Bath Rugby U18's faced Gloucester Rugby U18's on Saturday in their second fixture of the Premiership Rugby U18 League.
The Blue, Black and White made just one change to the side that beat Exeter Chiefs U18 64-5 in the season opener, with Archie Griffin making his return to the side on the bench.
Bath travelled to Hartpury College in search of a second win on the bounce, but it was Gloucester who got the first points on the board through George Barton who slotted a penalty after 14 minutes. [3-0]
Ollie Palmer extended Gloucester's lead just four minutes later, as the winger ran 80 metres to score the first try of the game. [8-0]
Mid way through the half, Bath hit back with a try of their own. Orlando Bailey put a clever chip through the Gloucester defence and collected his own kick to take play deep inside the Gloucester 22. After a couple of phases, Nahum Merigan showed his handling skills with a superb miss pass out to Diego Periel on the wing. The centre still had work to do, but managed to beat his man and wriggle his way in to score. [8-5]
Gloucester went over five minutes before the break to extend their narrow lead. In similar fashion to their first effort, Gloucester spotted a hole in Bath defence and Joe Howard ran in from halfway. A successful conversion gave Gloucester a ten-point lead going into the break. [15-5]
Half-time – Gloucester Rugby U18’s 15-5 Bath Rugby U18’s
Barton extended the Cherry and Whites lead two minutes into the second half. A successful penalty kick gave his side a healthy buffer. [18-5]
Bath reduced the deficit moments later with their second try of the afternoon. Good interplay in the midfield from Bailey and Merigan allowed Bath to get into a threatening attacking position. George Worboys then found Owen Dudman, who did well to draw in two defenders before offloading to Will Hendy, who provided the impressive finish. [18-10]
Archie Stanley, Archie Griffin, Frankie Read and Tom Carr-Smith all came off the bench to make powerful impacts to the Bath side. It was Read, who got his side to back within touching distance as he charged down a Gloucester kick to score under the posts. Worboys added the extras to narrow the gap to just one point with just over 20 minutes left on the clock. [18-17]
It was Gloucester who took their lead back up to five points with their fourth of the game. Number eight Jack Clement spotted a gap in the ruck and made his way deep inside the Bath half before finding Isaac Marsh outside him to score.
The game concluded with a surge of sustained pressure from the visitors, a series of pick and go’s in the Gloucester red zone leading to a yellow card for the hosts. The forwards continued to work hard, making valuable metres before releasing the backs. Slick hands from Bailey created space out wide for Gabriel Goss who sneaked in over the try line on the left wing. The final kick of game from out wide fell just short of the uprights, as Gloucester clinched a narrow 23-22 victory. [23-22]
Full-time – Gloucester Rugby U18’s 23-22 Bath Rugby U18’s