Newcastle Falcons claimed a 22-7 victory over Bath Rugby in the Premiership Rugby Cup in testing conditions at Kingston Park.
The swirling wind and torrential rain caused havoc throughout the 80 minutes, but it was Falcons who came out on top under the Friday night lights.
The hosts showed their attacking intent inside the opening 15 minutes, and only try-saving tackles by Levi Douglas and Ruaridh McConnochie prevented them from opening their account with two quick fire tries.
Despite withstanding the early pressure, the first points went the way of Falcons on the 20-minute mark. Falcons took advantage of the numbers on the short side in the midfield, with Alex Tait drawing his man and releasing Michael Young to give the scrum-half a simple finish under the posts. Joel Hodgson added the extras to give his side a seven-point advantage. [7-0]
Bath continued to show a good account of themselves against a vastly experienced Falcons side, with McConnochie and Tom Homer both making good breaks into the Falcons half. However, they were unable to force their way through a dogged home defence.
With just over 10 minutes of the half remaining, Hodgson added another three points from the tee after Bath were penalised for offside just outside their 22. [10-0]
Falcons continued to show their threat in attack and looked to mount another attack with the clock in the red. However, good rush defence from Michael van Vuuren forced the Falcons error to ensure the gap remained 10 points going into the interval.
Half-time – Newcastle Falcons 10-0 Bath Rugby
The hosts extended their lead four minutes into the second half through Simon Hammersley. Pedro Bettencourt made the initial break but was tackled short by Tom Homer, who momentarily halted their quest for the line. The phases continued to mount, before a clever switch sent Hammersley over the whitewash for their second of the evening. [17-0]
With 15 minutes to play, the home side put the score beyond doubt. After Bath were penalised for holding on, Toby Flood sent the ball deep inside the 22 to create another scoring opportunity. It was Sinoti Sinoti who took full advantage, as the winger fended off two Bath tacklers to score in the corner. [22-0]
Bath didn’t leave Kingston Park empty handed, with Josh Bayliss grabbing a consolation try four minutes from time. The back rower capitalised on a loose ball in the midfield and had the pace, vision and awareness to run in from halfway. Alex Davies added the straight forward conversion from in front of the posts. [22-7]
The Blue, Black and White continued to put pressure on the Falcons defence, and Levi Davis nearly added a second score, but was just stopped in his tracks just short of the line.
Full-time – Newcastle Falcons 22-7 Bath Rugby
Image courtesy of Chris Lishman.
Premiership Rugby Cup
9 November 2018
Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe
Half Time score: 10-0
- Tries: Young (18), Hammersley (43), Sinoti (65)
- Conversions: Hodgson (20, 44)
- Penalties: Hodgson (26)
- Tries: Bayliss (75)
- Conversions: Davies (76)