VIDEO: Team Bath men’s 1st XV maintain momentum by grinding out bonus-point BUCS Super Rugby win in Nottingham
The Bath Building Society-sponsored visitors – high on confidence after impressive wins against Durham and Loughborough – got off to a flying start, forcing a penalty inside the opening couple of minutes which they kicked to touch before unleashing their lineout drive to score the opening try through England U20 hooker Jasper Spandler.
Fellow Bath Rugby Academy player Sam Harris added the conversion for Team Bath, whose early pressure resulted in home second-row Charlie Jackman being sinbinned. However, the visitors were unable to take advantage and it was Nottingham who notched the next points through a penalty.
Team Bath regained the initiative and extended their lead midway through the first half with an excellent try from Mackenzie Graham following an incisive line break from back-row partner Ethan Staddon, Harris again adding the extras.
Determined defending prevented Nottingham pulling a try back before Team Bath rounded off the half in fine style, Ethan Hawtin slicing through for their third try which Harris converted to make it 21-3 at the interval.
Nottingham cut the gap with a converted try but Team Bath defended well to thwart any hopes of a comeback before securing a bonus point when replacement hooker Duncan Hood touched down 12 minutes from time, Alfie Garside adding the conversion.
A good day also saw Alex Clayton get game time after a long-term injury, while the 2nd XV were 24-20 victors over Bristol 1sts.
Aaron James, Head of Rugby at the University of Bath, said: “It was good to get a win away from home after a week off. We had a very good opening 15 minutes but then went off it a bit and made it hard work for ourselves.
“We let Nottingham come back into it, they are a very good attacking team when they gain the tempo, but we managed to grind out the win which was pleasing. It was great to see Alex back out there and shout out to Joe Badger, Ollie Tack and Olu Odunlami who stepped up from the 2nds to good effect.”
Nottingham starting XV: 1 Archie van der Flier, 2 Lewis Pickford, 3 Jed Allen, 4 Alex Connaghton, 5 Charlie Jackman, 6 Elijah Hiscock-Smith, 7 Ed Timpson, 8 James Cherry (c); 9 Henry Mortimer, 10 Jamie Annand, 11 Sona Elonge, 12 Cormac Calnan, 13 Cameron Furley, 14 Connor Moyse, 15 Max Brown. Replacements: 16 Joel Barker, 17 Sam Hargrove, 18 Dan Barwood, 19 Connor O’Byrne, 20 Oscar Roberts, 21 Will Bailey, 22 Will Gatus, 23 Jamie Whitwell.
Team Bath starting XV: 1 Archie Stanley, 2 Jasper Spandler, 3 Archie Griffin, 4 Eddie Erskine, 5 Tom Berry, 6 Tom Cowan, 7 Ethan Staddon, 8 Mackenzie Graham; 9 Elis Horgan, 10 Sam Harris, 11 Alfie Garside (c), 12 Sam Kennaugh, 13 Louie Hennessey, 14 Ethan Hawtin, 15 Byron Lloyd-Gilmour. Replacements: 16 Duncan Hood, 17 Ollie Tack, 18 Zak Giannini, 19 Joe Badger, 20 Olu Odunlami, 21 Murdoch Lock, 22 Zac Rodber, 23 Alex Clayton.