Leeds 15 Bath 34: Departing Barkley keeps Bath in touch with leaders
Monday 25 February 2008
Olly Barkley and a strong performance by the Bath pack guided the West Country team to a comfortable, if not altogether convincing, win against Leeds.
Barkley kicked 14 points by converting all four tries and two first-half penalties. They led only by 13-3 at the break, but in the second half their forwards roused themselves, with Danny Grewcock, Pieter Dixon, Duncan Bell and Jonny Faamatuainu all excelling.
They eventually made light of their four England absentees to push Leeds aside. Barkley, who leaves for Gloucester at the end of the season, joins Saracens-bound Steve Borthwick in departing.
Bath started lackadaisically but once handed the chance Barkley slotted a relatively easy penalty, before banging over a conversion from the right touchline after the opening try scored by right-winger Joe Maddock.
It was beginning to look easy for Bath, who collected another penalty from Barkley to make it 13-0 before Leeds scored a penalty through Leigh Hinton. It came from only the second worthwhile phase of play by the home side in the whole half.
Leeds closed the gap further after half-time when Jonny Hepworth, who made a 40-metre break, set up Apo Satala in the left-corner for a cracking try.
Bath's response was immediate. They drove into the corner and from the resulting scrum Grewcock piled over for a try which Barkley converted.
Within six minutes another driving scrum was formed and this time Faamatuainu touched down.
Leeds hit back when Satala scored his second try. Though limping noticeably, the Fijian collected a pass from Andy Tuilagi and crossed at the corner.
Bath achieved a bonus point with three minutes remaining when Matt Banahan got a try from a breakout. Barkley converted to cap a win that keeps Bath in the Premiership top four.
Leeds: Tries Satala 2 Conversion Di Bernardo Penalty Hinton. Bath: Tries Maddock, Grewcock, Faamatuainu, Banahan. Conversions Barkley 4 Penalties Barkley 2.
Leeds: L Hinton; J Holtby, J Hepworth, A Tuilagi, A Satala (R Vickerman 69); J Brooks (A Di Bernardo 63), J Bedford (capt); M MacDonald (T McGee 74), V Ma'asi (R Rawlinson 63), T McGee (F Pala'amo 55), E Lund (S Hooper 56), K Myall, J Dunbar, C Clark (H Fourie 63), R Oakley.
Bath: N Abendanon (M Stephenson 50); J Maddock (M Baxter 78), A Crockett (capt, S Berne 50), E Fuimaono-Sapolu, M Banahan, O Barkley, M Claassens; D Barnes, P Dixon (R Hawkins 71), D Bell (A Jarvis 52), P Short, D Grewcock, A Beattie, J Faamatuainu, D Browne (C Goodman 74).
Referee: D Rose (Warwick).
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