MATCH SUMMARY - NEWCASTLE FALCONS 10-17 BATH RUGBY
It wasn't pretty but Bath Rugby made two wins in a row as they saw off Newcastle Falcons in Round 9 of the Gallagher Premiership.
Adam Radian opened the scoring but Ted Hill's first try for the club levelled the game.
Billy Searle came on and kicked a penalty to put Bath ahead and from then on they didn't look back. Ollie Lawrence crossed into the corner to put the game out of sight with Brett Connon's late penalty for Falcons proving a mere consolation.
Bath made eight changes for the trip to the North East with Fergus Lee-Warner and Hill earning their first starts in Blue, Black and White.
Valeriy Morozov added power to the front row on his 14th appearance for the club - his first since returning.
Falcons welcomed back England hooker Jamie Blamire while former Saracen Elliott Obatoyinbo made his first Premiership start for Dave Walder's side.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Ben Stevenson, 10 Brett Connon, 9 Michael Young (c); 1 Adam Brocklebank, 2 Jamie Blamire, 3 Richard Palframan, 4 Matthew Dalton, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Freddie Lockwood, 7 Connor Collett, 8 Callum Chick
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Phil Brantingham, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 George Merrick, 20 Guy Pepper, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Tom Penny
Bath Rugby: 15 Matt Gallagher, 14 Gabriel Hamer-Webb, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Ruaridh McConnochie, 10 George Worboys, 9 Max Green; 1 Valeriy Morozov, 2 Tom Dunn ©, 3 D’Arcy Rae, 4 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Quinn Roux, 6 Ted Hill, 7 Miles Reid, 8 Richard de Carpentier
Impact players: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Arthur Cordwell, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Tom Ellis, 20 Josh Bayliss, 21 Tom Carr-Smith, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Jonathan Joseph
The grey weather, which matched the Bath away colours, matched the visitors’ start in the North East as the Falcons grabbed the first points of an otherwise fairly even opening exchange.
Micky Young’s looping pass to the right hit Radwan’s breadbasket and the Falcons wing finished acrobatically in the corner with no need for a TMO check.
Connon’s extras made it 7-0 and the fly-half twice pinned the Blue, Black and White into their own 22 with penalties to touch, though Johann van Graan’s side held out well led by Miles Reid.
Not much seemed to stick ball in hand for Bath in opening 20 minutes, but Matt Gallagher was certainly giving it a good go as he weaved past a few defenders from his own five-metre before Connon won a game of kick-tennis moments later to earn Falcons territory once more.
Quinn Roux and Lee-Warner carried hard over the gainline on multiple occasions as Bath began to get into their rhythm and Lawrence almost crossed by the posts but couldn’t keep hold of possession.
The leveller did come prior to the half-time whistle as the away side’s patience paid off. On his first start for the club, Hill muscled his way over from close with Worboys’ touchline-strike making it 7-7 going into the interval.
Connon’s missed penalty early in the second period proved a let off for Bath who managed to grasp hold of proceedings following a stoppage which saw George Wacokecoke removed via a stretcher for the hosts.
In the front row, Arthur Cordwell added cohesion at the scrum to walk Falcons off the ball and Searle’s first touch in a Bath jersey was to kick to touch. His second, a jinking run up the middle, presented himself with an opportunity of a strike at goal. He made no mistake and collected three points for his new team.
A three-point advantage became 10 just past the hour as the field broke up. Jonathan Joseph’s smart carry took Bath behind the Newcastle defence and a few phases later, Max Ojomoh’s beautifully weighted grubber was pounced upon by Lawrence who dived into the corner. Searle’s left-footed conversion bisected the posts.
Searle was then forced off with a knock and it meant a makeshift backline. Replacement nine Tom Carr-Smith took a place on the left wing and Scotland forward Josh Bayliss was on the other flank with Ojomoh at fly-half.
It didn’t stop Bath’s momentum in pressurising Newcastle into mistakes and front up tackles from Carr-Smith and Cordwell held Falcons out.
The Blue, Black and White were happy to live without the ball and absorbed every Newcastle attack and despite Connon’s late kick at goal, it was an efficient win.
Next up, the age old rivals… Leicester Tigers.
join us at the rec on Remembrance Day!
Bath Rugby welcome old rivals Leicester Tigers to The Rec on Friday 11 November, kick-off 19:45.
To mark the occasion, a military pitch parade will take place followed by a wreath laying ceremony, including a bugler performing the last post and reveille, with a minute’s silence for everyone to pay their respects.
We can't wait to see you there!
GET YOUR TICKETS FOR BATH V TIGERS
THE BAABAAS ARE COMING TO TOWN!
The Blue, Black and White will host world rugby's most famous invitational side this month as the Barbarians visit the Rec on Sunday 20 November, kick-off 14:00.
All Black Damian McKenzie and Springbok Francois Hougaard have been confirmed to play for the BaaBaas with a number of other exciting players set to wear the black and white jersey.
Don't miss out on what will be a special day!
BE PART OF HISTORY: JOIN US FOR BATH V BARBARIANS