OXFORD FORWARDS DOMINATE BATH BUT BACKS TURN ON CREATIVITY IN ATTACK

On Saturday 10th June, new rugby league team Bath Rugby League welcomed Oxford Cavaliers to their Chippenham RFC, Allington Fields home ground looking to do the double over them after a hard fought 32-30 away win earlier in the season. After a close first half with the score being 14-10 to Oxford at half time it was all to play for in the second half, but the Oxford forward power told in the end after Bath suffered a number of injuries to forwards in the first half which didn’t aid their cause.

Oxford, dropped down from Conference League South a couple of years ago, and have a link with the Oxford semi-professional side which operates in Championship League 1. However, like Bath they are building a new squad in 2017 and both clubs a competing in a very strong West of England League group where any club is capable of beating anyone on their day.

The opening first quarter of the game was scoreless, and it was Bath’s Max Ojomoh in only his second game of Rugby League made a break in centre field, then rounding the full-back to score a great try underneath the posts for Alex Burn’s to convert. Jay Patterson fresh from his representative debut for the Prison Service Rugby League team in their fixture against the British Police in Rochdale on Thursday night, managed to barge his way over for a typical try for him using his speed and power. Oxford went over for 3 first half tries but only managed to convert one for a half time lead of 14-10.

Oxford gained more momentum in the second half with their forward power making carving holes in the defence, but Bath did start well and scored a sublime try in a well worked move for Alex Burns to go in out wide. Alex successfully converted his own try, Burns also scored a second try this time converted by Luxembourg Rugby Union international Full-back Ciaran Keane. At this point the score was 32-22 to Oxford with an opportunity for Bath to come back and win the game but that wasn’t to be as Bath gave away possession from a tap penalty and Oxford scored two further tries. However, Captain Tom Plance gained some consolation racing away to score a try out wide after a 50 metre run.

Chris Chatten, Bath Rugby League, Club Coordinator, said “It was a tight game in the first half, much like our away encounter with Oxford. However, Oxford pulled away in the later part of the second half using their experienced forwards to punch holes down centre field. While Oxford won the forward battle aided by numerous Bath forward injuries Bath backs dominated with some great interplay, exciting times ahead with all still to play for in the league. It is also pleasing that people are contacting the club wanting to be part of what we are doing with Bath Rugby League, please come and learn more about Bath Rugby League by attending training on Wednesday night at the excellent Chippenham RFC facilities 7pm start, new players of all abilities always welcome with no experience of Rugby League necessary.”

With the final score of 42-26, Bath remain in 3rd place in West of England Pool but will look to make amends in their next West of England League fixture when they play Bristol Sonics at Dings RFC on Wednesday 21st June, 7.30pm kick off. Bath beat local rivals Bristol Sonics at home in their inaugural fixture so the Sonics will be looking to make amends after they are still without a win this season. There is all to play for in the league with a number of teams including Bath still capable of making the important top two in the group which is important for the top tier play off series with the other West of England group.

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.

You can contact the club via the following methods:
Phone: Chris Chatten on 07810 552196
Email: info@bathrugbyleague.co.uk
Twitter: @BathRugbyLeague,
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BathRugbyLeague
Website: www.bathrugbyleague.co.uk

SPITFIRES DOMINATE THE FIELD BUT BATH REMAIN HUNGRY FOR THIRD LEAGUE WIN

On Saturday 3rd June, new rugby league team Bath Rugby League travelled to Southampton’s Five Acres Ground, looking to continue their great start to the season; Bath have won their first two fixtures against Bristol Sonic’s and Oxford Cavaliers and went into the game sitting on top of the West of England Pool 1. However, the winning streak would not continue with the Spitfires proving to be too stern a test on their home soil.

Southampton, who moved across from the London leagues last season, have dominated strongly since joining the West of England division – this was evident from the outset as they scored in quick succession catching Bath napping. Southampton used their backs effectively and were able to spread the ball wide and counter on multiple occasions; Bath were starved of possession and it took some time for the side to build sets.

Once Bath regained possession, Captain and halfback Tom Plance was able to bring in the strong Bath forwards with Stevan Randall and Liam Cashman, Welsh Student Rugby League International, on his Bath RL league debut, making big yards and carrying strong.

Bath got onto the scoreboard in the second half when Captain Plance, with quick thinking, spotted the gap and crossed over, and with Luxembourg rugby union international Ciaran Keane just pulling the conversion wide of the posts, Ciaran was also making his Bath Rugby League debut.

With the final play of the game it was debutante centre Shai Bonnick who moved quickly wide, handing off multiple would be tacklers to break up the field and managing to get the offload away in the Spitfires half to Second Row Jay Patterson who couldn’t be brought down.  Patterson was able to cross the line under the posts with the conversion being added this time successfully by Ciaran Keane.

Chris Chatten, Bath Rugby League, Club Coordinator, said “We were starved of possession in the first half by a well drilled Spitfires side which probably cost us the game. The majority of our squad are still learning how to play Rugby League and we will continue to improve as a group during the course of the season. We have an excellent group of people and players at the club, if we can start games how we finished we will get some more success, the interplay between Bonnick and Patterson for the last try was simply breathtaking. Exciting times ahead, come and be part of something special with the club in 2017 and beyond. “

With the final score of 64 – 10, Bath dropped to 3rd place in West of England Pool but will look to make amends at home this Saturday when they welcome Oxford Cavaliers to Allington Fields. Bath played away to Oxford in Round 2 and came out winning 32-30, so another tough yet exciting battle is on the cards.

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.

You can contact the club via the following methods:

Phone: Chris Chatten on 07810 552196

Email: info@bathrugbyleague.co.uk

Twitter: @BathRugbyLeague,

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BathRugbyLeague 

Website: www.bathrugbyleague.co.uk

GRANT SCORES A HAT-TRICK ON DEBUT FOR BATH RUGBY LEAGUE

Bath Rugby League made it two wins from two in their debut West of England League campaign in a tight 32-30 win at Oxford Cavaliers. Bath were light on forward replacements against a strong Oxford pack but the creativity from the exciting young backs won the game for Bath Rugby League.

In the early stages of the game Bath went 10-0 down and it looked like it could be a tough day at the office in the torrential rain, then debutante Steven Grant got his first of three tries going over in the corner, with 16 year old Ruben Moxham converting having an all round successful day with the boot in the wind and rain. Once Bath got on the score sheet Oxford didn’t score again in the first half and Bath pulled the lead back to 20-10 in front at half-time. However, Oxford started the second half strong with their big forward pack making inroads down the middle and they scored 4 tries without return to go ahead 30-20, but Bath had a revival in the last quarter to go in for two converted tries and hold on for the win. Both sides scored 6 tries so Ruben Moxham’s 4 conversions from 6 attempts won the game as Oxford only converted 3 tries. Bath try scorers were Steven Grant 3, Gabe Hamer-Webb 2, Steve Morris another debutant scored one who darted over from acting half back close to the line.

Chris Chatten, Club Coordinator commented “It was tough in the forwards, there will be some battered and bruised bodies this week, but they put their bodies on the line for the club in a 100% effort performance. I am really proud of how far the squad and the club have come in a short space of time, they are all great people as well as players. The spirit and desire around the club is excellent. It took strength of character to come back to win from being behind on the scoreboard both early on in the game and at the mid-way point in the second period, exciting times ahead for this club, come and get involved training on Wednesday evening 7pm at Chippenham Rugby Club”.

Please take the opportunity to contact the club as a player, potential sponsor or volunteer via email: info@bathrugbyleague.co.uk or call Chris Chatten tel: 07810 552196. Player sponsorship is £100 per player, be part of something special. The club are really interested in establishing a youth/junior and ladies sections, please get in touch if you feel you could help with this to further develop a really strong Rugby League community at the club. Please follow us on Twitter @BathRugbyLeague and Facebook: www.facebook.com/BathRugbyLeague.

BATH RUGBY LEAGUE MAKES WAVES IN THE WEST OF ENGLAND LEAGUE WITH WIN AGAINST LOCAL RIVALS ON DEBUT

The new rugby league team took the 46-36 victory against Bristol Sonics after a high-scoring thriller on their home turf 

Saturday 13th May, 2017 marked a historic occasion for Bath’s newest rugby team, Bath Rugby League. The league side debuted a strong team on home soil this Saturday at Chippenham RFC’s Allington Fields Ground during their inaugural West of England fixture against local rivals Bristol Sonics RL.  The new Bath team was victorious with a 46-36 win over the Sonics challengers. Treated to a thrilling and close game of rugby, the squad and spectators were also given a history lesson by Bath rugby veteran Gary Waywell, who turned up to watch the historic event.

As an ex-player of the old Bath club which operated in the 1980s & 1990s, Gary’s motivational speech struck a chord with the new Bath Rugby League players. Hooker Rex Boulter, fresh from representing Ireland Student Rugby League in a 9’s competition, scored a hat-trick of tries with 6 conversions for a personal points-haul of 24. Jay Patterson operating at prop scored the first ever Bath Rugby League competitive try with an unstoppable run to the line scoring near the posts.

Bath had two international players in the line-up: club captain Tom Plance (Scotland Students) and Ed Tait (Ireland Students). Bath also included a number of up and coming youngsters in the line-up, one of which was 17 year old full-back Ruben Moxham, who was given the captain’s Man of the Match in his first ever game of Rugby League. Trowbridge based Henners Beer impressed with some strong running going forward and was rewarded with a try close to the posts.

After leading 24-14 at half-time, it looked like Bath had the better fitness levels but the Sonics would not lie down. Bristol stormed back into the game during the second half, snatching the lead 26-24 for a brief period. However, Bath’s side proved too strong for the Sonics, scoring 4 more tries in the second half and outscoring the opposition 8 tries to 7 overall. Bath’s Rex Boulter and Ruben Moxham had more luck with goal kicking on a windy day than Bristol’s stand-off Dom Swann, who played in Bristol Sonics’ first season back in 2002. The Sonics fielded a number of strong players, one of which was hooker Jack Uren who is on dual-registration from University of Gloucestershire All Golds, which operates in the semi-professional League 1 competition.

Chris Chatten, Bath Rugby League’s Club Coordinator said, “We are a welcoming club and want to give anyone the opportunity to come and have a crack at Rugby League in a fun and friendly environment. We are a true community club but also bring professionalism to our operations. It was excellent to get an opening day win but what is more important is to have a good culture around the club, which sets the tone for developing good people and players who are gelling well as a group. The club would still like to identify some more new players, so please come and join in the fun at training every Wednesday evening at Chippenham RFC from 7pm.”

With professionalism running through the veins of the club, Bath RL announced this week that James Fox will be leading the coaching team for the 2017 season. James joins the club from National Conference League side Stanley Rangers and is currently a Performance & Development Officer at the Rugby Football League. As a keen advocate for growing the game of rugby league, James is an ideal appointment and aspires to help lead the club to a successful debut season in the West of England League.

James commented, “This is an extremely exciting opportunity to help grow the game. Bath is an area with a huge appetite for rugby and the players seem very receptive to rugby league and fully engage with everything that we have thrown at them. We had a great opening day win on Saturday in our first game against a tough Bristol side. Our young guys showed plenty of character and we got the result we deserved. It’s a testament to all the hard work done by Chris, Tom & Andy off the field that allowed us to get to a good start in our season opener. It’s up to us now as a group to back this up and show that it wasn’t a flash-in-the-pan result when we play Oxford this weekend”.

The club are pleased to have secured the services of Kevin Moggridge, a highly experienced Level 3 Rugby Union Coach. Having worked full-time with the RFU and successfully developing the women’s game in recent years, Kevin became Head Coach of Frome RFC and led them to success in the Bath Combination Cup. More recently, Kevin’s wealth of skill and experiences took Avonvale RFC to the top of the league this past season. Kevin will join Bath RL in the coming weeks after completing Somerset county coaching commitments. After a series of successes in rugby union Kevin welcomes the new challenge of training a rugby league squad.

The club hopes to create a winning streak this weekend when they travel to Oxford on Saturday 20th May to take on Oxford Cavaliers at 2.30pm, Oxford RFC, North Hinksey, Oxford, OX2 0NA, they would also really welcome some away support.

If you would like to play for the club or feel you could support the club in other ways, be that sponsorship or volunteering, please contact Chris Chatten club coordinator on tel: 07810 552196 email: info@bathrugbyleague.co.uk, or come along to training sessions Wednesday evening 7pm @ Chippenham RFC.

The club have a new website www.bathrugbyleague.co.uk which is still developing, you can also engage with the club on Twitter: @BathRugbyLeague and Facebook: www.facebook.com/BathRugbyLeague 

Bath Rugby League Appoint Tom Plance as Club Captain

The club are pleased to announce Tom Plance has reaffirmed his commitment by agreeing to be Club Captain for the 2017 season and signing on for Bath Rugby League. While he is young, he is experienced and mature for his age, a regular with the successful University of Bath Broncos Rugby League side this year who are pushing for promotion from their division to National South League. He has also played for Scotland Students Rugby League, South West Universities, Devon County and South Wales Scorpions (now Ironmen) Rugby League development side. Tom has recently been playing half-back but equally at home in the hooking position, so is a bit of a hooker-cum-half-back.

Tom commented on his appointment:

“It is an honour to be named Club Captain of a new club with a professional environment. Hopefully, with what I have personally achieved over a short period of time since coming to Rugby League, can show my team mates that there are lot of opportunities if you give 100%”

Tom’s housemate Liam Cashman has also agreed to join the club. Liam plays prop and plays for the successful University of Bath Broncos Rugby League side. Liam has also played for Welsh Students Rugby League, South West Universities and South Wales Scorpions (now Ironmen) development side. He went over for a barnstorming try in Bath Broncos narrow final defeat against Nottingham a couple of weeks ago on finals day.

A club spokesperson said:

“It is excellent that Tom has committed to this key position with the club and I am sure both lads will be great additions to the group of people we have at Bath Rugby League. We are really please with the group that has been in training for over a month who are all excellent people. Please watch this space for more exciting announcements”

Bath Rugby League Appoint Burns as Matchday Manager

Andy Burns will oversee and look after all off the field arrangements to ensure match days run smoothly, he was born in Doncaster and has been a life long fan of the Greatest Game (TGG) Rugby League, initially as a supporter of Doncaster Rugby League Club.

Andy moved down to South Wales for work and got involved with a new start up Rugby League Club at the time in Bridgend called Celtic Crusaders. Andy took up the role of Supporters Club Chairman in 2006 and set up the Junior Cru (the Junior Supporters Club) in 2007. Andy stayed in the role until the club folded in 2010.

The club had some success rising through the lower echelons of the professional sport into Super League before owner Leighton Samuel pulled the plug, but luckily now Wales have two fledgling semi-professional outfits plying their trade in Championship One (South Wales Ironmen formerly Scorpions & North Wales Crusaders) and to some extent were effectively born out of the demise of Celtic Crusaders. There is now a relatively strong youth set up in Wales which was started in the days when Celtic Crusaders were established, feeding into both a strong community game and the semi-professional clubs.

Andy played a prominent role in increasing the fan base of the Celtic Crusaders at the time, introducing Juniors to our great game and helped promote the game across a wider area in South Wales. Andy is really enthusiastic about getting back involved with the sport at Bath Rugby League.