Victorious Biggs spares a thought for Leeds Carnegie

While his current team propelled themselves away from the Aviva Premiership relegation furnace on Saturday, Tom Biggs admits he is sparing a thought for his two former sides firmly pitted in it.

In an ideal world, it goes without saying the Bath winger would like Leeds Carnegie – who he locked horns with at the weekend – and Newcastle Falcons to both survive, although the odds on that appear slim.

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Four points separate rock-bottom Carnegie – edged out 16-13 at the Rec four days ago - and second-from-bottom Falcons, a further eight points adrift of the side above them, Sale Sharks.

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The smart money is on the battle against the drop being a two-horse race, especially with both sides still to play each other twice this term.

And Biggs, who moved from Newcastle to Bath in the close season, feels the one who claimes redemption could be the one who showed enough tenacity and scrapping qualities between now and season's end, with flowing rugby set to go out of the window.

And it that respect, Carnegie currently seem to hold all the cards.

Headingley academy product Biggs, on the replacement bench against Carnegie, who he was relegated with 2007-08 said: "It's very tough, being at both clubs before and having a lot of friends there. It's tough times for everyone and I've been there myself and it's not a nice place to be.

"Both teams have got quality players and it's a hard one to call. Having said that, a couple of wins from both and Sale could get dragged back into it.

"A lot of games in the past few weeks have been pretty scrappy and I think that's going to be the case for the rest of the season. Everyone says teams are capable of beating any side and when you get to the Six Nations and people are missing players in key positions, it makes results even more unpredictable.

"Even if you don't win, it's about scrapping and getting a bonus point. Who knows, it could make all the difference at the end of the year. Leeds have got two more than Newcastle at the moment and stuff like that can make a huge difference.

"There's still a lot of points on offer. I suppose it does make it exciting and in terms of recruitment for both sides (Leeds and Newcastle), when you are bottom of the league, to recruit for the following season, it makes an another obstacle for the following year.

"Both will be desperate to avoid going down."

Relief was palpable for Bath on Saturday, with the west countrymen backing up their thrilling last-gasp win at London Irish with a much-needed home victory to bring to an end their alarming mini-slump at the Rec to move towards the confines of mid-table.

But Biggs readily admits that the outcome could have been different, with Carnegie pressing strongly in the second-half and displaying the grit and yard dog qualities required in any successful relegation scrap, epitomised in the bullocking performance of ace flanker Hendre

Fourie, who put England counterpart Lewis Moody in the shade.

Biggs, who left Carnegie in the summer of 2009, said: "It was our first home win since September and we were just glad to win. Although we had chances in the first half, it ended up being a really tight game – and later on in the second half, it could have gone either way, really.

"Those wins in Europe have been boosted Leeds confidence a bit, as in the Harlequins game beforehand, it will have been disappointing, looking at the videos and I don't think that would have been a fair reflection of the players they have got there.

"But they have backed things up against Gloucester and put in another

big performance against us."

Handing ex-team mate Fourie a big pat on the back, he added: "Shrek (Fourie) has been brilliant in all his time at Leeds and he's got his rewards and will continue that in the Six Nations. Scott Barrow also played really well and showed a cool head to score a drop goal and looked very composed on the field.

"Tom Denton impressed me as well. He played well and it's good to see a guy like that come through and I remember seeing him in training sessions at Chandos and I've followed him with interest."


Richie Myler.

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