Bath shut down Jimmy Gopperth - Newcastle coach Alan Tait

Jimmy Gopperth
Gopperth and new half-back partner Jamie Helleur were unable to influence Falcons in Saturday's 22-9 victory against Bath

Newcastle Falcons head coach Alan Tait says Bath nullified the threat of fly-half Jimmy Gopperth in Saturday's 22-9 defeat at Kingston Park.

The 28-year-old was a quiet figure aside from kicking duties, as the visitors put pressure on the halves pairing of Gopperth and Jamie Helleur.

"They shut us down well in that area," Tait told BBC Newcastle.

"They know he's a danger man, and teams are working hard to stop us, it's something our players have to learn."

Tait added: "You have to give praise to their defence, Brad Davis is an ex-League player like myself and he's got them defending like a League team.

"I'm talking to our players about doing that because I think it's an effective way to defend."

Falcons lie bottom of the Premiership after the loss, with an inferior points difference of minus-13, while newcomers Worcester won and rivals Sale picked up a bonus point.

"I am not looking at their results, Exeter are a really good side and I'm not looking at them to be near the bottom," Tait said.

"We've got our own job to look after and we have five games now until the break.

"I've said to the boys - pick your heads up - I know it's hurt them and you can tell by the silence down there, so I hope they can lift their heads and crack on."

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