Match Summary - Coventry Rugby 7-38 Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby scored six tries in their first match of pre-season as Head of Rugby Johann van Graan’s rein began with a 38-7 victory over Coventry Rugby.
It was the first run out for some of Bath Rugby’s 2022/23 additions, with van Graan opting for two different XVs for each half.
In the first 40, wing Gabe Goss and hooker Tom Doughty crossed for tries, both converted by Piers Francis, while four scores came in the second period.
Tom Dunn burrowed over before a Ben Spencer try while Gabriel Hamer-Webb and Jaco Coetzee rounded off a positive afternoon.
First half - Coventry rugby 7-14 bath rugby
There was a good show of intent from Bath’s first half XV as early dominant tackles set the scene as well as some superb jackaling from newcomer Wesley White.
Another back row in Richard de Carpentier was also a nuisance at the breakdown as the Blue, Black and White defended strongly in the opening quarter, but it was Coventry who got the game’s first points through Fred Betteridge’s close-range finish.
Bath grew into the contest and searched from coast to coast for an opening. A Tom de Glanville goose-step saw the full-back make ground and following a series of powerful phases, Goss was put into the corner by de Carpentier’s pinpoint pass.
Francis added the extras from out wide and it wasn’t long before the England international had a second successful conversion, this time coming after Doughty took cover at the back of a strongly driven maul to crash over.
Coventry approached Bath’s try line on numerous occasions before the half was up, but Bath were defensively sound, much to Defence Coach JP Ferreira’s delight.
First Half XV
15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Will Parry, 13 Will Butt, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Gabe Goss, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Max Green; 1 Arthur Cordwell, 2 Tom Doughty, 3 Kieran Verden, 4 Josh Dingley, 5 GJ van Velze, 6 Nahum Merigan, 7 Wesley White, 8 Richard de Carpentier
Second half - coventry rugby 0-24 bath rugby
A new team for the second half but similar intensity as Bath’s senior players led from the front with a turnover from Beno Obano and territory secured by a striding Josh McNally. Debutants Aranos Coetzee and Michael Etete also asserted their set-piece dominance to make a stamp on the game.
Capitalising on their pitch position and dominance, Bath added their first of four second-half tries early in the 40 minutes. Similar to Doughty, hooker Dunn threw expertly at the line-out and was walked over by his pack teammates.
A quiet word for Bath came from the referee after conceding consecutive penalties and Coventry aimed for gold in the corner but were disrupted at the maul by the long arms of McNally.
Bath’s defence turned into attack following a positive exit and from a well-worked set-piece move, they struck again. Chris Cloete peeled away from a set maul and offloaded to a charging Jaco Coetzee who broke free of the home defence. He looked for support and found it in Spencer and the scrum-half collected to sprint home.
Van Graan’s team continued on the front foot and expressed themselves where possible. A brutal scrum offered penalty advantage which wasn’t needed as Matt Gallagher straightened before releasing Hamer-Webb on a mazy sprint into the corner.
The wing almost score a superb effort from his own 22 before being hauled down on the opposition’s. He did play a part in the final try of the match as he rose high to gather Gallagher’s perfectly executed bomb.
In support, Jaco Coetzee rampaged on and Bailey’s boot ended a positive afternoon.
Second half XV
15 Matt Gallagher, 14 Gabriel Hamer-Webb, 13 Louie Hennessey, 12 Cameron Redpath, 11 Byron Lloyd-Gilmour, 10 Orlando Bailey, 9 Ben Spencer ©; 1 Beno Obano, 2 Tom Dunn, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 4 Michael Etete, 5 Josh McNally, 6 Josh Bayliss, 7 Chris Cloete, 8 Jaco Coetzee