the visitors' ball in the opening quarter, but Bath forged ahead in the 19th minute with a penalty from Vesty.

Two minutes later, after the visitors collapsed a scrum, Thomas kicked Leeds level with a penalty of his own.

Moments later Vesty missed a penalty from 30 metres, yet Bath began to build up a head of steam.

Hooker Lee Mears clumsily dropped the ball when well placed but, after another penalty from Thomas put Leeds 6-3 ahead, Bath produced a well-worked score shortly before half-time.

Shontayne Hape's progress was halted but Matt Banahan, a prominent figure at outside-centre, quickly recycled the ball and found scrum-half Michael Claasens.

Claasens found Vesty advancing at pace to his right and his neat pass sent Abendanon crashing over in the right corner.

Vesty added the extras but a long-range dropped-goal from Thomas on the stroke of half-time cut Bath's lead to a solitary point.

However, seven minutes after the restart Claasens found Vesty at the back of a scrum and he waltzed through for a try which he also converted.

Thomas then missed a penalty before Leeds replaced Titterrell with Thompson as they sought to claw their way back into the game.

Yet another penalty from Vesty gave Bath further breathing space before Carraro collected another astute offload from Claasens to saunter clear unopposed for Bath's third touchdown.

Vesty added the extras and although Bath lost Claasens to the sinbin in the closing stages for persistent infringement, the visitors grabbed a fourth try late on when Watson stole in on the blindside for a try which Vesty failed to convert.

There was still time for Thompson to burrow his way over in the dying embers and Leigh Hinton added the extras in the last play of the game.

The scorers

For Leeds:
Try: Thompson
Con: Hinton
Pens: Thomas 2
drop: Thomas

For Bath:
Tries: Abendanon, Vesty, Carraro, Watson
Cons: Vesty 3
Pens: Vesty 2

Leeds Carnegie: 15 Michael Stephenson, 14 Lee Blackett, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Lachlan MacKay, 11 Semi Tadulala, 10 Ceiron Thomas, 9 Scott Mathie, 8 Daniel Browne, 7 Hendre Fourie, 6 Kearnan Myall, 5 Marco Wentzel (c), 4 Tom Denton, 3 Juan Gomez, 2 Andy Titterrell, 1 Miguel Alonso
Replacements: 16 Steve Thompson, 17 Gareth Hardy, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Alfie To'oala, 20 Rhys Oakley, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Scott Barrow, 23 Leigh Hinton.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Shontayne Hape, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 Sam Vesty, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Luke Watson (c), 7 Lewis Moody, 6 Simon Taylor, 5 Danny Grewcock, 4 Stuart Hooper, 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 David Flatman
Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Duncan Bell, 19 Ben Skirving, 20 Andy Beattie, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Tom Biggs, 23 Jack Cuthbert.

Venue: Headingley Carnegie
Referee: J.P.Doyle

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
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 Toulon20:45
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
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
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
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
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411