Match reaction: Bath Rugby 23-14 Newcastle Falcons

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Saturday 15 November 2014 – 5.00pm

The Recreation Ground, Bath

Aviva Premiership #7

 

I started writing this last night in the hotel lounge, the sound of ‘Mysterious Girl’ in my ears from the wedding reception next door ringing in my ears. I glanced in – yes, the dance floor was empty.

 

It seemed a bit calmer than the wedding Mrs Leipy and I were at last Saturday. A rough-looking bloke walked into the lounge at one stage and seemed to think better of it. Clearly I and the old couple reading in the other corner look more threatening than I’d thought.

 

Speaking of threatening, I now turn to the game yesterday. Threatening isn’t really a word that could be applied to our backs for most of the game – Bath’s defence did a great job of putting pressure on Sinoti Sinoti and Alesana Tuilagi and preventing either getting much space. JP Socino was also on the back foot in open play a lot of the time and so wasn’t able to use his creativity to relieve any pressure.

 

It was a game of two halves. The first was pretty even, in fact I think we might just have shaded it but Bath went in three points ahead. Then they really stepped it up in the second half and pinned the Falcons back in our 22. Bath’s second try may have been aided by one of the most blatant examples of blocking a defender that I’ve ever seen, but it had been coming for several minutes.

 

It was only a massive defensive effort that stopped Bath getting a bigger win and the bonus point they will have been looking for. I think the Falcons deserved a losing bonus point but it was not to be, Gavin Henson’s late penalty making the hosts’ win safe.

 

I was impressed with Henson yesterday, nothing that flashy but a very professional performance and he controlled the game well. It seems he has overcome a lot of his problems and is getting back to what he does best. Good stuff.

 

From the Falcons’ point of view, our set pieces held up well yesterday but I think we couldn’t really match Bath’s pace and intensity, particularly in the second half when it seemed all we could do just to defend against a big home pack and a hungry set of backs.

 

Individually, I don’t think we really had anybody stand out for good or bad reasons. The back three were just shut down and the half-backs denied time and space. I can’t really give an opinion on Sean Robinson’s Premiership debut as I didn’t really notice him unfortunately.

 

We can’t be too despondent though, lets not forget that Leicester lost 45-0 at the Rec earlier this season. The Falcons now have two huge home games coming up that we really need to get at least one win from. Gloucester have their own problems at the moment so Friday is a great opportunity to get back to winning ways.

 

 

(Follow The South Stand Choir on Twitter: @SouthStandChoir)

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