Latest news:

Toon Trial: Newcastle v Bath

Roberts: skipper?

By P G Tips
November 6 2018

Bath face a ‘Trial on the Toon” in Friday’s PRC Pool match at Newcastle. With only slim hopes of progress in the competition they may be tempted to field a development squad. They are though winless in their past 6 matches and approaching a tough set of Premiership and European rounds up to Christmas. A win is sorely needed. Bath’s performance could set the tone for the rest of the season.

Newcastle have struggled so far to repeat the heroics of last season which saw them finish fourth in the Premiership. They currently prop up the table with a solitary win and only 7 points. In the Premiership Cup however, their fortunes are different. A home draw with Exeter followed by a narrow victory at Harlequins leave them vying with Chiefs for top position Pool 1 where Bath are a clear bottom.  They would appear to have momentum and home advantage in their favour and must be favourites unless Bath field their strongest team. Bath last won on the Tyne in 2015, visits since then taking on the flavour of trial by ordeal. Bath need to turn Saturday into trial by combat to stand a chance of winning.


The Tynesiders will want to field a strong team themselves to secure their place in the next round. Possible stars for them could be Welch, Davey Wilson, Chick and Socino in the forwards, Tait, Harris and Swiel in the backs. Their artificial pitch should give them a boost, as will the inspiration of Mark Wilson’s man of the Match showing for England against South Africa.


In injury news for Bath, Matt Garvey will miss the match with a neck injury while Grant and Vuna are still not ready. The latter two are just the sort of never –say-die competitors needed in a match like this, their return cannot come too soon.  Other absentees could be Charteris –known to react badly to artificial surfaces, Louw and Underhill both of whom could be on international duty. Depleted resources in the back row could mean a bench role there for Van Vuuren. Defeat last week at Exeter exposed familiar failings – too narrow a defence, poor discipline, unforced knock-ons and too many turnovers conceded. These should be the key focus for the coaches this week.


Correcting these ills and turning fortunes around will require as much experience as is available and can be spared. I would refresh the front row, recall Fotuali’I, hand the captaincy to Roberts and give leadership roles up front to Batty and Stooke in an effort to stiffen the team’s resolve.  Improvements have been visible in the past two games – notably in driving maul, offload and initial backline penetration. Swifter use of overlaps and more fluency in passing moves should bring dividends if Bath can get on the front foot. They must do so and win this trial by combat to set themselves up for tougher trials ahead.


Possible Bath Team:

Vaughan, Batty, Perenise, Stooke, Douglas, Bayliss, Ellis, Reid. Fotuali’I, Davies. McConnochie, Roberts, Wright, Wilson. Homer.

Replacements: Van Rooyen, Walker, Lahiff, Attwood, Van Vuuren. Green, Clark, Atkins.


View a Printer Friendly version of this Story.

Bookmark or share this story with:

Toon Trial: Newcastle v Bath
Discussion started by (IP Logged), 06/11/2018 15:50
06/11/2018 15:50
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:11:14:09:47:17 by P G Tips.

06/11/2018 19:13
An interesting read but a correction is needed, the game is being played on Friday night.

06/11/2018 19:56
Stooke and Joe C released from England

P G Tips
P G Tips
06/11/2018 20:27
Thanks DJMc

Now corrected.


07/11/2018 11:24
If my maths is correct PGT, you have announced a team of 16 starting for Bath. Might help us win if allowed but feel Dean and his boys might have something to say!

Excellent and very fair write up as usual. I really enjoy reading your insightful comments and look forward to them each week. Just wish we show the potential with the players we have on the scoreboard at the end of the games.

Must say I think Newcastle's league position will change very soon, especially after their heroics in the European Challenge Cup are anything to go by! They had an incredibly tough start to the season and will come good and personaly I can see them rise to mid table easily.

Adopted player 2018/19 Semesa Rokoduguni

The Rock that is Semesa and how he will be rocking this season.

P G Tips
P G Tips
07/11/2018 12:05
Thanks BoB.

Levi Davis will just have to drop out of the putative 23!

Has been arranged!

P G Tips

Alex Davies: my adopted Player, 2018-19.

There's 35 seconds to go
There's 35 seconds to go
07/11/2018 19:08
Will Welch is out for months injured.

Bath Bosch
08/11/2018 15:43
We’re going to get stuffed! Newcastle are clearly seeing this as a must win game looking at the team they’ve put out....

Back to senior team next week and a winning run ?!?!

P G Tips
P G Tips
08/11/2018 15:58
Hopefully BB!


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing