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RUGBY: Gold happy to weather first-night storm
9:00am Monday 9th September 2013 in Sport
BATH Rugby director of rugby Gary Gold admitted his side were forced to tailor their performance to the conditions after overcoming Newcastle 21-0 at Kingston Park in the Aviva Premiership on Friday night.
In driving rain and swirling wind fly-half George Ford kicked Bath into a 6-0 lead at the break and added a second-half penalty before replacement prop Anthony Perenise scrambled over the try line on 63 minutes in the first Premiership match of the season.
And in the dying moments of the match Bath added to their haul after they were awarded a penalty try with Ford converting to finish with 11 points to his name.
Despite a mouthwatering backline that included summer recruits Jonathan Joseph and Anthony Watson it was ultimately the forwards that won the day for Bath but Gold believes his backs will soon get a chance to shine.
“The Falcons were very competitive, particularly on the floor and at the breakdown and we showed a lot of good discipline to stay in there,” he said.
“We used the conditions to our advantage in the second half and I'm very proud.
“You have to be sensible about the way you are going to play the game and you have to use the conditions.
“It is not until you are out there that you realise how strong the wind was and we held onto the ball quite well in the first half and in the second half we were able to keep them out of our half for long periods of time which is what you need to try and do.
“We wanted to play with ball in hand, we tried to play an attacking brand but it was very difficult out there.”
From the first scrum of the new season, refereed by Wayne Barnes under the revamped engagement rules, Bath won a penalty and kicked for touch with debutant Ford opting not to take on the wind.
Bath retained possession and after a further infringement Ford kicked his first points for his new club to put the visitors 3-0 ahead.
Centre Jamie Helleur was left prone on the turf after attempting to tackle giant Bath winger Matt Banahan and after a lengthy delay he was stretchered from the field to be replaced by Adam Powell, though the Samoa international was later up and about.
Newcastle Falcons missed the chance to level in the 34th minute when Godman's penalty attempt missed to the right of the posts.
The error was compounded moments later when Ford succeeded from 42 metres to put Bath 6-0 ahead, a lead they held at the break.
Former Newcastle scrum-half Micky Young returned to the club where it all started as he replaced Irishman Peter Stringer 15 minutes into the second half.
And Young looked on as the visiting scrum won a penalty from their hosts on 57 minutes, allowing Ford to extend the lead further.
Bath then took full control when Dave Attwood collected a lineout after Tait had fumbled the ball out of play and from the back of the maul replacement Perenise dived over the line before Bath's forward strength earned them a late penalty try.
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