Epic comeback sees Team Bath men’s 1st XV claim big away win and go second in BUCS Super Rugby table
Team Bath men’s 1st XV head to Exeter University this Wednesday having become the BUCS Super Rugby league leaders’ nearest challengers with an epic team performance and victory against Northumbria on Friday.
The Blue & Gold, sponsored by Fulkers and supported by MJ Church, stretched their winning run to three game In fantastic style as they overturned a 36-20 deficit to secure a 44-36 victory at Newcastle Falcons’ Kingston Park ground, moving up to second in the table as a result.
Head Coach Louis Messer said: “With the attacking danger that Northumbria bring, we knew we had to be 100 per cent alert for the full 80 minutes as they are the sort of team that can really make you pay.
“Credit to everyone who played, it was a fantastic advert for BUCS Super Rugby and I’m especially proud of our boys to come out on top.”
Team Bath got off to a flying start, full-back Will Partington slotting a penalty kick with just a minute on the clock. Both teams were showing a lot of attacking intent and it was Northumbria who got the first try of the game which was successfully converted to give them a 7-3 lead.
The visitors responded immediately through Bath Rugby Academy winger Ethan Hutt, who finished off a great piece of link-up play between Alex Burrage and Angus Hinton. Partington failed to add the extras on this occasion but did so moments later when Alex Nisbett showed a combination of great footwork and power to break through the Northumbria defence and score a wonderful solo try.
Northumbria responded with an unconverted try but, with the game in the balance, Team Bath managed to find an opening as James Hadfield went over off the back of a trademark lineout drive. Partington hit the post with his conversion attempt.
Just as the game looked to be getting away from Northumbria, they scored on the brink of half-time and successfully converted to cut the gap to 20-19 at the interval.
Northumbria came out firing in the second period, scoring three tries which ensured a bonus point and what looked to be an unassailable 36-20 lead.
However, Bath continued to look dangerous and managed to claw their way back into the driving seat through a Partington penalty and two driving maul tries from Bath Academy duo Jack Davies and Sam Elrick to make the score 37-36 to the visitors.
With only a few minutes left on the clock, Bath wrapped up an excellent win as Burrage and Will Hughes linked up nicely to feed Ed Rimmer, who raced away from the covering defence to complete a monumental comeback. Partington added the extras to make the final score 44-36.
Captain Burrage said: “It was an amazing game of rugby that sums up what this competition is all about. From my perspective, I’m just so proud of the resilience of our boys to come back from 16 points down to get the victory and our ability to stick to what we spoke about before the game.
“We are now all massively excited to build on that performance going to Exeter this week to try and spoil their title-winning party.”
Wednesday’s top-of-the-table clash is set to be another epic encounter as Team Bath look to complete the league double over Exeter for the first time in BUCS Super Rugby having beaten them 36-31 at the Sports Training Village in November.
Team Bath’s final home game of the regular league season is against Loughborough University on Wednesday, March 6. Kick-off is 6.30pm and admission is free.
Team Bath starting XV: 15 Will Partington, 14 Ethan Hutt, 13 Alex Nisbett, 12 Will Butt, 11 Will Hughes, 10 Alex Burrage, 9 Ed Rimmer; 1 Arthur Cordwell, 2 James Hadfield, 3 Austin Hay, 4 Angus Hinton, 5 Adam Thresher, 6 Jack Davies, 7 Chris Barry, 8 Jack Kenningham. Replacements: 16 Sam Ngeng, 17 Jack Buckingham, 18 Kieran Verden, 19 Rhys Davies, 20 James Catlin, 21 Jordan Martin, 22 James Richardson, 23 Finn Murphy.
Tries: Ethan Hutt, James Hadfield, Alex Nisbett, Sam Elrick, Jack Davies, Ed Rimmer.
Conversions: Will Partington (4).
Penalties: Will Partington (2).