Match Summary - Jersey reds 17-38 Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby ended pre-season with a six-try win over Jersey Reds at the Stade Santander International.
Beno Obano, Matt Gallagher, Ben Spencer and Niall Annett all crossed a powerful first-half display with Tom Dunn and Max Green adding to the scoresheet in the second 40.
Piers Francis and Orlando Bailey both kicked two conversions each in the victory.
Annett and Dave Attwood were making their first outings of pre-season while new signings Francis, Gallagher, Aranos Coetzee and Chris Cloete earned further minutes from the start.
Jersey have enjoyed two tough tests against Leicester Tigers and London Irish over the past two weeks and named a 31-player squad for their final match ahead of the 2022/23 Championship season.
Jersey Reds: 15 Scott Van Breda, 14 Ben Woollett, 13 Alex McHenry, 12 Jordan Holgate, 11 Tomi Lewis, 10 Brendan Cope, 9 James Elliott; 1 Sam Grahamslaw, 2 Antonio 'TJ' Harris, 3 Steve Longwell, 4 Hamish Bain, 5 Macauley Cook, 6 James Dun, 7 Lewis Wynne (c), 8 Max Argyle
Replacements: Russell Bennett, Tom Everard, Josh Gray, James Hadfield, Ryan Hutler, Jonny Law, Alun Lawrence, Greg McGrath, James Mitchell, Brendan Owen, Huw Owen, Tom Pittman, Charlie Powell, James Scott, Monty Weatherby
Bath Rugby: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Gabriel Hamer-Webb, 13 Will Butt, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Matt Gallagher, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Ben Spencer (c); 1 Beno Obano, 2 Niall Annett, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 4 Dave Attwood, 5 Josh McNally, 6 Josh Bayliss, 7 Chris Cloete, 8 Jaco Coetzee
Replacements: Orlando Bailey, Lewis Boyce, Arthur Cordwell, Richard de Carpentier, Tom Dunn, Tom Doughty, Michael Etete, Max Green, Johannes Jonker, Ruaridh McConnochie, Cameron Redpath, Louis Schreuder, Will Spencer, JJ Tonks, GJ van Velze, Kieran Verden, Wesley White
From the off, Bath were on it. Francis’ kick-off was pinpoint and Josh McNally earned a penalty with the first collision.
The line-out that followed saw attacking mauling at a rapid rate and from the numerous picks that came thereafter, yards were made each time and Obano eventually powered over from close range.
Jersey’s reply was swift. A maul of their own gave them field position and wing Lewis cut a line under the posts with the conversion levelling the game at 7-7.
Nine minutes in and Bath displayed great dominance at scrum to edge towards the five-metre once more. Chris Cloete barrelled on a few metres and Obano’s charge jolted a pretty stubborn home defence.
Another rumbling maul was stopped and the ball held up over the whitewash as flight K3SZ4SF flew in from London just a fields-length away from the pitch at Stade Santander International.
Turbulence then ensued as Francis and Tom de Glanville were hit late off the ball, but focus remained with the try line in sight.
Before the next Bath points came, Jersey did manage to recoup possession and make some field position, however Attwood put an end to that via some destructive defensive play.
Macauley Cook received a yellow card for encroaching as Johann van Graan’s side continued to advance on their hosts. With a man lighter in the pack, the Blue, Black and White collected penalty after to penalty, leading to Spencer sending a looping pass into Gallagher’s hands to score in the corner.
Scrum-half Spencer turned from provider to finisher moments later as he picked off a pass at a Jersey line-out and hooker Annett was trundled over by the forwards on half-time.
Jersey began the second half much the brighter but found a mean Bath defence in wait which thwarted any passage to the line.
A host of changes came between minutes 41 and 60; Dunn followed Annett’s expert arrows at the line-out while Cameron Redpath matched Max Ojomoh’s battling spirit in the midfield.
The team remained cohesive and connected despite the replacements and Dunn was charged over for five points.
As well as up front, the kicking game was another area Bath took control of and as the clock ticked down, Gabriel Hamer-Webb grabbed control. The wing spotted space in behind, chipped, chased and gather before sending Green hurtling under the posts.
Ruaridh McConnochie, Lewis Boyce and Johannes Jonker came on for important minutes after long spells on the sidelines with injury which was a huge positive, and though Jersey crossed twice late on, it was another successful evening ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
Next up… Bristol Bears.