Humphreys talk has the desired effect

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The Independent Online

Jonathan Humphreys, their captain, was the secret behind 14-man Bath's tense 18-10 victory over Harlequins - the leaders' ninth Zurich Premiership win of the season.

"Humphreys spoke at half-time and he was quite inspirational. The players certainly got behind him," John Connolly, Bath's head coach, said.

The man shown the red card was the flanker Michael Lipman, a former Australia Under-21 player, who was dismissed for illegal use of the boot on an opponent. Thankfully for Lipman, the Bath fly-half Ollie Barkley returned a perfect six out of six penalty kicks.

Jonny Wilkinson is not the only player who can land last-minute drop goals. Dave Walder, Wilkinson's Newcastle team-mate, who is standing in as kicker in the absence of the England fly-half, got the drop on London Irish in the 80th minute of yesterday's only Premiership match to make certain of victory at the Madejski Stadium in Reading and end the Exiles' unbeaten home record this season.

Walder also landed three penalties and converted Jamie Noon's fifth-minute try to ease the Falcons up to seventh place in the table thanks to the 19-15 win, Irish gaining a solitary bonus point for finishing within seven points of the winners.

After scoring a try in Leicester's 27-17 defeat of the bottom club, Rotherham, it was announced that Josh Kronfeld, the former All Black flanker, is to leave the Tigers after next week's match against Bath and return to New Zealand.

Kronfeld has been captaining Leicester during the World Cup in Martin Johnson's absence. Dean Richards, the Leicester director of rugby, will wait before deciding if any of his seven England players who return on Wednesday, will play next week. Ramiro Pez was the mainstay of the Leicester win with 17 points.

At Franklin's Gardens, the fly-half Shane Drahm helped himself to 21 points, with a try, five conversions and two penalties as Northampton overran Leeds 48-24 to move into second place in the table.