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 , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
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 Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
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
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