Match report: Bath secure quarter-final berth
January 12, 2008
Bath coach Steve Meehan celebrated his new two-year contract by guiding his side into the final eight of the European Challenge Cup today.
Bath bagged a bonus-point 31-13 victory over Overmach Parma at the Italian club's Sergio Lanfranchi Stadium, and need only a win over French minnows Auch at the Recreation Ground in the final Pool One match next weekend to guarantee themselves a home match in the quarter-finals.
Winger Matt Banahan scored a try in each half, but Meehan had to wait until the 75th minute for the crucial fourth try and bonus points.
Banahan, who is 6ft 7in and tips the scales at 16 stone, muscled his way over the line for the game's opening try in the 24th minute and completed his double early in the second half.
Overmach Parma fly-half Barry Irving troubled the scorers with a couple of goals, but Olly Barkley won the battle of the kickers with four goals to finish the match with nine points.
World Cup winner Butch James scored the visitors' third try, and although replacement centre Marco Neethling gave the 1,000 home fans something to cheer about with a late score, Bath back-rower Michael Lipman secured the bonus point in the dying minutes.
Overmach Rugby Parma (0) 13
Bath Rugby (13) 31
Overmach Rugby Parma: R Malneek; G Rubini, A Orsi, A Chillon, D Dallan; B Irving, P Travagli; A de Marchi, A Tejeda, F Staibano, B Taylor, J Soffredini, P Sciarretta, L Pascu (capt), A Ainley.
Bath Rugby: J Maddock; M Stephenson, E Fuimaono, O Barkley, M Banahan; B James, M Claassens; M Stevens, P Dixon, P Ion, S Borthwick (capt), P Short, A Beattie, M Lipman, C Goodman.
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