3rd June 2017, 13:02 | west_of_england
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.
Next league game:
Saturday 10th June 2017
West of England Pool 1 - KO 1430
Chippenham RFC, Allington Fields
Bath RL v Oxford Cavaliers RL
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.