Premiership: Newcastle Falcons 17-28 Bath

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, Bath won the match with a first-half display at Newcastle

Try: Blamer (2) Stuart cons: Conon

Try: Du Toit, Spencer, Kokanasija, Gallagher cons: Contact (4)

Bath moved level on points with Northampton Saints at the top of the Premier League with a comfortable 28-17 bonus-point win over Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park.

An abundance of tries from the visitors secured victory in the first half, with Thomas du Toit, Ben Spencer, Joe Cocanasiga and Matt Gallagher on the scoresheet.

Two tries from Jamie Blamire kept Newcastle in front, before Sam Stewart’s effort reduced the deficit to two scores in the second half.

Ultimately, Newcastle’s defeat means their wait for a league win will continue since March 2023, and they will remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

It was a fast start for Bath who went clear for the first time within five minutes. Prop Du Toit scooped the ball up before making his way over, with Finn Russell adding to the conversion.

Nine minutes later, Bath scored another goal, but this time it needed to be verified. Du Toit failed to reach the goal line, but the ball found Spencer. Officials looked to see if there was a strong kick during the build-up, but the effort stood and was converted from close range.

Bath looked to be running away when Kokanasija fired the ball into the right corner in the 28th minute, before another Russell conversion.

The Falcons got on the board when Blamire forced himself over the line after a brilliant strike near the corner, but Brett Connon’s conversion fell short.

Gallagher broke through the Newcastle defense in the 38th minute and earned a bonus point with another converted try.

Blamire responded to end the second period with another driving shot. Once again, Conon failed to convert.

The frenetic pace of the match did not stop after the break. Newcastle did not give up the slim chance of a first win in over a year, and their side, who had dominated throughout the night, maintained their footing in the game.

Stewart’s effort came after another strong drive as Newcastle established their advantage in the area and possession.

In fact, Bath’s discipline gave Newcastle hope of a comeback as the closing stages were filled with penalties, but they managed to hang on for the win.

Newcastle Director of Rugby Steve Diamond speaks to BBC Radio Newcastle:

“The team is down in the conference. Even though it’s my job to push that up, it’s tough. Confidence and team spirit come from winning games.

“When you don’t win, all you have is what’s in the bank to get you through. These young lads haven’t won a game in over a year.

“We are all in uncharted waters. They improved in the first half and the second half was really good but not good enough.

“The party was very good; the drive was very good. Our discipline was poor, we had three very simple penalties in the first half. They were down the street. It’s a bit of a learning thing for us. I’m not too sad.”

Bath Rugby manager Johan van Graan speaks to BBC Radio Bristol:

“Mission accomplished, that’s the most important thing. We knew in the course of the season that this was a huge game. Our last away game of the season. It’s always difficult coming here.

“We will gladly take the five points and move on. In these games you have to make sure you get your points. I think we managed to achieve what we could.

“It certainly wasn’t perfect. It won’t be a classic, but for us tonight it was about getting five points and moving on.”

Newcastle: Brown, Ridwan, Moroney, Hutchison, Redshaw, Connon, Stewart; Brocklebank, Blamer, Bello, Cardall, de Chavez, Croce, Pepper, Czech (c).

Replacements: Balframan, B. Byrne, Dormer, Hawkins, Lockwood, Spencer, Elliott, Jennings.

bathroom: Gallagher, Kokanasija, Lawrence, Redpath, Muir, Russell, Spencer (c); Obano, Dunn, du Toit, Rowe, Ewells, Hill, Underhill, Barbieri.

Replacements: Bayliss, Annette, Stewart, Schumann, Schroeder, Bailey, Reid, du Plessis.

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