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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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