Fixture: Team Bath Rugby 1st XV vs Bristol University 1st XV
Date and Time: Wednesday 22 February 2012, 2.00pm
Score: Team Bath 17 – 0 Bristol University
Venue: Sulis Sports Club, University of Bath
Times are getting hectic for the University of Bath’s 1st XV rugby team with an ever increasing fixture list due to unforeseen problems.
In what could arguably be the most important two weeks of the team’s season, the first real test would be between two of the South West closest rivals.
On what can only be described as a miserable day with strong winds and persistent rain, the University of Bristol arrived to try and become the first team this season to win at the formidable Sulis Sports Club.
Due to the weather, spectators new that this game would be a close game as the natural free flowing game that the home side like to play would be extremely hard to implement.
From the kick off, this point would turn to reality. The home side had their fair share of possession, however playing into a strong headwind and up against a very rugged and determined defence from the visitors, the University of Bath had to stay patient with possession and force their way up field through forceful running, notably from Tom Dunn.
Numerous phases followed until the University of Bristol gave away a penalty which allowed fly half Ed Hainsworth to score the opening points, 3-0.
The game continued in the same manner with Bath unable to break down Bristol’s defence and with the resilient weather, the home team forwards started to turn the screw. Powerful and dynamic in the set piece, led by a front row of Dunn, Josh Elliott and Sam Saunders, the University of Bath began to exert their dominance.
Whether it was through a scrum or a driving lineout, the visiting team were constantly being marched backwards which allowed the Bath fly half, Hainsworth, to score two further penalties meaning the half time score was University of Bath 9 – University of Bristol 0.
With the wind at their backs, the University of Bath restarted the game and from the very beginning started to play the game in the opposition’s territory. The same relentless power and dominance was still on display from the forwards, most notable in the scrum where penalties and turnovers were becoming very prominent.
The only try of the game came once again from the dominance in the forward pack. A well judged kick from Hainsworth set up a perfect opportunity for the University of Bath’s forwards to drive the ensuing lineout.
A clean and precise throw from hooker Elliott, allowed the forwards to set up a maul swiftly and forcefully which resulted in the away side being marched back 15 metres with a breakaway from Bath’s second row Rob Good to crash over the line. The conversion was missed meaning the score was now 14-0.
The final points came from a spectacular penalty kick from the University of Bath’s full back Freddie Gabbitass.
A penalty was conceded by the away side and up stepped the full back looking at a kick some way out and very near the touchline.
Considering the driving wind and rain, Gabbitass picked his line into the wind, sending the ball flying way out right of the posts only to see the ball curl perfectly between the middle of the posts with the aid of the wind, much to the delight of the home crowd.
The final score of this local derby was the University of Bath 17 – University of Bristol 0.