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Page last updated at 16:09 GMT, Sunday, 5 September 2010 17:09 UK

Aviva Premiership: Leeds 16-32 Bath

Leeds (9) 16
Tries: Thompson Cons: Hinton Pens: Thomas 2 Drops: Thomas

Bath (10) 32
Tries: Abendanon, Vesty, Carraro, Watson Cons: Vesty 3 Pens: Vesty 2

Matt Carraro (left) and Marco Wentzel
Bath's Matt Carraro bursts past Marco Wentzel on the way to scoring his side's third try in their win at Leeds

Sam Vesty scored 17 points on debut as Bath opened their Premiership campaign with a bonus-point victory at Leeds.

Bath only led 10-9 at the break as Ceiron Thomas replied to Vesty's penalty and Nick Abendanon's converted try with two penalties and a drop goal.

But the visitors took control after the restart as Vesty added the extras to his own try and landed another penalty before converting Matt Carraro's try.

Luke Watson also went over before Steve Thompson's late consolation for Leeds.

Both sides paraded a number of their new signings at a sunkissed Headingley, with Leeds handing starting roles to new boys Lachlan Mackay, Semi Tadulala, Miguel Alonso and former Bath pair Michael Stephenson and Daniel Browne, while Thompson had to settle for a place on the bench.

Bath were hit by the late withdrawal of Olly Barkley because of a thumb injury but were able to hand a debut to England captain Lewis Moody, as well as Vesty, Simon Taylor and Leeds old boy Tom Briggs.

It was Leeds who enjoyed the early pressure and twice stole Bath ball at the line-out, but it was the visitors who got their noses in front through Vesty's boot.


Thomas soon levelled when Bath collapsed a scrum, before another penalty gave Leeds the lead.

It was to be for the only time as Vesty sent Abendanon in at the right corner to cap a well worked move, with Vesty adding the extras.

Thomas cut Bath's lead to a point with a long-range drop-goal on the stroke of half time, only for the visitors to stretch away after the restart.

Vesty waltzed over the line after being found by scrum-half Michael Claasens, who then sent in Carraro unopposed.

Vesty converted both tries and kicked a penalty in between, and although Bath lost Claasens to the sin bin for persistent infringement, they still grabbed a fourth try when Watson stole in on the blindside.

Thompson burrowed over in the dying seconds for a score that Leigh Hinton converted but it was only a mere consolation.

Leeds director or rugby Andy Key:
"We felt very strong at half-time and the chat in the changing room was very positive.

"We were disappointed in the first half that we made so many chances but turned the ball over too easily.

"That was really the crux of it and in the second half a different Bath side came out.

"We knew that would happen because they are past masters at turning games around.

"We knew that we would have to be stronger and we weren't. We cannot go on making those mistakes that we did today."

Bath head coach Steve Meehan said:
"Yes, we got five points away from home but the performance is something that we need to improve on.

"Our set-piece must get better but when your work ethic is high and you're determined to perform, you've still got a chance of winning.

"From an attitude point of view we were very happy."

Leeds Carnegie: Stephenson, Blackett, Burrell, MacKay, Tadulala, Thomas, Mathie, Alonso, Titterrell, Gomez, T. Denton, Wentzel, Myall, Fourie, Browne.
Replacements: Hinton for Blackett (65), S. Barrow for Thomas (53), Fury for Mathie (63), Hardy for Alonso (63), Thompson for Titterrell (49), Swainston for Gomez (54), Oakley for Wentzel (72), To'oala for Fourie (55).

Bath: Abendanon, Carraro, Banahan, Hape, Biggs, Vesty, Claassens, Flatman, Mears, Wilson, Hooper, Grewcock, Taylor, Moody, Watson.
Replacements: Cuthbert for Abendanon (63), McMillan for Biggs (70), Catt for Flatman (55), Dixon for Mears (65), Bell for Wilson (65), Skirving for Grewcock (65), Beattie for Moody (65). Not Used: Roberts.

Sin Bin: Claassens (70).

Att: 5,509

Ref: John Paul Doyle (RFU).

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see also
Aviva Premiership table
09 Aug 06 |  Tables
Flatman feeling pressure on Bath
03 Sep 10 |  Bath
Meehan targets Bath improvement
31 Aug 10 |  Bath
Denton backs Leeds academy talent
27 Aug 10 |  Leeds
Titterrell retains England hopes
17 Aug 10 |  Leeds

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