University of Bath hoping for big home crowd as they look to build to on impressive BUCS Super Rugby start
The University of Bath men’s rugby team will go into their first-ever BUCS Super Rugby home fixture on Wednesday with confidence high after starting their season with a 38-17 bonus-point win over Team Northumbria.
Hooker Tom Doughty (left) and winger Daniel Rowland (right) both scored two tries and Ludi Hopkinson also touched down as the Blue and Gold recovered from an early 10-0 deficit to record an impressive victory at Kingston Park, the home of Aviva Premiership club Newcastle Falcons.
Full-back Hugo Stiles kicked four conversions for the University of Bath, who are hoping to have a big crowd behind them when they entertain Loughborough University at the Sports Training Village on Wednesday. It kicks off at 6.30pm on the athletics track in-field and admission is free.
Aaron James, Head of Rugby at the University of Bath, said: “We were delighted to get our inclusion in the new league off to a winning start.
“Being five points down in under two minutes and ten points in under ten minutes wasn’t in our game plan! Northumbria put us under a lot of pressure with their attacking and offloading.
“However we sparked up and adapted well with better tackling and positive attacking to end the night with six very good tries.
“Overall it was a very good team performance but the players were very self-critical on a number of areas and will look to improve on those for our first home game against Loughborough.”
While Friday’s game was the first of the season for the University of Bath, opponents Team Northumbria were looking to bounce back from a 58-16 defeat to Cardiff Met in their opening match.
And they got off to a positive start, touching down inside the opening minute through James Christie before Aeden Moloney doubled their lead soon after.
Bath were dominating the early set-pieces, though, and after a penalty was kicked to the corner, Doughty touched down from the ensuing maul.
Moments later the hooker gathered a fine cross-field kick from Hopkinson to score his second try, with Stiles’ conversion putting the visitors 12-10 up.
A fantastic offload led to Rowland scoring under the posts just before half-time and Hopkinson grabbed a try moments after the restart. Stiles added the extras to both to give Bath a commanding 26-10 advantage.
Northumbria responded with another try from Christie, this time converted, but Bath turned up the pressure again and a series of driving scrums eventually led to a penalty try.
Stiles again converted before Rowland broke through in the last couple of minutes to wrap up the scoring.
Wednesday’s eagerly-awaited match against Loughborough is the first of five successive home games for the University of Bath in the new BUCS Super Rugby competition.
Tuesday, October 25 sees them take on Leeds Beckett at The Rec, home of Bath Rugby, during a day of events to mark the University’s 50th anniversary.
It is back to the new rugby pitch on the Sports Training Village athletics in-field for the next three matches – against Durham University on November 2, Team Northumbria on November 9 and Exeter University on November 23. All matches kick off at 6.30pm and admission is free.
TEAM NORTHUMBRIA MATCH STATS
University of Bath starting XV: Conor McGrath, Tom Doughty, Alex Wood, Will Britton (c), Alex Weighton, Michael Snook, James Catlin, Tom Kynge; Jack Turner, Ludi Hopkinson, Charlie Dunbar, Craig Duncan, Levi Davis, Daniel Rowland, Hugo Stiles.
Replacements: George Frampton, Jake Buckingham, Austin Hay, Jack Davies, Adam McCarthy, William Flinn, George Humphreys.
Tries: Doughty (2), Rowland (2), Hopkinson, penalty.
Conversions: Stiles (4).