Bath coach Steve Meehan celebrated his new two-year contract by guiding his side into the final eight of the European Challenge Cup
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 1 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.
In Pool 5, Castres Olympique kept the pressure on Leeds Carnegie with a 27-9
win at Rugby Calvisano.
Castres scored three tries and missed out on a bonus point, but moved to within
two points of Pool leaders Leeds, and host the English club in next weekend's
Huge back-rower Lei Tomiki scored the game's opening try, although three
penalty goals from home fly-half Gerard Fraser limited the damage to 10-9 at
The French club stepped up a gear in the second half, and tries to flanker Joe
Tekori and Uruguayan international Rodrigo Capo ensured a clean-sweep for the
Castres back-row trio.