Bath Rugby power to hard-earned victory

A wet and windy night greeted Bath Rugby as they arrived at Kingston Park for the first Aviva Premiership game of the season against Newcastle Falcons, but this didn't deter the Blue, Black and White from coming away with a hard-earned 0-21 win.

The visitors tried to apply early pressure, looking to run the ball when they could, despite the conditions. A darting break from George Ford led to the first penalty of the night, as he broke through the defensive line and into the 22. As play broke down, referee Wayne Barnes brought the teams back for the penalty, and the young fly-half, kicking into the swirling wind, slotted the ball cleanly through the posts to give Bath the lead after six minutes. 0-3.

Conditions were playing their part, but both sides tried to play the ball. A pretty even half was nearly reflected on the scoreboard when Newcastle won their first kickable penalty of the game at the scrum, but fly-half Phil Godman skewed the ball wide. 0-3.

Four minutes before the end of the half, the home side infringed at the ruck, and although it was some distance out, Ford stepped up and nailed the kick to double the lead.

Half-time: Newcastle Falcons 0 – Bath Rugby 6.

The visitors were eager to get an early grip on the game coming out from the break, and they kept the Falcons pinned back in their own half for large periods. With 58 minutes gone, Ford added another three points to the lead following a penalty at the scrum. 0-9.

In a battle largely dominated by the forwards, it seemed only fitting that it was a forward who scored the first try of the game. A huge driving maul from the Bath pack took the visitors into the danger zone, and replacement prop Anthony Perenise broke away to stretch over the line to score. Ford's conversion came back off the post, but it was another five points added to the Bath lead with 16 minutes remaining. 0-14.

The pack continued to show their power, and with just two minutes to replacement hooker Ross Batty found his man in the lineout to set-up another huge driving maul. The Falcons were left with no option but to pull the maul down illegally, and referee Barnes blew his whistle to signal the penalty try. Ford was on once again on target with the conversion, and so the game ended.

Final score – Newcastle Falcons 0 – Bath Rugby 21.

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