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Summary

  1. FT: Bath 16-9 Bristol
  2. Bath go top of Premiership
  3. Faletau plays 55 mins on Bath return
  4. FT: Worcester 17-18 Northampton
  5. FT: Newcastle 19-32 Exeter

Live Reporting

By Louise Gwilliam and Gary Smee

All times stated are UK

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West Country woes

Bristol's winless start to the Premiership season almost came to an end this evening, but Bath held on at the death to move top of the table.

A damp start to the weekend in the West Country, but the rugby was red-hot and we've got plenty more for you over the next two days.

Join us tomorrow for Gloucester v Wasps (16:30 BST) and on Sunday we're bringing you a double-header with Sale v Saracens (13:00) and Leicester v Harlequins (15:15 BST).

See you then, goodnight.

Full-time at Newcastle & Sixways

It was a tense finish at Sixways as Bryce Heem went over for a late try, which was converted by Jamie Shillcock, but Saints run out 18-17 winners over Newcastle.

Stephen Myler was the hero for the visitors slotting six penalties.

It's also finished at Kingston Park. Will Chudley's late try secured a bonus-point win for Exeter over Newcastle. 32-19 the final score.

'It couldn't have got any closer towards the end'

FT: Bath 16-9 Bristol

Bath prop Nathan Catt speaking on BT Sport:

"Bristol were really strong up front and at the set-piece.

"We knew it was going to be an arm wrestle, but we just hung in.

"We had a tough year last year but we have come together and we enjoy spending time with each other.

"We were missing some really high-profile players today but the boys that came in did really well."

Full-time

Bath 16-9 Bristol

It's another defeat for Bristol, their eighth Premiership loss in a row, but only just.

They'll get a losing bonus point but it should have been more.

Bath were scrappy all evening but they know how to win ugly and their victory takes them to the top of the table...for 20 hours at least. 

They finish the evening one point ahead of Saracens.

Bath 16-9 Bristol

But Bath's defence has been heroic. 

Bristol looking to pick and go through the forwards and they're being pushed back so far. 

And the ball has been lost. Will Hurrell knocks on and Bristol's opportunity has gone.

Bath 16-9 Bristol

Bristol are camped on the Bath line. It's been 10 years since they won at The Rec, and they need a score to have a chance of a famous draw here.

Two minutes on the clock...

Bath 16-9 Bristol

The time is up on Jason Woodward's sin-bin and Bristol have seen out that time very efficiently.

And the visitors are looking livelier than Bath in this final five minutes. They look really up for this.

Bath captain Matt Garvey is in all sorts of trouble with a knee problem but they've no replacements on the bench so he's battling on heroically as Bristol earn a penalty.

They'll surely drive as close to the corner flags as they can.

Exeter score

Newcastle 16-27 Exeter

Newcastle's four-point deficit after Alex Tait's try didn't last long.

James Short finishes a superb team move for Exeter, Gareth Steenson converts, and the lead is back up to 11 points.

It's still 15-10 to Northampton at Worcester. Less than 10 minutes to go at Sixways.

Bath 16-9 Bristol

Bristol are surviving this period remarkably well and their scrum has been much more assured in the second period. They win the penalty and secure ball from the line-out but Bath have a turnover in midfield.

Just under 10 minutes to go and either side could still take this.

Update from Sixways & Newcastle

They're into the final 15 minutes at Worcester, where the hosts still trail Northampton 15-10, thanks to five Stephen Myler penalties.

Warriors are camped on Saints' try-line, but the visiting defence is holding firm.

Ollie Devoto Exeter Chiefs
Getty Images

Meanwhile it's an enthralling encounter at Kingston Park.

Newcastle, down to 14 men with Calum Green in the sin bin, reduce their deficit against Exeter to just four points as Alex Tait crosses. It's 20-16 to Chiefs with more than 20 minutes left.

Don't forget, they kicked off at 20:00 GMT in the north east.

Bath 16-9 Bristol

So Bristol are still in this game but remember, they're down to 14 men for the next five minutes after Jason Woodard's sin-binning.

And Bath are piling on the pressure as a high-kick comes in.

Jordan Williams deals with it well but Bristol are struggling to clear their lines. They're playing a lot of rugby in their own half as they repeatedly try to run the ball out.

A dangerous strategy.

Bath 16-9 Bristol

Things have got a bit heated at The Rec as the TMO attempts to work out what caused the brief period of handbags between the players.

Ian Tempest, the on-field referee, seems to have it all under control though.

The penalty is reversed for Max Clark's 'disproportionate' action to an obstruction. And that's that.

Sin-bin (Woodward)

Bath 16-9 Bristol

Bristol's Jason Woodward, on his Premiership debut, is sent to the bin as Zach Mercer is held-up over the line.

Woodward penalised for not rolling away as Bath look to pounce from short-range.

Bath 16-9 Bristol

Bath are penalised at the scrum for the first time this evening as Bristol gain a decent field position.

Meanwhile Australia scrum-half Ben Tapuai, who only arrived in Bath on Sunday and trained for the first time on Monday, comes on to make his debut.

And he could be the spark Bath are looking for in the final 20 minutes as his side win the penalty at the line-out. Ian Evans penalised for obstruction.

Bath 16-9 Bristol

Bristol fling the ball wide with some lovely hands but Ryan Edwards' kick is poor and dribbles straight into touch.

Taulupe Faletau exits the field as Bath make three changes, and he'll be hoping he's proved his fitness to Rob Howley for Wales' autumn international against South Africa next week.

Second half begins at Newcastle

Newcastle 8-17 Exeter

Newcastle v Exeter scrum
Getty Images

The game is under way again at Kingston Park, with Chiefs holding a six-point lead thanks to that late first-half score by giant try-scoring machine Thomas Waldrom.

But that lead quickly goes up to nine points as Gareth Steenson slots a penalty for Exeter.

Meanwhile, at Sixways, Northampton's Stephen Myler has sent over two penalties to give Saints a 15-10 lead over Worcester. Myler has all of Northampton's points this evening.

Bath 16-9 Bristol

The game descends into a period of kick tennis as Jack Tovey finally decides not to mess around and boots it into touch. 

Bristol steal the line-out and make progress downfield through Billy Searle but Jordan Crane is down on the ground for Bristol and he looks to be in some pain with his shoulder.

Penalty (Homer)

Bath 16-9 Bristol

Perhaps a surprising decision by Bath to go for goal when they were all over Bristol.

But Tom Homer slots the first points of the second half and stretches Bath's lead to seven points.

Bath 13-9 Bristol

Bristol's line-out, which has been solid all afternoon, gets them out of trouble once again and they clear their lines.

But Bath come at them again this time with a strong run from Nathan Catt, and once again Bath are happy to kick to the corner.

And from the next set-piece, Bristol are pulled for obstruction and the decision is to go for goal.

Bath 13-9 Bristol

Bristol have gone from an attacking line-out just outside Bath's 22 to being pinned back in their own half.

Bath are looking untidy in attack but they keep the ball alive as Matt Banahan kicks to touch and the forwards have a chance to apply some more pressure.

Smart rugby from Bath in these boggy conditions.