Posted 28th Feb 2024

VIDEO: Late winner finally sees off Nottingham as Bath stay in top-four contention ahead of big BUCS Super Rugby home finale

Sam Mercer’s late try settled a rollercoaster match in the University of Bath’s favour as they kept their BUCS Super Rugby top-four hopes alive with a 33-29 victory at Nottingham on Wednesday.

The Bath Building Society-sponsored visitors were without a number of regular starters on international duty but showed great strength in depth to overcome a Nottingham side battling against relegation.

Both sides scored two tries in the first half, Bath’s – courtesy of Will Jeanes and Alfie Garside – coming either side of Nottingham’s in the fifth and 29th minutes, but the visitors were able to convert both of theirs through Iwan Price-Thomas to take a narrow 14-12 lead into the break.

A storming start to the second period saw Garside and Mercer score two more converted tries to secure the bonus point for Bath but Nottingham responded fiercely and scored three tries of their own, one converted, to turn the game on its head and lead 29-28.

There was still time for one last twist, though, as Bath, also supported by Rengen, grabbed the decisive try to give them a winning boost ahead of their last home game of the season – a big South West derby against table-topping Exeter on Wednesday 6th March. Kick-off is 6.30pm at the Team Bath Sports Training Village and admission is free.

Watch the tries from Nottingham here:

Match stats

University of Nottingham starting XV: 1 Ale Loman, 2 Oliver Gilbert, 3 Fred Ma’a, 4 Ben Glanville, 5 Oliver Barker, 6 Lewis Richardson, 7 Sammy Lee, 8 Connor O’Byrne; 9 Maximilian Blinkhorn, 10 Jamie Annand, 11 Alex Garrett, 12 Freddie Vaughan (c), 13 Cormac Calnan, 14 Connor Moyse, 15 Jamie Whitwell. Replacements: 16 Michael Cantle, 17 Alan Lewis, 18 Finlay McIntosh, 19 Joe Connolley, 20 Henry Bye, 21 Will Bailey, 22 Harry Simpson, 23 Will Callan.

University of Bath starting XV: 1 Archie Stanley, 2 Max Pearce, 3 Alfie Griffin, 4 Josh Dingley, 5 Will Jeanes, 6 Mackenzie Graham (cc), 7 Iwan Coyle, 8 Evan Jones; 9 Elis Horgan (cc), 10 Raff Weston, 11 Sam Mercer, 12 Alfie Garside, 13 Rory Crum, 14 Byron Lloyd-Gilmour, 15 Iwan Price-Thomas. Replacements: 16 Yujian Zou, 17 Claudius Wheeler, 18 Jacob Yates, 19 Eddie Erskine, 20 Rory Cameron, 21 Max Mayor, 22 Ioan Lewis, 23 Gus Stapleton.

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