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Dream debut for Northcote-Green

Academy flanker Max Northcote-Green scored two tries on his debut as Bath brushed aside an experimental London Welsh side to get their LV=Cup campaign off to a flying start.

Gavin Henson converted three of his side's seven tries and kicked two penalties in a 47-7 success.

It was very much back to 'bread and butter' rugby after the visit from the aristocrats of Toulouse and the circus surrounding Sam Burgess's arrival in midweek - but more than 13,000 again crammed into the Recreation Ground in perfect autumn weather.

London Welsh fielded just four of the starting line-up from the Challenge Cup defeat at home to Newcastle last weekend. It might have been even more of a second string if they had any more than two centres available.

With Henson at fly-half and quite a few familiar faces from their narrow defeat against Toulouse, Bath wasted no time in taking control.

The first try went to 20-year-old Northcote-Green from a catch-and-drive just four minutes into his first-team debut. Henson's conversion struck the post but he added a penalty on 11 minutes.

Aside from restarts, the Exiles never once threatened the Bath 22 in the first half - let alone the try line.

Ollie Woodburn crossed in the corner for Bath's second try after 24 minutes, thanks to a miss-pass by Luke Arscott and Henson added the conversion to make the score 15-0.

When the visitors did try to string an attack together in the Bath half, full-back Chris Elder failed to hold on to a long pass by fly-half Tristan Roberts.

Bath might have scored again when David Sisi burst through in midfield but lock Tom Ellis spilled a pass under the posts. Henson eventually kicked a straightforward penalty.

London Welsh's effort was hopelessly undermined at the scrummage where they conceded six penalties alone. One of them was a penalty try awarded on 35 minutes, converted by Henson.

On the stroke of half-time, Matt Banahan finished off a flowing move down the left wing involving Ollie Devoto, Horacio Agulla and Nick Auterac. Henson's conversion again hit the post but it was 'game over' at 30-nil.

It took just 11 minutes for the scoring to resume after the break, as Northcote-Green supported Banahan who had appeared on the wing to take a nicely judged chip from Devoto. Henson converted.

The Exiles had come out for the second half in far livelier mood, however, and Arscott did well to mark a crossfield kick under pressure on the hour. Former Bath player Nick Scott scored in the corner soon afterwards, Will Robinson converting.

With both benches fully utilised, the game became a shapeless affair and it was the 75th minute before Richard Lane scored Bath's sixth try, squeezing in at the right corner.

Then, with the clock at zero, replacement lock Marcus Garratt also claimed a debut try to put an even better gloss on the scoreline.


From Belfast Telegraph