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Birds of Prey: Newcastle v Bath

Batty: starter

By P G Tips
February 13 2018

The Falcons are flying high and waiting to pounce on Bath. Seventh in the Premiership may seem a modest position to Exeter, Saracens or Wasps but for a club that have spent the last decade hovering above relegation these are exciting times. Pushing for a place in the top six they see European Champions Cup rugby as a realistic ambition for next season.  Having triumphed at the Rec they will be hoping to swoop for the kill against a Bath team ravaged by injury and Six Nations call-ups.

Only a point behind Sale in sixth place, Falcons have surprised many with their style of play this season. Promoting attack coach Dave Walder to head coach has paid dividends, resulting in the more expansive gameplan which snatched 5 tries when these teams last met. That day they seemed able to break the gain line at will- either through pick and drive close to the breakdown or the efforts of centre Juan Pablo Socino, rumoured to be a Bath target for next season. They will take further confidence from Bath’s traditional unease with artificial surfaces and the impact of the latest injury blows inflicted in the Saints match last Friday.


Despite these issues, Bath can claim reasons for confidence themselves. They are on a bit of a roll, having won their last four in all competitions, including victory over Friday’s hosts. Six weeks ago they won in style on a synthetic surface at Sixways, the form that day suggesting the manner and tempo coach Blackadder is looking for. Will Hurrell has made an impressive start to his loan period, while youngsters like Bayliss and Atkins have also shone when called on. The set pieces have improved, particularly second half scrummaging and Bath enjoyed 65% possession against Saints. Falcons meanwhile may have to do without forwards Lawson and Welsh, plus centre Harris of Scotland.


As usual the coaches will wait anxiously for news from the treatment room- notably on Matt Banahan’s fitness. One player certain to miss out is Tom Dunn whose gruesomely injured fingers seem a serious setback. Fortunately Ross Batty is fit to start to be supported from the bench by Charles or Van Vuuren. Five of Bath’s squad are training with England this week, but Ewels and Mercer may be released to play some part in Friday’s match –possibly from the bench.


Bath have shown commendable determination and resilience in their recent winning run but one vital flaw in particular needs attention. To stand a chance of winning Bath must shake off the torpor that has blighted the opening twenty minutes of recent matches. If they can start brightly and pressure the opposition into errors they have the grit and game management to win. It will not be enough to blunt the Falcons’ beak and claws: Bath must deploy more potent power. They should seize the gamekeeper’s twelve bore and give the Falcon both barrels.


Possible Teams:


Noguera, Batty, Thomas, Stooke, Phillips, Garvey (Capt.), Bayliss, Grant. Fotuali’i, Burns. Jack Wilson, Tapuai, Hurrell, Brew. James Wilson.

Replacements: Auterac, Charles, Lahiff, Ewels, Mercer. Cook, Lewis, Atkins


Newcastle Falcons:  Vickers, Cooper, Davison, Green, Robinson, Wilson, Welch (Capt.), Latu. Takulua, Hodgson. Sinoti, Penny, Socino, Goneva


Replacements: Socino, Mavinga, Lockwood, Cavubati, Latu, Stuart, Willis, Matavesi




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Birds of Prey: Newcastle v Bath
13/02/2018 14:21
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:02:20:21:02:54 by hasta.

Robs (IP Logged)

Re: Birds of Prey: Newcastle v Bath
14/02/2018 00:10
Not sure about your "possible" team selection for Newcastle. In your text you state "iFalcons meanwhile lose forwards Lawson and Welsh, plus centre Harris to Scotland." But then you name them as possibles!

P G Tips
P G Tips (IP Logged)

Re: Birds of Prey: Newcastle v Bath
14/02/2018 08:03
Thanks for that Robs.

Now corrected.


P G Tips

Alex Davies: my adopted Player, 2018-19.

nick holder
nick holder (IP Logged)

Re: Birds of Prey: Newcastle v Bath
14/02/2018 08:15
Zac has been returned to the club but not ewells, yet!

P G Tips
P G Tips (IP Logged)

Re: Birds of Prey: Newcastle v Bath
14/02/2018 17:34
Injury updates from Chron:

Obano likely to be fit. Vuna possible, Perenise possible.

Banahan, Thomas unlikely.

Dunn out.



P G Tips

Alex Davies: my adopted Player, 2018-19.

Bath Hammer
Bath Hammer (IP Logged)

Re: Birds of Prey: Newcastle v Bath
14/02/2018 18:21
Thomas injured again???

BathSalmon (IP Logged)

Re: Birds of Prey: Newcastle v Bath
20/02/2018 20:46
Can we un-Sticky this now, to give us all a chance to forget this ever happened!? (Pleeeeease!)

Adopted Player 18-19: Anthony Perenise
Adopted Player 17-18 & 16-17: Dave Attwood
Adopted Player 15-16: Matt Garvey

P G Tips
P G Tips (IP Logged)

Re: Birds of Prey: Newcastle v Bath
20/02/2018 21:05
Gladly -if I knew how!

I have asked one of the other mods for help.

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