Planet Rugby

Bath sneak win against Leeds

08th January 2011 16:10

Share:

Leeds hooker Steve Thompson tackling Bath lock Danny Grewcock

Close one: Bath beat Leeds

Bath deprived an improving Leeds Carnegie outfit what would have been a priceless win on Saturday, holding off the bottom side 16-13 at the Rec.

A fine Nick Abendanon try straight after half-time helped earn off-colour Bath their second win in eight days at the expense of the Yorkshiremen.

Abendanon latched onto a cleverly disguised inside pass from fly-half Butch James and outpaced the cover, rolling over to touch down as he was caught on the line. Olly Barkley converted and added three penalties.

Otherwise, however, it was another patchy performance from Bath, who failed to subdue the Leeds pack as easily as they had overcome London Irish on New Year's Day.

It was a frustrating afternoon for the Premiership's bottom side, who had plenty of possession and territory and overcame the loss of scrum-half Warren Fury to the sin-bin in the first half to lead 6-3 at one stage.

Bath skipper Luke Watson had been struggling with a foot injury all week and pulled out just before kick-off, to be replaced by Ben Skirving.

After breaking their Premiership duck last weekend against Gloucester, Leeds arrived with an unchanged starting line-up including try scorer Michael Stephenson and number eight Daniel Browne - both released by Bath last summer.

Despite talk of Bath 'narrowing' their game to win ugly when necessary, they opened up with plenty of pace and width, but could not finish off. Eventually Barkley kicked a 10th-minute penalty from 40 metres.

Leeds survived the onslaught to string together several phases at the other end, until James was able to relieve the pressure by hacking clear and Scott Barrow knocked on.

The visitors were quickly back on the attack but James opened his box of tricks with a deft chip over their defensive line from within his own 22 and Barkley gathered to gain 60 metres with a rolling kick.

On 25 minutes, Leeds' persistence - and Bath infringements - earned Ceiron Thomas the chance to level the scores from 30 metres.

Bath nearly scored from the restart as Matt Banahan was brought down inches from the line. Fury was then yellow-carded for killing the ball, leaving his team-mates to defend desperately as prop David Barnes was cut down under the posts.

It looked grim for the 14 men of Leeds when half-back partner Lachlan MacKay was then forced off with an injury but Bath continued to butcher try-scoring opportunities.

Just before Fury returned from the sin-bin, Barrow put his side ahead with a drop-goal - fair reward for the bottom club's spirit and competitiveness at the breakdown. The lead lasted only six minutes, however, as Barkley landed a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

Within 60 seconds of the resumption, Bath shrugged off the mid-winter blues with Abendanon's classy score.

Leeds could quickly have gone further behind but Bath failed to finish off spectacular breaks from long range, first by Ben Skirving and then by Jack Cuthbert.

Instead they found themselves back on the defensive and a knock-on by Cuthbert allowed Leeds to set up camp in the corner and England hooker Steve Thompson eventually peeled off a maul to score.

Thomas added the conversion to bring the sides level at 13-13. Replacement Alfie To'oala nearly created a second five minutes later but the cover closed in on Luther Burrell just in time.

Instead it was Bath who regained the lead through the boot of Barkley on 68 minutes. While Abendanon whirled and wheeled in search of an opening, James and Barkley resorted to a more pragmatic approach, skidding kicks into the corners to keep the opposition pinned into their 22.

The effort had clearly drained Leeds and their scrum was suddenly shunted back and went to ground, conceding a penalty, but Barkley's long-range kick fell short.

The scorers:

For Bath:
Try: Abendanon
Con: Barkley
Pen: Barkley 3

For Leeds:
Try: Thompson
Con: Thomas
Pen: Thomas
Drop: Barrow

Bath: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Matt Banahan, 13 Olly Barkley, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Nick Abendanon, 10 Butch James, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Lewis Moody, 6 Luke Watson (capt), 5 Danny Grewcock, 4 Stuart Hooper, 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 David Barnes.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 Duncan Bell, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, 20 Ben Skirving, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Matt Carraro.

Leeds: 15 Ceiron Thomas, 14 Lee Blackett, 13 Henry Fa'afili, 12 Scott Barrow, 11 Michael Stephenson, 10 Lachlan MacKay, 9 Warren Fury, 8 Daniel Browne, 7 Hendre Fourie, 6 Rhys Oakley, 5 Marco Wentzel (capt), 4 Tom Denton, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 Steve Thompson, 1 Gareth Hardy.
Replacements: 16 Phil Nilsen, 17 Mike MacDonald, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Alfie To'oala, 21 Scott Mathie, 22 Luther Burrell, 23 Leigh Hinton.

Referee: JP 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