Battling Bath suffer last-gasp BUCS Super Rugby defeat on wet and windy night at Cardiff Met

01 February 2024

A converted try deep into added time from Cardiff Met condemned the University of Bath men’s 1st XV to a frustrating 15-12 defeat at the hands of their Varsity rivals in a fiercely-fought BUCS Super Rugby encounter.

The Bath Building Society-sponsored visitors made just one enforced change to the XV that started the previous week’s home win over Leeds Beckett, tighthead prop Alfie Griffin coming in for Billy Sela who is on England U20 Six Nations duty.

They got off to the perfect start, an outstanding tackle from captain Tom Cowan forcing a Cardiff Met mishandle that Will Roue gleefully snapped up before sprinting half the length of the field to open the scoring inside five minutes.

The hosts responded with a Ross McKay penalty and edged ahead just before the 20-minute mark of a match played in wet, windy conditions when Evan Sheldon burrowed over from a lineout.

The score remained 8-5 at half-time but Bath regained the lead 10 minutes into the second period when a superb carry from wing Sam Mercer set up an attacking platform that ended with Mackenzie Graham barging through two attempted tackles to score a fine try.

Raff Weston’s conversion was successful and gave Bath a 12-8 advantage that they defended manfully until the 79th minute when they had a chance to pull further clear. However, a penalty kick in front of the posts was dragged wide and Cardiff Met took full advantage of their reprieve to score the winning try.

Bath dug deep to hold off a number of sorties on their line but the pressure finally told deep into stoppage time when captain Ewan Guy found a gap to touch down. McKay’s conversion added salt to the wounds.

Watch the match in full here:

Next up for Bath, who are also supported by Rengen, is a short journey to Gloucestershire to face Hartpury on Wednesday 7th February before they welcome Swansea to the Team Bath Sports Training Village on Wednesday 14th February (6.30pm kick-off, free to watch).

Match stats

Cardiff Met starting XV: 1 Ben Murphy, 2 George Merritt, 3 Joe Cowell, 4 Brandon Harvey, 5 Liam Antrobus, 6 Evan Sheldon, 7 Ewan Guy (c), 8 Benji Williams; 9 Rory Morgan, 10 Ross McKay, 11 Porter Goodrum, 12 Chris Johnson, 13 Elijah Evans, 14 Joshuah Carrington, 15 Steff Davies. Replacements: 16 Connor Chapman, 17 Max Surry, 18 Conal Couch, 19 Barnaby Waddell, 20 Bertie Taylor, 21 Zak Roberts, 22 Sam Berry, 23 Toby Baldwin.

Tries: Sheldon, Guy.
Conversion: McKay.
Penalty: McKay.

University of Bath starting XV: 1 Archie Stanley, 2 Jasper Spandler, 3 Alfie Griffin, 4 Josh Dingley, 5 Will Jeanes, 6 Mackenzie Graham, 7 Tom Cowan (c), 8 Ted Johnson; 9 Ioan Lewis, 10 Raff Weston, 11 Sam Mercer, 12 Will Roue, 13 James Short, 14 Rory Crum, 15 Iwan Price-Thomas. Replacements: 16 Max Pearce, 17 Claudius Wheeler, 18 Jacob Yates, 19 Max Mayor, 20 Iwan Coyle, 21 Elis Horgan, 22 Byron Lloyd-Gilmour, 23 Austin Emens.

Tries: Roue, Graham.
Conversion: Weston.

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