Bath forwards go back to basics

Bath 46 West Hartlepool 10

After the ignominy of conceding 40 or more points in their last two matches, Bath decided to call a halt to reckless adventure and grind West Hartle- pool out of the game. West, fresh from their first victory in 23 attempts, did well to withstand these battering-ram tactics for much of the first half, but after the loss of their huge and influential lock Chris Murphy after 20 minutes, the heart seemed to go out of their game.

With Bath placing so much emphasis on the physical there were bound to be moments of indiscipline and the first 40 minutes were punctuated by unwelcome bouts of fisticuffs which saw three West players booked: prop Wayne de Jong was deemed guilty of instigating a mass touchline brawl in the 12th minute; Mark Ring took verbal exception to a refereeing decision; and Andrew Peacock, the hooker, was spotted performing skulduggery in a ruck. De Jong was eventually sent off for an off-the-ball incident with Phil de Glanville.

Both of Bath's first-half tries were for connoisseurs of the rolling maul. In the first, a tapped penalty was held within the forwards and the flanker, Andy Robinson, peeled off to sneak it over the line. The second came from five minutes of intense Bath pressure at the end of the first half, which West did well to withstand for so long. But there was one maul too many and with the midfield sucked in, Jon Sleightholme easily rounded the last man.

Even so, West were not totally dispirited at half-time with Ring at fly- half showing imagination in his probing kicking and the No 8, Richard Earnshaw, proving more than a match for Bath's rampant back row. But after 10 defiant minutes their resistance wilted once again as Bath's front five took an even tighter control. The gaps began to open in midfield and Mike Catt and Sleightholme, who romped in after a 50-yard break from the fly-half, exploited them without mercy. Then Sleight-holme was again on hand to set up the hooker Chris Adams.

De Glanville finished West off with a last minute try after an interception and a 70-yard dash. But West did score one late consolation try and were perhaps unlucky not to have had two. Both came from interceptions from West's lively centre Steve John; the first was called offside but the second saw him run the length of the pitch to score.

Bath: J Callard; J Sleightholme, P de Glanville (capt), H Paul, A Adebayo; M Catt, A Nicol; D Hilton, G Adams, J Mallett, M Haag, B Cusack, A Robinson, E Peters, N Thomas.

West Hartlepool: M Silva; K Oliphant, S John, C John, G Truelove; M Ring (capt), M Roderick; W de Jong, A Peacock, V Hartland, D Mitchell, C Murphy (G Wappett, 23), A Brown, R Earnshaw, J Ions.

Referee: C White (Cheltenham).

Arts and Entertainment
Supporting role: at the Supreme Court, Rhodes was accompanied by a famous friend, the actor Benedict Cumberbatch
booksPianist James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to stop the injunction of his memoirs
Sport
Sam Allardyce
sport
Sport
Steven Gerrard scores for Liverpool
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Bob Dylan
art
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?