Late tries provide small consolation as Team Bath slip to another BUCS Super Rugby home defeat against strong Loughborough side
A dominant second-half performance from Loughborough condemned the Team Bath men’s 1st XV to a fourth successive BUCS Super Rugby home defeat on an icy evening at the University of Bath Sports Training Village.
There was little between the teams in the first half, the difference being a converted try two minutes before the break that gave the visitors a narrow 12-5 advantage.
However, they powered away in the second period, adding four more tries to their tally, before Team Bath – sponsored by Fulkers Bailey Russell – pulled back a couple of their own late on to close the final gap to 43-19.
Aaron James, Head of Rugby at the University of Bath, said: “We’re disappointed with our errors and our discipline, we probably gave away twice as many penalties as Loughborough and that meant they could put us in the areas of the pitch we didn’t want to be.
“It was frustrating all round but Loughborough were strong tonight and their win was well deserved. We’re going to keep picking ourselves up and pushing on.”
The first half was fairly evenly matched, with both teams enjoying periods of pressure. Loughborough struck first in the 21st minute, Suvwe Obano – brother of Bath Rugby prop Beno – breaking through a couple of tackles to touch down, before Tom Rowland burrowed over from a maul at the other end to level the scores.
Loughborough took a lead into the break, though, as Cameron Boon’s close-range try was converted by Tom Ffitch in the 38th minute.
The first try of the second half was always likely to prove pivotal and it went to Loughborough, Obano again proving too strong as he barged over to leave Ffitch with a simple conversion.
The visitors were now finding gaps in the home defence and it was a blistering break from flanker Austin Wallis that created the platform for prop Nick Rigby to race through for Loughborough’s bonus-point try, again converted by Ffitch.
Locks Boon and Tom Manz also went over for converted tries, either side of a Ffitch penalty, as Loughborough surged into a 43-5 lead.
To their credit, Team Bath kept battling away and were rewarded with two tries in the last three minutes from replacements Harry Sturge and Ed Rimmer, both converted by Tom Pittman.
Team Bath – who are also supported by Rengen Developments – have one more game before the Christmas break, a trip to Cardiff Met next Wednesday (December 18, 6.30pm).
Team Bath starting XV: 15 Paul Altier, 14 James Richardson, 13 Alex Nisbet (c), 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Sam Kennaugh, 10 George Worboys, 9 Jacob Tansey; 1 Tom Rowland, 2 Rory Mead, 3 Will French, 4 John Smith, 5 Edoardo Balocco, 6 Cam Keys, 7 Tom Williams, 8 Ed Ashcroft. Replacements: 16 George Holroyd, 17 Alex Curtis, 18 Harry Sturge, 19 Elliott Berryman, 20 Gwilym Bradley, 21 Ed Rimmer, 22 Tom Pittman, 23 Alex Varney.
Tries: Rowland, Sturge, Rimmer.
Conversions: Pittman 2.
Loughborough starting XV: 15 Fergus Guiry, 14 Will Sanders, 13 Dan Kelly, 12 Tom Stapley, 11 Will Attfield, 10 Tom Ffitch, 9 Alex Glashan; 1 Nick Rigby, 2 Jamie Harding, 3 Dan Ali, 4 Cameron Boon, 25 Owen Lloyd, 6 Tobias Munday, 7 Austin Wallis, 18 Suvwe Obano. Replacements: 16 Nathan Longdon, 8 Mink Scharink, 5 Tom Manz, 20 Toby Adlington, 21 Jonny Law, 22 KK Orelaji, 23 Iwan Burgwin, 24 James Gallagher.
Tries: Obano 2, Boon 2, Rigby, Manz.
Conversions: Ffitch 4, Orelaji.
Referee: Harry Walbaum.
Assistant referees: Ryan Collier, Mark Doran.
Fourth official: James Maby.