Best home display of the season sees five-try Team Bath record impressive BUCS Super Rugby success against spirited Swansea
The Blue & Gold – sponsored by Fulkers Bailey Russell – dominated long periods of the match as tries from Caley Gray, Will Butt (pictured top) and Jordan Martin, all converted by George Worboys, gave them a 21-10 cushion at half-time.
Team Bath spent much of the second period camped in the Swansea half and while the visitors defended with great spirit, wingers Sam Kennaugh and Cal Barrett were able to touch down to wrap up a 33-10 victory.
Head of Rugby Aaron James said: “It’s great to finally get a win here for our fans and to turn it into a big win by shutting Swansea out in the second half was very good.
“The scrums functioned really well and I thought the forwards were outstanding today, as were the defence to give us a platform to score some points. I can’t be more pleased for the boys.
“We’ve got two hard fixtures coming up but we’re hitting a bit of form and we’ll hope to keep it up. We’ve started to show what we’re really good at, we’ve just got to be consistent at it now.”
Try-scorer Butt, a Bath Rugby Academy player, added: “We had a tough game last week against Durham but we’ve done a lot of work since and I’m really pleased with how we got on, particularly our forwards.
“Whenever we’re at home we want to be confrontational and physical. That was a big message going into this game and there are a couple of big sets there defensively. I’m really pleased with how we defended.
“It’s another big one next week at Hartpury and we’ll look to get some momentum going into the quarter-finals.”
Team Bath looked fired up from the first whistle as they sought to make amends for last week’s home defeat to table-topping Durham.
They had to withstand some early pressure on their line but defended stoutly and were unfortunate not to take a tenth-minute lead when a fantastic break by Alex Nisbet opened up space but co-captain Ed Rimmer wasn’t quite able to collect the offload.
The hosts didn’t have to wait much longer for their first try, though, as they unleashed their lineout drive to unstoppable effect. Hooker Gray touched down and Worboys added the extras.
Swansea levelled the scores ten minutes later, Max Nagy going over under the posts and Gwyn Parks converting after good pressure on the Bath line, but the hosts deservedly restored their lead on the half-hour mark.
It again came from a lineout in the Swansea 22 but this time it was offloaded to centre Butt, who sliced through the visitors’ defence to touch down. Worboys converted.
Parks kicked a penalty for Swansea moments later but Bath ended the half on a high as, following multiple scrums under the visitors’ posts, co-captain Martin was able to power over and Worboys’ conversion made it 21-10 at the interval.
Team Bath were now full of confidence and totally dominated the second half, spending long periods camped inside the Swansea 22, and they could have scored more than the two tries they added to their tally.
The bonus-point try came in the 57th minute as, with Swansea flanker Charlie Samwells in the sin bin, Bath were able to spin the ball wide from a scrum and winger Kennaugh dived over in the corner.
Edoardo Balocco was just stopped just millimetres from the Swansea line after an excellent Bath move and the hosts had to wait until the last play of the game before deservedly adding a sixth try, Barrett gathering a loose pass inside his own 22 and running the length of the pitch to touch down.
Worboys’ simple conversion provided the final flourish for Team Bath – also supported by Rengen Developments – who play their final away game of the 2019-20 league season next Wednesday (February 26) when they make the short journey to Hartpury (6.30pm).
They then complete their campaign back at the Sports Training Village on Wednesday, March 4 against high-flying Leeds Beckett – kick-off is 6.30pm and admission is free.
Team Bath starting XV: 15 Paul Altier, 14 Cal Barrett, 13 Alex Nisbet, 12 Will Butt, 11 Sam Kennaugh, 10 George Worboys, 9 Ed Rimmer (cc); 1 Arthur Cordwell, 2 Caley Gray, 3 Will French, 4 James Fitzmaurice, 5 Elliot Berryman, 6 Edoardo Balocco, 7 Chris Barry, 8 Jordan Martin (cc). Replacements: 16 George Holroyd, 17 Tom Rowlands, 18 Harry Sturge, 19 Ed Ashcroft, 20 Tom Williams, 21 Ioan Lewis, 22 Tom Pittman, 23 Ethan Hutt.
Tries: Gray, Butt, Martin, Kennaugh, Barrett.
Conversions: Worboys 4.
Swansea starting XV: 15 Zak Ward, 14 Lailand Gordon, 13 Max Nagy, 12 Ewan Gully, 11 David Armstrong, 10 Gwyn Parks, 9 Hywel Williams; 1 Harry Dyer, 2 Garin Lloyd, 3 Tom Northy, 4 Will Ponty, 5 Ed Couzens, 6 Charlie Samwells, 7 Will Barraclough, 8 Cai Davies. Replacements: 16 Josh Moore, 17 Toby Teague, 18 James Wallis McLachlan, 19 Morgan Jones, 20 Owen Flower, 21 Tom Lucas, 22 Daf Manley, 23 Will Slark.
Referee: Adam Wookey.
Assistant referees: Steve Hambley, Ryan Collier.
Fourth official: James Maby.