On Thursday night, Bath Rugby sent a team to the London Floodlit Sevens which took place at Rosslyn Park RFC.
The first game of the evening was against the University Barbarians consisting of half Oxford and half Loughborough University students. The boys made a comfortable start to the game dominating at the breakdown and denying the students possession of the ball.
Bath went in at half time three tries up with the pick of the bunch coming from Bath University student Sam Miller. The second half was a similar affair with the Barbarians scoring a consolation try towards the end of the game. Young academy flanker, Joe Buckle, put in an outstanding overall performance with the game finishing 34-5.
Bath Rugby's second pool game was against the home team, Rosslyn Park, who showed their experience starting physically and going a try up early on. Bath fought back well scoring two tries before half time.
Rosslyn Park began to tire in the second half allowing Bath to gain the upper hand scoring three unanswered tries with help from man of the match Academy player, Tom Baldwin
Bath then faced an evenly matched Wasps side in the semi-finals, getting off to a good start scoring first only for Wasps to equalise shortly after. Only an impressive diving cover tackle from first team scrum half Chris Cook denying a try for Wasps just before half time.
It was Bath who came out firing in the second half and after a pinpoint cross field kick from Freddie Gabbitass, outstandingly collected by Luke Carter to score in the corner. Wasps were able to score again but it was Bath who finished strongly closing the game out to win 24-12, progressing to face defending champions Harlequins in the final.
The Harlequins team was littered with sevens experience from club captain Will Skinner and England sevens player Ollie Lindsay-Hague in their ranks and this was evident from the start and the Bath team struggled to get their hands on the ball. Harlequins made possession pay and went in at half time 17-0 up. Bath had a couple of opportunities in the second half to close the gap, twice crossing the line but failing to score. The game finished 29-0 to Harlequins who retained their title.
Bath Academy coach, John Palmer, reflected on the evening saying "This tournament has been a great experience for the guys and they have learnt a lot."
By Scott Hobson