Bath and Wasps score big wins
PREMIERSHIP SATURDAY WRAP: Bath produced a ruthless display against Newcastle Falcons, running in eight tries for a 58-5 win on Saturday.
In the other Saturday match Wasps resisted a second Leicester Tigers comeback in two weeks to win 34-22 and secure their first win at Welford since to go second in the Premiership table.
All Saturday's scores and scorers!
Bath 58-5 Newcastle Falcons
Bath produced a ruthless display against Newcastle Falcons, running in eight tries for a 58-5 win that ensured Director of Todd Blackadder's first Premiership fixture at the Rec will be one to remember.
Semesa Rokoduguni and Dave Attwood both scored twice, while a penalty try and further scores from Kane Palma-Newport, Matt Banahan and Elliott Stooke completed the rout.
Ally Hogg scored Newcastle's only points of the afternoon, crossing three minutes from time in what was a forgettable display from the visitors.
Mike Delany passed up the chance to give Newcastle an early lead as he pulled a sixth-minute penalty - awarded for a high tackle of Sinoti Sinoti - wide of the posts from 40 metres out.
The visitors enjoyed some early territory but despite having a strong attacking platform inside Bath's 22 on nine minutes, Zach Mercer produced a fantastic turnover to alleviate the pressure.
At the other end a knock-on from the Falcons in their own 22 saw Bath win a penalty at the scrum, allowing George Ford to get the game's first points with a penalty.
A well-taken drop-goal followed on 22 minutes from the England flyhalf, who ignored numbers out wide to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Opting for the scrum with a free-kick the hosts earned another penalty, although this time Ford - who scored 18 points in total - was wayward with his effort.
The first try of the afternoon was not long in coming though, courtesy of some magic from Rokoduguni.
The wing broke from his own 22 before chipping forward and although covering defender Vereniki Goneva denied him the score, referee Ian Tempest awarded a penalty try with Goneva adjudged to have impeded Rokoduguni illegally.
Goneva also received a yellow card for his troubles and Bath duly made their man advantage count as they ran in three further tries before the break.
A superb interchange between Kahn Fotuali'i and Banahan out wide saw the latter break away out wide to score, Ford converting.
Rokoduguni was then in the thick of the action again, finishing off a great team try as Charlie Ewels drew the defender on the right wing before putting his teammate in to score.
And he had his second on half-time as this time Fotuali'i provided the assists - Ford missing the conversion though as Bath held a 32-0 lead after a dominant 40 minutes.
Bath picked up where they left off four minutes into the second half as Fotuali'i's quick thinking after Newcastle had collapsed a driving maul saw the scrum-half feed Palma-Newport for the score.
Lock Attwood added Bath's sixth try after Fotuali'i had found Mercer, who in turn provided the assist for Attwood - Ford missing the conversion.
And after Bath won a penalty from 5 metres out, Attwood was in the right place at the right time to grab his second of the game just after the hour - Ford's conversion taking the score to 51-0.
Hogg scored in the corner to give Newcastle a small consolation score but birthday boy and debutant Stooke finished the scoring in the game's final play.
Tries: Banahan, Rokoduguni 2, Palma-Newport, Attwood 2, Stooke, Penalty Try
Cons: Ford 6
For Newcastle Falcons:
Yellow card: Vereniki Goneva (Newcastle Falcons,30)
Bath: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Clark, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford (captain), 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 David Sisi, 6 Charlie Ewels, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Kane Palma-Newport, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Nick Auterac.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Beno Obano, 18 Max Lahiff, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Levi Douglas, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Jeff Williams.
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch (captain), 6 Evan Olmstead, 5 Will Witty, 4 Calum Green, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Alex Rogers.
Replacements: 16 Ben Sowrey, 17 Sam Lockwood, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Sean Robinson, 20 Ally Hogg, 21 Michael Young, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 Dominic Waldouck.
Referee: Ian Tempest
Wasps 34-22 Leicester Tigers
Wasps resisted a second Leicester Tigers comeback in two weeks to win 34-22 and secure their first win at Welford Road since September 2008 and go second in the Premiership table.
Dai Young's side looked to have the game won when they led 27-8 after 47 minutes thanks to tries from Christian Wade, Guy Thompson and Sam Jones, as well as Jimmy Gopperth's boot but Tigers stirred again.
Lachlan McCaffrey had gone over in the first half, but Ed Slater finished off a sumptuous team try before Freddie Burns knocked over three penalties to bring Tigers to 27-22 with just under 15 minutes left.
But Ellis Genge and Peter Betham were both sent to the bin in the dying stages with Gopperth getting over at the end to seal victory.
Jimmy Gopperth picked up where he left off against Exeter Chiefs, kicking a penalty after four minutes to put Wasps ahead at Welford Road.
Burns pulled Leicester level after 20 minutes after strong scrummaging from Tigers' all-international front row, but Gopperth restored Wasps' advantage the hosts were pinged for a maul infringement.
Gopperth and Wade then combined with 27 minutes gone to slice Tigers open, the experienced Kiwi exploiting weak blindside defence and racing up the touchline before dabbing a perfectly-weighted kick which Wade collected after outstripping the covering Leicester defence.
It didn't take long for Leicester to force a reply as No.8 McCaffrey created and finished his own try.
McCaffrey looked up and saw space and Wasps wing Josh Bassett struggled to control the bobbling ball, when Leicester piled into the resultant ruck the ball popped up McCaffrey bounced over from close-range, but Burns missed the conversion attempt.
Gopperth had another penalty chance just before half-time but pushed it wide, leaving Tigers 13-8 adrift.
Wasps were the next to profit from a bouncing ball as Peter Betham fumbled and Tommy Taylor was on the ball quick as a flash.
It did take a bit of Thompson magic to finish off, a strong fend took him through the Leicester line before he accelerated under the posts.
Young's men started moving through the gears and when Joe Simpson seared through the Tigers' defence and it took a Matthew Tait cover tackle to stop him getting over himself, but that was only a delay as Jones barrelled through weak Leicester defence for a converted try.
Though it had been all Wasps, Tigers came back with a length-of-the-field team try started off by flyhalf Burns.
The former Gloucester man chipped over Wasps' defence and collected, dancing through two tackles before kicking ahead again and with JP Pietersen haring in on it, the South African controlled superbly with his shins, before collecting the bouncing ball and shifting for Slater to dive over.
Burns missed the conversion, but was on target with a penalty three minutes later before reducing the deficit to eight points with 25 minutes remaining and then badly missing another shot on 60 minutes.
Thompson then found himself in the sin bin for a late hit on Burns, with the Tigers outside-half banging over the resultant penalty to take the hosts within five.
But Wasps refused to be consumed by the Tigers fightback and after Genge and Betham were both yellow carded, Gopperth sealed the historic win.
For Leicester Tigers:
Tries: McCaffrey, Slater
Pens: Burns 4
Tries: Wade, Thompson, Jones, Gopperth
Cons: Gopperth 4
Pens: Gopperth 2
Yellow cards: Guy Thompson (Wasps, 63), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 75), Peter Betham (Leicester Tigers, 78)
Leicester Tigers: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Matt Smith, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Luke Hamilton, 5 Mike Fitzgerald, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (captain), 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Greg Bateman, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Mike Williams, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Jack Roberts.
Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Guy Thompson, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Sam Jones, 5 Matt Symons, 4 Joe Launchbury (captain), 3 Marty Moore, 2 Tommy Taylor, Simon McIntyre.
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Jake-Cooper Woolley, 19 James Gaskell, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Craig Hampson, 22 Brendan Macken, 23 Frank Halai.
Referee: Gregory M Garner