Bath 30-24 Newcastle

Anthony Perenise

Bath battled back from a poor first-half display to beat bottom side Newcastle Falcons.

Olly Barkley's early penalty and Olly Woodburn's try put the hosts on top.

Jimmy Gopperth converted tries from Mark Wilson, after lax Bath defence, and hooker Rob Vickers as the visitors assumed a 14-8 half-time lead.

Bath turned it around after the break through Woodburn, a penalty try and Anthony Perenise before Will Chudley went over for the Falcons at the death.

The hosts claimed a bonus point for scoring four tries while Gopperth's conversion from Chudley's try ensured the Falcons took a losing bonus point.

Bath went into the match off the back of three consecutive wins and were on the scoreboard in under two minutes thanks to Barkley's three-pointer from distance.

Woodburn went over in the corner after good work from Tom Heathcote.

The Falcons fought back almost immediately after sloppy defensive play left number eight Wilson to touch down and Vickers completed the turn around when he forced his way over from a scrum.

Perenise started Bath's revival with a clever kick through into the in-goal area that Woodburn won the race to touch down, before Gopperth conceded a penalty try for hauling down Tom Biggs off-the-ball as he looked certain to go over.

With Gopperth in the sin-bin the hosts turned the screw and the Samoan Perenise crossed to put Bath in complete control and give them a bonus point.

After Heathcote and Gopperth exchanged penalties, the Falcons claimed a bonus point of their own with the final action of the match.

Replacement scrum-half Chudley made the most of late pressure to scramble over and Gopperth added the extras.


Bath director of rugby Ian McGeechan:

"We started well and then got a bit careless. And we gave some silly points away.

"The second half was pretty important to the way we came out and came back at them.

"Apart from the try at the end, which was a bit annoying, it was 22 points in the second half. We stuck at it pretty well."

Newcastle director of rugby Gary Gold:

"I am happy with the bonus point but not remotely happy with the outcome. We need to start winning away from home.

"We promised the guys would give their all for 80 minutes - and they did that. We showed a lot of courage and worked hard in defence. We scrambled well.

"But they were much better than us in the second half, so credit to them. Their 'chip through' try was a game changer. Next thing we knew, we were two scores behind.

"We had opportunities too in the second half but didn't take them."


Bath: Vesty, Woodburn, Banahan, Barkley, Biggs, Heathcote, Claassens, Flatman, Mears, Perenise, Attwood, Caldwell, Skirving, Louw, Taylor.

Replacements: Carraro for Barkley (67), Catt for Flatman (57), Dixon for Mears (70), Palma-Newport for Perenise (76), Ovens for Louw (79), Mercer for Taylor (47). Not Used: Cook, Scott, Abendanon.

Newcastle: Goosen, Shortland, Helleur, Fitzpatrick, Hufanga, Gopperth, Pilgrim, Shiells, Vickers, Murray, Fondse, Swinson, Welch, Hogg, Wilson.

Replacements: Chudley for Pilgrim (70), Thompson for Vickers (69), van der Heijden for Swinson (67), Tu'ifua for Welch (61). Not Used: Golding, Hall, Bedford, Hodgson.

Att: 11,944

Ref: Dean Richards (RFU).