Bath want Bell back
January 29, 2011
Olly Barkley fends off Newcastle's Luke Eves during the Anglo-Welsh Cup match © PA Photos
Bath head coach Steve Meehan will ask England Saxons to release prop Duncan Bell for the final round of Anglo-Welsh Cup matches after an injury to Aaron Jarvis in the 11-6 win over Newcastle.
Bell came on as replacement at Worcester in the Saxons' 45-17 win over Italy A and Meehan will need him for the visit to Leicester next Friday with front row resources stretched to breaking point. Meehan was not at all pleased at the way Jarvis, who scored the only try of the match, suffered a shoulder injury as a scrum went to ground.
"I'm a bit upset about that," he said. "The referee's blown the whistle and the Newcastle scrum continues. That happened on a number of occasions and you've got a guy out with a shoulder injury.
"Their scrum had already been spoken to about that. There was some action that could have been taken there. It continued for a couple of scrums and then they cut it out."
Jarvis' injury brought on 20-year-old local boy Kane Palma Newport for his debut. "I thought Kane was very good today," said Meehan. "It was a great debut. He's a very talented young player."
Bath, who also had flanker Josh Ovens carried off 15 minutes before the break with an ankle injury, have now won four matches out of five in all competitions since the New Year.
"We spoke about this during the week, how important it was to win this match, because we have them twice in the Premiership before the end of the season," said Meehan. "They have come down with a very good side while we've got a number of guys away with England and Saxons, or resting, so our players did a great job and under difficult circumstances."
Newcastle head coach Alan Tait did not accept that his players were at fault for Jarvis' injury. "I think it's what can happen if players are not up to this level. I think he's Bath's third or fourth choice prop, isn't he?"
It was his own side's indiscipline that most concerned Tait.
"We were doing well, then 20 metres in front of their posts one of our players starts 'chopsing off' at the referee," he said. "We gave away daft penalties like that. But the boys were really frustrated because the ref seemed to be letting Bath get away with things."
Tait added that his players had also expressed doubt about Jarvis' try.
"Luke Eves thought he was definitely in touch - but nothing's going to change the result now," added Tait.
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