Fight back to late as Bath lose out in Home fixture

Bath welcomed Somerset Vikings to The Oakfield Stadium on Saturday in the sides first home league fixture of the season. With good preparations during the week and a beautifully sunny day Bath hoped to get the ball moving in what was set to be a tough encounter.

However it was the visitors that were on the score sheet first with an early try from No.13 Marcus Brooker following a loose ball that was collected within the opening minutes. Somerset appeared to have caught Bath napping and the home side were deemed to be offside and the subsequent next set saw Brooker score once again.

Bath began to get themselves back into the game and some strong carries from Elliott Bowler & Brandon Ball gave the home side some great territory. This time it was the Vikings that were caught offside and Bath were able to get themselves deep into the oppositions half. With quick plays of the ball it was Hooker Luc Thomas who spotted the gap and dived over the line, Lawrence Haywood adding the extras.

Somerset Vikings continued to look threatening Bath giving them too much time on the ball, another attack close to the home side try line saw Brooker come up again for another try.

With stern words being spoken under the sticks the home side came back out eager to get back on top of the game – Some fast hands and hard running lines from the backs caught the Vikings offside again and a bulldozing run from Bowler saw him crash over the line for the second Bath try of the afternoon, unfortunately the follow up kick going just wide.

The game which kept swinging both ways was evident when the Vikings looked to punish Bath again this time with Jacob Hill scoring for the visitors, and from the following kick off Bath were able to capitalise on a loose ball with Luke Cador going over for his first try of the day. With a few minutes remaining on the clock the Bath back line was able to put the ball wide with Rob Sully going over in the corner.

A good fight back from Bath in the first half bringing the score to 22-28.

Half Time Score: Bath RL 22 – 28 Somerset Vikings RL

The heat of the sunny afternoon was beginning to take its toll and Bath were able to advantage of some sloppy plays by the visitors to gain multiple penalties and get themselves into good position. It was Brandon Ball who would get onto the scorecard next when a superb running line opened the defence for him to dive over, the kick being added to level the scores.

Bath took the lead shortly after when centre Mike Rutt challenged the line holding the defence and gave an offload to to Geoff Taylor who ran a superb line to cross over, the kick being added.

The lead was to be short lived after an error at the kick off Somerset regained the ball and were able to challenge the line from 10 meters out and eventually crossed the line. Bath however continued to apply the pressure and following a knock on Ben Thyer ran form his own 20 deep into the opposition half before being brought down, the referee also awarding a penalty but the following kick at posts went just wide.

The ever dangerous Somerset back line found a gap wide and crossed over this time by Jacob Hill with the conversion being missed and The Vikings retaking the lead with 10mins left on the clock. The game was certainly not over and Bath were able to regather and after some strong carries from around the park it was Kieran Harvey who was able to catch the defence static. Unfortunately the kick going short of the posts and Bath & Somerset were levelling once again.

With the dying minutes of the game Bath would have to dig deep and would have to hold out the final set of the game. The ball was played wide and put through the hands before a grubber kick back into the middle of the pitch saw Jacob Hill collect and go in under the posts.

A hard fought game which could have seen the scoreline go either way by equally matched sides ended with heartache for Bath as the final whistle was blown.

Final Score: Bath RL 38 – 44 Somerset Vikings RL

We caught up with Bath Head Coach Alex Burns after the game commenting “the end result was a very difficult one for the squad after fighting there way back into a game that many would have seen as over much earlier on. It’s a real credit to the belief in the ability within this squad to put ourselves in a position to win the game. Plaudits to Vikings though who shot out of the blocks, and managed out the game excellently. In the last two games we have won both second half’s convincingly. Moving forward we need to discover how to get that level of play right from the off. As I’ve said before we are trying to do something special with this Bath squad and I have full faith we will with patience & understanding of what our long term goals are. We are moving in the right direction 100% and everyone in the club can feel that.”

Following the sad news that Bristol Sonics RL have had to withdraw from the West of England league (we wish them the very best of luck and hope to see them again next season) Bath’s next Pool A fixture is on June 9th at home to Swindon St George. The club will continue training on Thursday at Avonvale RFC from 7pm – All news players welcome. The Club is also looking at options for friendly fixtures in the midweek and weekends.

Bath RL squad.
Chester 2. Parks 3. Thyer 4. Warnock 5. Cador 6. Haywood 7. Sully 8. Bowler 9. Thomas 10. Randall (c) 11. Ball 12. Frost 13. King
SUBS: Harvey, McConnell, Culshaw, Burnett, Rutt, Taylor, May

Bath RL push current West of England Champions Swindon St. George close on the opening day of the season!

Bath Rugby League kicked off Round 1 of their season campaign with an away trip to last seasons Champions Swindon St George (SSG) in The West of England Pool A. The side have been preparing well in preseason with Head Coach Alex Burns taking charge and a final preseason fixture held last Tuesday against the current Army Lawson Cup Champions, the Royal Signals RL squad.

It was the home side that kicked off and gave the visitors the first attacking set of the game, SSG showed some fearsome defence in the opening contest and on their returning attacking set showcased some speedy play at the tackle to release Prop Sam Collins who crashed over with Captain Conner Tomley adding the extras.

Bath kicked off well and were soon pressing deep into the home sides half with strong carries from Prop Elliott Bowler and Captain Stevan Randall and were able to shift the ball wide through the hands of Mike Harrison and Morgan Lewis to put new signing Kieran Harvey over in the corner, Leigh Wheatley adding the kick.

Swindon St George always looked dangerous on the ball and threatened across the park, and began to find gaps in the Bath defence which had held strongly. Swindon scored a few tries in quick succession catching the visitors napping with Hooker Stewart Hannah and centre Florin Palcau crossing over. The whistle went for half time and Bath would go into the break 20-6 behind.

Half Time: Swindon St George RL 20 – 6

After a talk from the Head Coach Bath started the better of the two teams in the second half and continued to press into the SSG half, Fullback Ciaran Chester caused constant headaches for the home side as he ran from deep and broke multiple tackles gaining some much needed territory. From the resulting plays and speed of the ball Prop Brandon Ball found a gap to sprint over for Bath’s second try of the day, Wheatley adding the extras.

Bath continued to look dangerous and carried well into the oppositions half but when SSG were given the opportunity they showcased why they were the current Champions and wasn’t long until Fullback Josh Williams broke the defence to cross over. However the visitors continued to apply the pressure and with Fullback Chester breaking the line once again he was able to put Jamie Hall through the gap and the Centre stepped the last defender to score near the posts, Leigh Wheatley adding the kick.

In the last 10mins of the game Swindon St George looked for another score but would be held up against a strong Bath defence, however Bath were penalised and SSG took the opportunity for a kick at the sticks and take the score further from Bath’s reach. In the dying minutes Bath were desperately looking to find a break for another score but time had run out and the final whistle was blown.

Full Time: Swindon St George RL 26 -18 Bath RL

Head Coach Alex Burns commented “Hugely proud of our performance against what we know is one of the best sides in the South West. In an immensely physical and demanding game, we fronted up throughout and with Ball in hand showed the danger we have right across the park. It’s a testament to where we want to be that we were disappointed after the game knowing we let a chance of a victory slip by. Credit to Swindon St George RL though as their class and groundwork through pre-season told. This group of players for Bath RL has great potential going forward and the awareness to know where we need to improve if we want to be fighting for silverware come the end of the season. As a club we are aiming to build something special and sustainable over the coming years and for us this was a massive leap forward in the right direction”

On Saturday Bath RL will welcome Somerset Vikings RL to their home ground (based at Melksham RFC) in Round 2 of the West of England Pool A, kick off 2.30pm.

Bath Rugby League Squad 1: Chester 2: Wildman 3: Harrison 4: Sully 5: Warnock 6: Wheatley 7: Lewis 8: Bowler 9:Talbot 10: Ball 11: Taylor 12: Harvey 13: Randall (C) Subs: Noott, MacPherson, Dare, Culshaw, Hall.

NEW PLAYER ALEX DARE M’CONNELL SECURES FIRST PLAYER SPONSORSHIP OF 2018 FROM OLDLAND ELECTRICAL

Alex played for the club in the inaugural RugbyFest exhibition fixture at the end of September 2017, and comes from the Bristol area. He has previously played for rivals Bristol Sonics in 2008 and 2012. In between and prior to playing League Alex has also played the Union code for Bristol, Clifton and even in Australia for Adelaide Falcons. His union position is prop, but has played second row in Rugby League.

The club would like to thank Alex for sourcing his own player sponsor and we thank Oldland Electrical for their generous support and partnership with the club for 2018.

The club still have a number of sponsorship opportunities available at all levels, please email: info@bathrugbyleague.co.uk or call 07810 552196 for further details. We are interested in developing mutually beneficial partnership to aid in the development of Rugby League as a relatively untapped sport across the Bath and surrounding area. A huge opportunity for the sport.

Player sponsorship is available for £120 per player for the season. Player sponsors will:
– be promoted on the club website www.bathrugbyleague.co.uk
– be promoted on social channels Twitter: @BathRugbyLeague – 1,081 Followers, Facebook: www.facebook.com/BathRugbyLeague – 1386 likes, Intsagram: @bathrugbyleague_ – 966 followers to date
– mentioned in media releases in relation to sponsored player
– featured in match day programme/teamsheet

The club has also been featured in the trade Magazine Rugby League World and been reported on Rugby Leaguer and League Express trade weekly paper on a fairly regular basis.

Who is going to be the next sponsored player? The challenge is on!

#greatpeople #differentleague #newera #getinvolved

BATH RUGBY LEAGUE HEARTBREAKING DEFEAT TO GLOUCESTERSHIRE WARRIORS

With the West of England domestic season now completed, which saw Bath Rugby League qualify in there first season, they travelled to Gloucester for the competitions Plate Semi Final, the winner going through to the Final the following Saturday to be played at Portway Rugby Development Centre in Bristol.

The game started well with Bath Rugby League building the sets and defending well against a large Warriors pack, It was Bath’s Josh Frost who opened up the scoring after spotting the gap and brushing off would be tacklers to go over out wide in the corner, Alex Burns was unable to add the extras (0-4)

Bath continued the attack and it was a few minutes later when Fullback Cieran Chester ran at pace through the defensive line to break free, with only a few meters short of the line he found Prop Ryan Willcox who had supported fantastically to cross over under the posts, Alex Burns added the extras (0-10).

Josh Frost showcased his agility once again to gain valuable yards and caught just short of the line, the next play saw Club Captain Tom Plance use his football skills to carefully put the ball behind the defence and follow through to score under the posts, Alex Burns who has been on fine form this season was able to convert (0-16). Burns continued this with a well worked play after a penalty using his strength to barge his was over the line, unfortunately he was unable to add the extras (0-20)

The Warriors continued to apply the pressure and the following kick off bounced to reach touch and Bath were under pressure 20 yrds from there line, Bath’s defence held firm after continuous barrage of large Warrior forwards, eventually finding the gap and crossing the line with a Matt Jones try, Ash Lewis converting (6-20) shortly after Bath’s Chris Mee was taken off after a poor tackle saw him sidelined for the remainder of the game.

Gloucestershire now had there tails up and with the game being controlled by Ash Lewis he dropped a kick through to put Bath under pressure once again, but pressure around the ruck meant Bath would regain possession. Bath were able to get the ball wide from the scrum and Josh James showed pace outside to get into the Warriors half, ill discipline at the tackle meant Bath would gain more yards with a penalty – unfortunately the field possession could not be capitalised on and the Warriors gathered a loose ball.

Centre Josh Frost showed his skills once again when he stepped through multiple would be tacklers to dot down over the line, Burns unable to convert. (6-24)

The Warriors continued to use there large forwards and gained great yards from this, after a tackle close to the Bath line it was Sean Roberts who caught the markers napping and darted over (10-24) Leigh Wheatley was able to command some great plays shorty after getting Bath back into the Warriors half, a break from Burns saw the Warriors concede another penalty which Bath capitalised on, this time Frost stepping to put Cieran Chester through the gap who stretched out to score, the extras just going wide. (10-28)

A restart from under the posts saw the Warriors carry strongly and get back into Baths’ 20, another Sean Roberts pick and go from the tackle saw him cross again with Ash Lewis again adding the extras. (16-28) Gloucestershire continued there rally and were able to build on pressure again to see a Bath player put into touch, a Jordan Smith try and Ash Lewis conversion brought the score to 22-28.

With the final minutes of the half Bath were awarded another penalty after a high tackle on Cieran Chester, the side opted to play the ball rather than a shot at the posts but unfortunately the ball was put wide with Matty James being put into touch. A kick up field from Ash Lewis saw a clean take from Chester and the half time whistle being blown.

The second half kicked off with Bath now playing up the slight slope, shortly after a great return catch and run from Frost saw Chester work his way back up field only to be tackled poorly by Ash Kocerhan who received his second yellow card resulting in red. Bath now look to get back to the form that saw them start so well began to build momentum, only for the ball to go wide and a Bath player to be tackled into touch.

This continued to spur the home side on and another barrage of heavy forwards saw Bath caught short and Kirk Lewis dive over from close range, his son Ash Lewis adding the extras. (28-28), the pressure continued as the now 12 man team ran hard towards the visitors line, a deft kick over the defensive line and regather by Matt Jones saw him cross the line, Ash Lewis again adding the extras and taking the lead for the first time in the game. (34-28)

Bath now under pressure forced too many errors and were finding it difficult to gain any momentum, but there stern defence held tight as the Warriors continued to run hard form close out. Bath were able to force the error and gain some breathing space, although this was short lived after a Warriors player was tackled into touch and play stopped following an altercation on the sideline. Play resumed and Gloucestershire continued where they had left off, and a hard running line by Ryan Tanner saw him go over under the posts, Lewis adding the extras. (40-28)

With 17 minutes left on the clock it was Gloucestershire who scored next when Ash Lewis chipped through and after multiple deflections regathered and crossed over in the corner, he followed up by adding the extras. (46-28) Bath had not given up and needed to build momentum to get themselves back in the game, from the restart the warriors made an error, Leigh Wheatley was able to dart over and score with Frost adding the extras. (46-34)

A superb run back from the kick off saw Vice Captain Stevan Randall get back deep into the Warriors half evading many would be tackles. A quick play of the ball by Plance from the resulting tackle saw Cieran Chester run through a tired defence to close the gap, Frost adding the extras. (46-40)

Bath would get back into the Warriors 20 but firm defence held them out, another great play saw Burns just miss out on crossing over when the ball was just in front and a knock on deemed by the referee. With the final minutes closing it was a tight contest between the two sides with both now looking to score, an error with hands from Bath saw the final whistle blown and Gloucestershire Warriors making the Final.

Club Coordinator Chris Chatten commented “It is disappointing not to make the final after all the hard work we have collectively put in to get the club up and running this year and make it a success, we had plenty of chances to win the game. However, we have come a long way in our debut season with notable wins against Bristol Sonics in our inaugural game. We have played all scheduled fixtures and also arranged a number of friendlies to give the developing squad more game time in what for some is still a very new sport, but one which is highly exciting to play and watch, if you like running with the ball in hand, tackling and being involved in an enterprising sport this is for you”.

The club would like to thank all stakeholders involved in making our debut season a memorable one, club sponsors, volunteers in particular James Fox (Coach), Andy Burns and Ryan Stewart who share the vision of how the club can develop into something really exciting, more exciting developments planned in the close season, watch this space.

WARRIORS:
Josh Llewelyn; Darren Collier, Ryan Tanner, Dean Cooper, Justin Lee; Ash Lewis, Matt Jones; Gareth Morris, Sean Roberts, Ollie Cooper (Capt); Jake Thompson, Sam Handcock; Jordan Smith; INTERCHANGE: Nico Tarantino, Tom Collier, Ash Kocerhan, Dale Cooper, Kirk Lewis, Alex Mahoney, Gavin Tippins.
Scorers: Tries; Jones (2), Roberts (2), Smith, K. Lewis, Tanner, A. Lewis
Goals; A Lewis 7 from 8.

BATH:
Cieran Chester; Josh James, Josh Frost, Matt Warnock, Matty James; Leigh Wheatley, Alex Burns; Luke Dobson, Chris Mee, Ryan Willcox; Tom Culshaw, Steven Randall; Tom Plance; INTERCHANGE: Rich Carlisle, Jordan Talbot, Arron Schofield, Alex Mallon, Kieran Storey, Nathan Burd, Morgan Lewis
Scorers: Tries; Frost (2), Willcox, Plance, Burns, Wheatley, Chester (2)
Goals; Burns 2 from 5, Frost 2 from 2

Referee: Malcolm Holmes

BATH RUGBY LEAGUE LOOSE OUT TO STRONG SWINDON ST. GEORGE IN THE LAST POOL FIXTURE OF THE SEASON, WITH THE EXCITEMENT OF PLAY-OFFS STILL TO COME!

Bath Rugby League played there final West of England Pool 2 fixture of the season last Saturday when they welcomed already pool winners high flying Swindon St. George Rugby League.

A tough home fixture at Allington Fields was on the cards with Bath looking to make amends for there first encounter earlier in the season which saw Swindon run a way with the game convincingly.

With a large crowd of both travelling Swindon fans and Bath home supporters the game kicked off, it was Swindon St. George who crossed the line first following a penalty kick to touch that fell short but Bath knocked on and the ball was gathered by Blinkhorn, the conversion being missed. (0-4)

Bath tried to regather and build the sets but lapse in defence saw the travelling side cross over again when Swindon were able to offload out of the tackle to put Bonichelli in the corner – this time the kick going over by Tomley. (0-10) Unfortunately this set the tone for the next 15 mins with Bath unable to get a grip on the game, the kick off going straight out it was Swindon who took advantage and another try by Bonichelli under the posts with a successful kick by Tomley. (0-16)

Bath started to build momentum with strong carries from second row Mike Rutt and prop Henry Beer but strong cover tackles kept the home side at bay – another ‘knock on’ meant Bath were under pressure and St. George went over out wide with Daynes going over, and Tomley adding the extras. (0-22)

Bath were able to regather and build good sets of play and looked dangerous when the ball was put through the defensive lines, Centre Cieran Chester making great yards and setting up Bath’s first points of the day when after a good build up Henry Beer was able to carry strongly and with multiple tacklers stretch out and touch down, Alex Burns was able to add the extras. (6-22)

Bath had to defend an intensive barrage from Swindon for the next few minutes and although some big tackles came in from across the line Swindon’s Tuckett was able to crash over from 5m, this time Deal converting. (6-28) Bath however hadn’t given up and Captain Leigh Wheatley demanded more from the men and it wasn’t long until Bath crossed over with some great sets of play and Tom Culshaw carving a great line to go over under the posts, Alex Burns again able to add the extras. (12-28)

HT score: Bath Rugby League 12 – 28 Swindon St. George

Bath unfortunately put themselves back under pressure when Swindon kicked off and the ball bouncing into touch. Bath were able to continue the pressure but a break in play following a disagreement between Bath’s Henry Beer and Swindon’s Jack Daynes saw the pair take 10 mins on the sideline.

It was Swindon who took the momentum for the next part of the game with Swindon’s Bonichelli once again showcasing his skill and scooting over from 5m, Tomley converting with a quick return try by Blinkhorn, Tomley again on form adding the extras. (12-40).

With the defensive plays taking there toll Bath struggled to keep possession and a quick play by Swindon saw Kinentt cross over, again converted. (12-46) Bath saw same time on the ball for sets and were able to showcase what the can when when they have the ball in hand – hard carries towards the Swindon line there were gaps starting to show and Bath’s Rob Davies was able to crash over from 2m out, Alex Burns was able to add the extras. (18-46) The final few minutes of the half Swindon opened up and were able to cross over multiple times, showcasing why they have dominated and winning Pool 2.

The Final Score: Bath Rugby League 18 – 58 Swindon St. George

Bath now look to regather and build through the week with the upcoming playoffs, Bath travel to Gloucestershire Warriors on Saturday 5th August as they finished 3rd in the other West of England League group, and Bath finished 4th in their pool so travel away in the play offs looking to cap off the season and progress to the final being played at Portway Rugby Development Centre, Bristol on Saturday 12th August.

Chris Chatten, Club Coordinator, commented “We always knew it was going to be a tough game against Swindon St. George who had already been confirmed as pool winners, whatever team they put out they are always strong. After putting ourselves under pressure in the first quarter of the game we showed Swindon we could match them man for man in the second quarter. The scored probably flattered Swindon slightly but our guys will have been tired having to do a lot of defending. We will now look forward to the play-offs where a win next week will secure a place in the West of England plate final. As a new club we have already been highly successful fulfilling all league fixtures and getting some notable wins against Bristol and Oxford, along with more recent high scoring home victory against Southampton, we aim to further develop the club in the forthcoming close season so please keep your eyes on all media channels for updates, exciting times ahead, come and get involved on and off the field.”

BATH RUGBY LEAGUE FELT STORM OF SEAHAWKS BUT CALL UPS TO WEST SQUAD GIVES OPPORTUNITIES

Bath Rugby League made the long trip to Portsmouth on Saturday hoping to maintain their winning form but unfortunately it turned out to be a long day at the office for Bath.

It wasn’t a good start to the game when Bath dropped the ball from the kick off to allow Portsmouth easy ball to go over for a try in the first minute, it was pretty much one way traffic on the fast paced 4G surface. The score finished Portsmouth 72, Bath Rugby League 4. Replacement winger James Noott scored a consolation try for Bath in the second half following up a clever over the top Leigh Wheatley kick to touch down half way out, Noott should have scored just minutes before after an overlap had been created down the left flank but the opportunity went begging after a fumble and the ref deemed it to be a ‘knock-on’.

Chris Chatten, Bath Rugby League, Club Coordinator, said “It is always tough making the long trip to Portsmouth, but credit to the players we travelled with a full squad down to the game, which is a massive commitment playing Rugby League at this level. We are also one of the few team who have fulfilled all fixtures in the league so far this season. We are excited about this weekend and want to encourage a large crowd to come down to Chippenham RFC as the lads will want to show Swindon St. George they are better than the team they played a few weeks ago at their place”.

Unbelievably, Bath Rugby League are still confident of sneaking into the end of season play offs, they play their final league game at their Chippenham RFC home on Saturday 29th July, against Swindon St. George who have already secured the league title, but Bath Rugby League will be wanting finish off the domestic season in style in front of their home crowd. The play offs commence the following Saturday 5th August and League Grand/Plate finals follow the week after Saturday 12th August in Bristol.

The second West Of England League train on squad representative training session took place at Chippenham RFC on Sunday and Bath Rugby League were represented by James Fox (Scrum-half), Henry Lyons (Full-back/Wing), Cieran Chester (Full-back/Centre), Henry Beer (Prop/Second Row), Stevan Randall (Second Row), Alex Burns (utility) and Tom Plance (Hooker). Jay Patterson (Prop) is also part of the train on squad and Chris Chatten is Chairman of the programme with James Fox as one of the coaching staff, Fox combines his role with Bath working full time for the Rugby Football League as part of the England support team so bring a wealth of experience with him. The squad will play an East V West internal game to determine their strongest squad as over 60 players are part of the programme currently, then the West of England are just to play an end of season tournament against the Midlands, London, and East regions, and planning is underway regarding a short tour in March 2018.

Tom Plance ex-South Wales Ironmen development and Scotland Student International was retained from last year programme, but others have been spotted playing in league fixtures. Henry Lyons, Henry Beer, Stevan Randall and Cieran Chester are the latest call ups, Chester has previously represented South West students while at University of Gloucestershire while others have come to the sport via Rugby Union, Rugby League is started to build a pathway for players who aspire to play professional rugby league in the South West region.

BREAKING NEWS: BATH RUGBY LEAGUE & YORK CITY KNIGHTS STRIKE UP AN EXCITING AND INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIP

Bath Rugby League and York City Knights RLFC have seized an opportunity to work together for the greater good of Rugby League. The partnership is win win for both clubs. Bath have the opportunity to provide players with a pathway into the professional game which is hoped will enhance recruitment/retention and York City Knights have access to potentially unearthing a few hidden gems and give them a shot at being a professional in the upper echelons of the Kingstone Press Championship 1.
Jon Flatman, Owner of York City Knights Ltd, said “York City Knights have a key objective as a club to add to the GDP of the Sport. We believe the support and this symbiotic relationships is to the benefit of the game and to both clubs.

We are excited to enter into this partnership and look forward to working with Chris to grow the game.”
Chris Chatten, Club Coordinator, Bath Rugby League, said “As I am connected with both clubs the offer of a mutually beneficial partnership seemed like a fantastic opportunity which should not be missed and can aid in the development of the Rugby League player pathway in Bath and surrounding area. York City Knights will also share best practice to help Bath Rugby League grow and sustain Rugby League playing opportunities in an area that is still relatively untapped for the sport”.

Chatten, only set up Bath Rugby League at the beginning of the 2017 season but has managed to attract some young and talented players by aiming to create the most professional environment possible within a community club. He has combined the establishment of Bath Rugby League with the appointment of Matchday Manager of York City Knights.
Bath Rugby League are still looking to add players to the 2017 squad, if you would like to play Rugby League please attend training at the excellent Chippenham Rugby Club facilities Wednesday night 7pm, no experience required you would be joining a squad of great players and people.

Photograph: Darren Crake, Commercial Director, York City Knights Ltd (left), with Chris Chatten, Bath Rugby League, Club Coordinator (right).

#newera #differentleague #getinvolved #greatplayersgreatpeople

BATH RUGBY LEAGUE GET BACK TO WINNING WAYS WITH A BANG AGAINST SPITFIRES

Bath Rugby League welcomed Southampton Spitfires to Allington fields on Saturday hoping to get back to winning ways after the previous weeks defeat away to high flying Swindon St. George.

Before the game kicked off the crowd and players paid tribute to young Evan Hawksworth, the Under-14 Stanley Rangers Rugby League player who tragically passed away after sustaining a head injury during a game with a minutes applause, similar scenes also took place across all rugby league fixtures over the weekend to celebrate Evan’s life.

With good preparations during the week Bath were set to take everything to the visitors and this was evident from the kick off with only a few minutes passing before Leigh Wheatley crossed over, Alex Burns added the extras (6-0). Southampton used there forwards well and were able to snipe from a ruck to get across the line although were unable to convert (6 – 4)

Bath didn’t let up the intensity throughout the game and hard yards by Shaun Allen and Frome based Stevan Randall took the home side further into the Spitfires half, it was Loose Forward Randall who was on the score card next with barns storming run and carry over the line, Burns was able to add the extras. (12 -4)

Another laps at the ruck and markers being caught out the Spitfires crossed again, with kick went wide. (12 – 8) This was the last laps Bath would have as Southampton didn’t cross the whitewash again, further try’s from Shaun Allen – showing once again his ability to be able to break tackles crossed over followed by Club Captain Tom Plance who sniped from a tackle to sprint and score, and Alex Burns converting both. (24 – 8)

In the dying minutes of the of the first half Bath’s defence was tested heavily and Southampton went a full set before a knock forward from Bath and Southampton regain for another set of six within 5 metres of the line, stand out try saving tackles from Joe Andrews, a new recruit who during term time plays his Rugby League with University of Nottingham and Cieran Chester, former University of Gloucestershire and South West Universities student Rugby League player, helped keep the defence firm and with a turnover Bath saw out the half, much to the frustration of the Spitfires.

Half Time: Bath Rugby League: 24 – 8 Southampton Spitfires Rugby League

The Half Time break didn’t slow down Bath’s intensity and from the kick off showed they were looking to put all there hard work from the first into effect and continue to build and put the Spitfires to the sword. After a strong build up again It was Alex Burns that was able to cross over from close range and covert. (28 – 8) Southampton continued to push hard with strong carries from there forwards but with injuries and a limited bench they were beginning to show signs of tiring. It was forward Shaun Allen who dominated the tackle area again and making breaks through the Spitfires line to cross twice again and complete his hat trick – Alex Burns converting both. (42 – 8)

After an offload from James Noott It was centre Josh James who was able to speed through a gap in the Spitfires line and cross over, again Alex Burns was on from to convert. (48 – 8) Bath continued to dominate and were able to cross over twice more before the final whistle – both from Alex Burns, who had a fantastic day with the boot for his final kick to go just short, kicking 9 from 10 and scoring a hat trick of tries himself to finish the game in style. (58 – 8)

Final Score: Bath Rugby League 58 – 8 Southampton Spitfires

Chris Chatten, Bath Rugby League, Club Coordinator, said “It was really pleasing for the squad to get back to winning ways after making such a good start to the season, with a few close losses in between. I am proud of everyone who has put on a shirt for the club this season we have come such a long way in such a short space of time after only launching the club in pre-season. The lads are really buying into the culture of the club and enjoying themselves on the pitch. We will now push for a position in the end of season play offs, with two league games left and a possible further two play off games the league is still wide open with lots still to play for in 2017, exciting times ahead!”

With play off spots still available, Bath Rugby League travel to US Portsmouth Seahawks on Saturday hoping to continue winning ways and finish off the domestic season in style.

If you would like to know more about the club call Chris Chatten on Tel: 07810 552196 or email: info@bathrugbyleague.co.uk for players in particular come along to training on Wednesday evenings at the fantastic Chippenham RFC facilities from 7pm. For further details regarding the club check out www.bathrugbyleague.co.uk, Facebook: www.facebook.com/BathRugbyLeague and Twitter: @bathrugbyleague

BATH RUGBY LEAGUE MAULED BY SWINDON ST. GEORGE

On Saturday 8th July, Bath Rugby League made the short journey to Supermarine RFC to take on Swindon St. George to stay in the hunt for a play off place, St. George are top of the league only loosing one fixture all season. After travelling light and with a number of players making their club debut went down 84-4.

Unfortunate for Bath, Swindon St. George just had too much power in the forwards and creativity in the backs. Connor Tomley ran the show for St. George from half-back and prop forward Paul Boglar carving holes up centre field. Bath Rugby League stuck at the task in hand for the full 80 mins and were rewarded with a try late in the second half with an unconverted try from James Simons, an excellent move from a scrum with Frome based league convert Jordan Talbot breaking down the wing for a long pass to go back inside to half-back James Simons for him to go over the whitewash uncontested. Jarvis Conybear and Joe Andrews both impressed on there Bath Rugby League debut after having returned to the area on completion of their studies for the summer with University of Nottingham, where they play for the University Rugby League team. Incidentally the University of Nottingham overpowered University of Bath Broncos Rugby League side in the end of season finals day at the end of term where Bath Rugby League captain also Tom Plance plays. Jimmy Godfrey also made his Bath Rugby League debut but was unfortunate to go off injured in the second half with a suspected broken wrist, along with frome based Kieran Storey.

Chris Chatten, Bath Rugby League, Club Coordinator, said “It was disappointing not to have been more competitive, but I have to congratulate all players who turned out for the club on Saturday for sticking at it for the full 80 minutes, they never once gave up. We must look forward not back and we still have a great opportunity to qualify for the end of season play offs and potential opportunity to play in the minor grand final for 3rd and 4th place finishers which would still be a spectacular achievement in the clubs first ever season. We would also like to freshen things up a bit as we go into the run in with a few new players, so if you would like to give Rugby League a try please come along to training at Chippenham RFC, 7pm on Wednesdays, exciting times ahead and further developments to be released next week”.

Bath Rugby League would like to give everyone the opportunity to playing Rugby League in a fun, friendly and social environment with professionalism in how the club operates and personnel conducts themselves. If you would like to give Rugby League a try and are aged 16+ please contact Chris Chatten Tel: 07810 552196

Bath Rugby League would like to hear from anyone who is interested in supporting and developing the club. Training is 7pm on Wednesday at the excellent Chippenham RFC facilities and we encourage players of all abilities to come and join in the excitement of being involved with the club. The club are also looking for advisory board members, potential sponsors, and personal who might be interested in establishing youth, junior and women’s playing opportunities.

BATH RUGBY LEAGUE RUN OUT OF STEAM AFTER BEING ALL SQUARE AT THE HALF WAY MARK

On Saturday 1st July, Bath Rugby League took on Portsmouth Navy Seahawks in the hunt to stay in the race for the vital top two play off places. After being all square at 16 a piece at half time they just ran out of steam in the last 10 minutes of the game when Portsmouth got a couple of scores in front, the final score was Bath Rugby League 24, Portsmouth Navy Seahawks 38 and a lot closer than the score suggests.

Portsmouth were first to score going in for a soft unconverted try out wide, but not long after that debutante Shaun Allen powered his way over close to the posts which was successful converted by another debutante Leigh Wheatley. However, a further Portsmouth converted try meant Bath Rugby League were chasing the lead again 6-10 down, but Bath centre Henry Lyons showed some great footwork to go over half way out but Leigh Wheatley failed with the conversion which saw the scores locked at 10 a piece. Half back and Player-Coach James Fox showed some Rugby brains by cleverly scooting over from short range near the posts, this time Leigh Wheatley was successful in the conversion putting Bath Rugby League ahead for the first time in the game, 16-10. Unfortunately, Bath let in a soft converted try for Portsmouth after failing to deal with a short kick off, the half time whistle was blown straight after the score.

Unfortunately after the break Portsmouth maintained the moment they had going into half time scoring two converted tries without reply, 16-28. Lightening winger Steven Grant then went over for two unconverted tries for Bath in only his second ever Rugby League game. Portsmouth scored another try in between Grants efforts bringing the score to 24-32, as in the first half Portsmouth scored just before the final whistle bring the final score to Bath Rugby League 24, Portsmouth Navy Seahawks 38.

Second row Tom Culshaw was given captain’s man of the match after putting in a typical 100% effort performance always making 10 metres with the ball in hand and solid tackles in defence, while in only his second outing for the club former University of Gloucestershire and South West Universities Rugby League player Cieran Chester had a great game from full-back making some great yards coming out of defence, prop Henry Beer was also making some fantastic barnstorming runs making inroads in the Portsmouth defensive line.

Chris Chatten, Bath Rugby League, Club Coordinator, said “It was disappointing not to get the win again this week, but for the neutrals this West of England League pool is highly competitive where anyone in the group is capable of beating anyone on their day, more people should come and watch the sport in this part of the country, I think they would be surprised by the standard. Most games we have lost have been fine margins, we have a good team but also have the makings of an excellent team if they stick together, buy into the culture and continue learning the sport. Saturday’s fixture saw us give the best defensive effort of the season, we don’t seem to have a problem with our attacking game, but we were possibly more conservative in some areas of the pitch than our usual flamboyant style. There are opportunities for players to progress in Rugby League too by representing the West of England League side and an opportunity to get picked up by the expansion semi-professional clubs in the area. We now look towards next week looking to get back to winning ways against Swindon St. George but they don’t get any easier after Swindon have been early season pace setters and only lost once to Portsmouth at home this season, it should be another cracking fixture”.

Bath Rugby League would like to give everyone the opportunity to playing Rugby League in a fun, friendly and social environment with professionalism in how the club operates and personnel conducts themselves. If you would like to give Rugby League a try and are aged 16+ please contact Chris Chatten Tel: 07810 552196

Bath Rugby League would like to hear from anyone who is interested in supporting and developing the club. Training is 7pm on Wednesday at the excellent Chippenham RFC facilities and we encourage players of all abilities to come and join in the excitement of being involved with the club. The club are also looking for advisory board members, potential sponsors, and personal who might be interested in establishing youth, junior and women’s playing opportunities.