Away vic­tory as stu­dents de­feat Notts

Bath Chronicle - - SPORT -

A dom­i­nant Team Bath men’s 1st XV claimed an­other bonus-point vic­tory over Not­ting­ham Trent to go top of the BUCS Su­per Rugby ta­ble. The Blue & Gold started and fin­ished the game slowly but were im­pres­sive in be­tween as they ran in six tries to se­cure a 37-19 vic­tory – their fourth suc­ces­sive league win and sec­ond over Notts this sea­son. Af­ter record­ing a first BUCS Su­per Rugby vic­tory over Ex­eter Univer­sity in the South West derby, Team Bath trav­elled to the East Mid­lands with con­fi­dence high as they sought a first away win of the 2018/19 cam­paign. They con­ceded an early try which was con­verted by Max Craven but, af­ter a pe­riod of sus­tained pres­sure, got on the score­board around the half-hour mark through a penalty from Hugo Stiles. The vis­i­tors were play­ing some at­trac­tive rugby and their en­er­getic pack, cou­pled with some good tac­ti­cal kick­ing, pro­vided the free­dom and space that al­lowed the backs to re­ally press on the Notts de­fence. This dom­i­nance was re­warded with two tries from Bran­don Bel­lamin and Kas Eel­man, both of which were con­verted by Stiles, to give them a 17-7 half-time lead. The real break­through for Team Bath came early in the sec­ond half as they touched down twice in quick suc­ces­sion through Bath Rugby Academy player Will Part­ing­ton and Chris Barry, putting day­light be­tween the two teams. Not­ting­ham strug­gled to get any form of foothold, which was credit to the vis­i­tors’ out­stand­ing de­fence both at the break­down and in open play, and the game was taken out of their reach as Eng­land U20 hooker Beck Cut­ting and Har­lequins Academy player Jack Ken­ning­ham fin­ished off some great phase play to ex­tend the lead to 37-7. The hosts con­tin­ued to press into the dy­ing em­bers and lapses in con­cen­tra­tion al­lowed them to go over for two well-worked con­so­la­tion tries, but it wasn’t enough to take the shine off a su­perb team per­for­mance from Team Bath, now a point clear of Hart­pury at the top. Head of rugby Aaron James said: “I thought we were smart in the way we de­fended the break­down and I think we con­ceded the least num­ber of penal­ties all sea­son, which was a key mes­sage be­fore to­day’s game. “We re­acted and adapted re­ally well af­ter what was a slow start for us. It was dis­ap­point­ing to con­cede a cou­ple of tries late on again but over­all it was a re­ally good team ef­fort which we can take a lot of pos­i­tives from.” Team Bath now have a two-week break be­fore re­turn­ing to ac­tion with a home dou­ble header at the Univer­sity of Bath Sports Train­ing Vil­lage, against Cardiff Met on Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 14 and Durham on Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 21 (both 7.30pm).

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