Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 19 Bath Rugby 14

Newcastle Falcons secured their first Aviva Premiership Rugby victory of the season after seeing off Bath Rugby on Saturday and director of rugby Dean Richards wants to build on that momentum.

Craig Willis slotted two penalties in the last ten minutes at a wet and windy Kingston Park as the Falcons beat their West County opponents at home for the first time since 2003.

Guy Mercer’s try had put the visitors – runners’ up last year in the league – in front early on but Rob Vickers' score and the inconsistent boot of Willis opened up a 13-8 half-time lead for Richards’ men.

After the interval Rhys Priestland kicked Bath back in front before Willis held his nerve late on to condemn Bath to a fifth loss from the first eight games of the season.

Victory moves the Falcons off the bottom of the table and above London Irish but they will face the Exiles next weekend and Richards has warned his side to maintain their focus.

"It's a great start to the year. I thought we deserved the win,” he said.

"Okay, we missed a few points, but we came up with the goods and deserved it. The boys stuck to their guns and it's probably the first time this season we've done that.

"Now we need to take that into the game at London Irish and build on it."

For Bath the defeat was tough to take as Ford opted to leave a number of his internationals like George Ford, Anthony Watson and Francois Louw on the bench.

But despite introducing his big names in the second half it was the Falcons who closed out victory thanks to the nerveless kicking of the 20-year-old Willis.

And head coach Ford admits his side need to take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror after slipping to a narrow defeat.

"Credit to Newcastle – they defended really well but our players really need to have a look at themselves and question whether they were really ready to play,” he said.

"It was wet and windy, but then it often is here. We have to look forward but we also have to be truthful and it's all about responsibility and you cannot just expect to turn up and win.

"The players are back in on Tuesday and I expect them to hold up their hands, talk about it and then move on."

Boxing Day Sale! Click here to grab a bargain with 20% off tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final on 28 May at Twickenham.
Newcastle Falcons: Hammersley (Catterick, 33 (B Agulla, 40)); Tait, Harris, Socino, M Watson; Willis, Young; Vickers, McGuigan (Lawson, 61), Rogers (Ryan, 61), Wilson, Robinson, Hogg, Welch, Latu (Botha, 61)
Replacements not used:  Clever, Dawson
Bath Rugby: Homer; H Agulla (A Watson, 71), Joseph, Devoto, Banahan; Priestland (Ford, 60), Matawalu (Evans, 39); Auterac (Lahiff, 58), Batty, Thomas (Wilson, 56), Garvey, Ewels, Houston, Mercer (Louw, 60), Denton (58).
Replacements not used: Dunn
Newcastle Falcons
Tries: Vickers
Conversion: Willis
Penalties: Willis 4
Bath Rugby
Tries: Mercer
Penalties: Priestland 3
Referee: Matthew Carley
Attendance: 7,075

Latest News

Match Report: Wasps 35 Gloucester Rugby 22

Wasps utility back Jimmy Gopperth claimed 25 points including a hat-trick as his team restored a six-point advantage at the…

Match Report: Bristol Rugby 12 Bath Rugby 11

Gavin Henson kicked 12 points against former club Bath Rugby on his first Aviva Premiership Rugby start since October as…

Match Reaction: Exeter Chiefs 36 Newcastle Falcons 14

They may have gone above defending champions Saracens and into second place in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table, but Exeter…

Match Reaction: Saracens 29 Sale Sharks 18

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall picked out back rower Joel Conlon as the stand-out player in his side’s 29-18…

Match Reaction: Northampton Saints 24 Worcester Warriors 14

Jim Mallinder backed his side to continue their push up the table after they moved into Aviva Premiership Rugby’s top…

Match Report: Northampton Saints 24 Worcester Warriors 14

Mikey Haywood scored two tries as Northampton Saints came from behind to down Worcester Warriors and move into Aviva Premiership Rugby's…

Match Report: Exeter Chiefs 36 Newcastle Falcons 14

Exeter Chiefs fought their way to a bonus point victory over Newcastle Falcons to move up to second in Aviva…

Match Report: Saracens 29 Sale Sharks 18

Saracens recorded their first Aviva Premiership Rugby win since New Year’s Day with a 29-18 success over an in-form Sale…

Match Reaction: Harlequins 18 Leicester Tigers 27

Assistant coach Geordan Murphy tipped his cap to a steely second-half showing from the Leicester Tigers replacements, who changed the…

England Under-20 secure impressive bonus-point win over Italy

England secured their third bonus-point win of the 2017 Six Nations with an eight-try 46-0 victory over Italy at the…

Match Report: Harlequins 18 Leicester Tigers 27

Leicester Tigers’ impressive second-half comeback saw them score 24 unanswered points and stun hosts Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop to claim…