Newcastle 5, Bath Rugby 9

The visitors got off to the worst possible start when Tom May touched down after just twenty seconds for what was the third fastest try in Zurich Premiership history. Slow to react, it seemed as though Bath were going to be taken to the sword by a dangerous Newcastle back line, but as the conditions worsend Bath regrouped well and played to their strengths - keeping the ball in the forwards and executing some outstanding rolling mauls.

It took thirty-four minutes for the scoreboard to be troubled again and this time it was Malone who struck a penalty in gusting conditions to edge his side back into a game that they were beginning to dominate in terms of both field position and possession.

However, whilst Malone seemed to have brought his kicking boots with him, Dave Walder struggled at the other end. The fly half missed two routine penalties and a conversion before Matt Burke took over the duties for the Falcons.

Malone's 52nd minute penalty gave Bath Rugby the lead before his drop goal ten minutes later tied up the game for the visitors.

Such was the Bath pack's total control up front in the second period that Newcastle seemed unable to get hold of the ball to sustain any sort of momentum. Therefore it was perhaps a little more than a coincidence that the game was played for the last twenty minutes with uncontested scrums as all four Newcastle's props were injured.

Bath Rugby are now fourth in the table ahead of Saracens on points difference and John Connolly said that he was pleased with the win, but admitted that he was not pleased with the performance. "We were really flat today and suffered a complet lapse at the start," he said. "There were some good elements and I thought that the back three played well, but we had a poor first half."

"To lose 9-5 in those conditions against the best pack in Europe was actually not too bad," said Newcastle Director of Rugby Rob Andrew.

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