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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Free-running Newcastle equipped to stay on Bath's tail

Falcons look too easily dismissed

The experienced Alex Tait lines up for Newcastle
1 of 1

Anglo-Welsh Cup
BT Sport 3, 3pm Saturday

Bath and Newcastle put their unbeaten records on the line in this round-three clash at the Rec and the visiting Falcons appear to have been too easily dismissed by bookmakers who offer them a double-figure handicap start.

Newcastle sneaked a one-point victory in an extraordinary Premiership encounter, when the Falcons scorched to a 19-0 lead inside 20 minutes then had to withstand a fightback to edge it 33-32.

The line-ups will be much changed for this Anglo-Welsh encounter but the visitors still have a strong side out, with experienced playmakers Alex Tait and Joel Hodgson at 15 and ten.

They may struggle a little up front, where Bath look to pack more power, but Newcastle have played with a lot of width and ambition in this tournament, winning 53-41 at Wasps and overpowering Cardiff 57-0 at home.

Rain is expected to clear by the afternoon and conditions should allow the Falcons to open the game up and avoid being dragged into a close-quarters battle.

While Newcastle's pool wins have been spectacular, with two try-bonus points, Bath have been more workmanlike, edging Premiership bottom side London Irish 26-22 and seeing off Leicester 33-31 at home. Newcastle have the firepower to at least keep this one close.

There are big handicaps in some of today's Anglo-Welsh Cup contests, but the fixture between Worcester and Exeter catches the eye.

Second-bottom Worcester have included frontline players Donncha O'Callaghan, Francois Hougaard, David Denton and Josh Adams among others in their line-up while Premiership champions the Chiefs, who have a perfect ten points from two outings in this tournament, have gone with a young side and are seven-point underdogs.

Recommendation
Newcastle +11
2pts 10-11 bet365


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Newcastle have played with a lot of width and ambition in this tournament, winning 53-41 at Wasps and overpowering Cardiff 57-0 at home
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