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

AUDIO: Post match Aviva Premiership reaction to Saracens 27 Bristol 9

Russell Hargreaves looks back on events at Allianz Park, before speaking to retiring Sarries legends Neil de Kock and Kelly…

Match Report: Leicester Tigers 41 Sale Sharks 18

Freddie Burns gave a starring performance in his final home appearance for Leicester Tigers to put them on brink of qualification…

Match Report: Exeter Chiefs 36 Northampton Saints 12

Exeter Chiefs became the first Aviva Premiership Rugby side to secure seven straight bonus-point wins with their biggest ever victory…

Match Report: Saracens 27 Bristol Rugby 9

Saracens overcame a slow first half to sign off their departing club legends in style with a bonus-point Aviva Premiership…

Late change to Northampton Saints squad

Tom Wood is a late withdrawal from today's Northampton Saints team that is playing Exeter Chiefs. Christian Day comes into…

Christian Day

Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 16 Worcester Warriors 14

Worcester Warriors director of rugby Gary Gold was left stunned and disappointed after Newcastle Falcons scrum-half Sonatane Takulua struck late…

Match Reaction: Harlequins 32 Wasps 13

Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans signed off from the Stoop with a majestic performance as he kicked 22 points against Wasps…

Match Report: Newcastle Falcons 16 Worcester Warriors 14

Sonatane Takulua scored all of Newcastle Falcons' points - including a late converted try - to down a spirited Worcester…

Match Report: Harlequins 32 Wasps 13

Nick Evans capped a memorable final appearance for Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop by scoring 22 points as they downed…

Alafoti Faosiliva commits future to Worcester Warriors

Samoa international Alafoti Faosiliva will continue his Sixways career after committing his future to the Club. The 31-year-old arrived at…

Alafoti Faosiliva

AUDIO: Preview of this weekend’s Aviva Premiership action

It's the penultimate round of regular-season matches in the Aviva Premiership this weekend - Russell Hargreaves has the details.

Saracens name side to face Bristol Rugby

Saracens have named their team to face Bristol in round 21 of the Aviva Premiership on Saturday at Allianz Park,…

Schalk Brits

Northampton Saints team news versus Exeter Chiefs

The Northampton Saints team has been named for the Aviva Premiership Round 21 trip to Exeter. Injuries to Louis Picamoles…

JJ Hanrahan

Garvey to start for Bath Rugby in West Country derby

Matt Garvey will make his first start for Bath Rugby since January in the West Country Aviva Premiership derby against…

Matt Garvey