Newcastle Falcons endured a tough day at the office as Bath claimed all five points from Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership clash at a wind-battered Kingston Park Stadium.
The visitors led 19-12 at half-time and powered further away on a disappointing afternoon for the North Easterners, who will look to regroup ahead of Friday’s visit of Wasps.
The home side found themselves a try down inside five minutes when Bath kicked a penalty to the right corner and Sam Underhill broke free from a driving maul, Tian Schoeman’s conversion drifting wide on the wind.
The visitors hit double figures on 12 minutes when fellow back-rower Zach Mercer darted in for a try between the posts, a tap penalty from five metres out providing the ideal launch pad for the No 8 to profit.
Schoeman added the extras from in front, but the quick tap penalty was working for both sides as Newcastle used a similar position to propel Trevor Davison over the try-line on 18 minutes, Brett Connon converting.
Schoeman hit the post with a penalty as Bath tried and failed to extend their lead, but they had no such problems on 28 minutes when yet another close-range tap penalty saw hooker Tom Dunn barrelling over for a converted try.
Newcastle finally managed some handling fluency around the half-hour mark with a period of sustained pressure – the TMO ruling out their claim for a try in the right corner from yet another close-range ruck.
But they did not have long to wait to make up for that blow, Tom Penny scoring in the left corner when a scything counter-attack from Mateo Carreras helped set up a ruck two metres out from which the full-back ploughed over.
Bath led 19-12 at half-time as Joe Cokanasiga tracked back to thwart another attack from Carreras, and they added to their lead eight minutes into the second half when Henry Thomas scored the bonus-point try from a line-out in the left corner.
A close-range line-out brought try number five for the West Country side when a 12-man maul in the right corner enabled Dunn to score his second, Jack Walker repeating the trick with a similar score in the opposite corner on 63 minutes.
Newcastle at least had the last say with a penalty try as the TMO denied Charlie Maddison a score, but it added little shine to a disappointing day.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Tom Penny (Cooper Vuna, 59), 14 Alex Tait, 13 George Wacokecoke, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Brett Connon (Joel Matavesi, 70), 9 Sam Stuart (Louis Schreuder, 56); 1 Trevor Davison (Kyle Cooper, 56), 2 George McGuigan (Charlie Maddison, 56), 3 Mark Tampin (Mike Daniels, 56), 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Darren Barry, 6 Gary Graham (John Hardie, 45, Sean Robinson, 54), 7 Philip van der Walt, 8 Callum Chick (captain).
Scorers – Tries: Trevor Davison, Tom Penny, Penalty try. Conversions: Brett Connon.
Bath Rugby: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Ruaridh McConnochie (Semesa Rokoduguni, 63), 10 Tian Schoeman (Max Clark, 35), 9 Ben Spencer (Ollie Fox, 70); 1 Juan Schoeman (Arthur Cordwell, 72), 2 Tom Dunn (Jack Walker, 57), 3 Henry Thomas (Christian Judge, 57), 4 Josh McNally (captain), 5 Elliott Stooke (Tom Ellis, 70), 6 Miles Reid, 7 Sam Underhill (Ethan Staddon, 63), 8 Zach Mercer.
Scorers – Tries: Sam Underhill, Zach Mercer, Tom Dunn 2, Henry Thomas, Jack Walker. Conversions: Tian Schoeman 2, Ben Spencer 2.
Referee: Ian Tempest.
Penny, Tait, Wacokecoke, Burrell, Carreras, Connon, Stuart, Davison, McGuigan, Tampin, Peterson, Barry, Graham, Van Der Walt, Chick
Replacements Maddison, Cooper, Daniels, Robinson, Hardie, Schreuder, Matavesi, Vuna
de Glanville, Cokanasiga, Joseph, Matavesi, McConnochie, Schoeman, Spencer, Schoeman, Dunn, Thomas, McNally, Stooke, Reid, Underhill, Mercer
Replacements Walker, Cordwell, Judge, Ellis, Staddon, Fox, Clark, Rokoduguni
referee: Ian Tempest
assistant: Peter Allan
assistant: Wayne Falla
TMO: Trevor Fisher