Five Bath Rugby Academy players were involved in Team Bath’s fourth BUCS Super Rugby win in a row against Swansea.
England Under-20 hooker Jasper Spandler scored a hat-trick in the hard-earned 24-7 victory with Eddie Erskine, Mackenzie Graham, Thompson Cowan and Louie Hennessey also featuring.
Replacement Haydn Barnes added a late try to secure a bonus point for the Bath Building Society-sponsored men’s 1st XV on a cold, windy night at the Team Bath Sports Training Village.
All four tries came from line-outs and Mark Lilley, Forwards Coach for the University of Bath’s Rugby Performance Squad, was delighted to see the hard work in training get its reward.
“The driving maul is something we pride ourselves on and spend a lot of time on, so it’s very pleasing,” he said.
“It was a proper tough game. There was quite a strong wind that we played into in the second half and credit to Swansea, they kept coming at us, but the boys really worked hard to pick up a good five-point win in the end.
“We take great confidence from the run we are on and there is a real energy right across the club. The way the boys are applying themselves has been excellent.”
Swansea were first on the scoresheet as prop Tom Furtado Mills forced his way over after Team Bath had repelled a number of sorties on their line following a five-metre line-out. Harri Williams added the conversion.
Team Bath, who had been denied a try in the third minute when Zac Rodber was stopped just inches from the line, were only behind for four minutes before Spandler got his first of the night from a line-out drive. Luca Mignot’s excellent conversion in windy conditions levelled the scores.
Forwards coach Lilley played his part in Team Bath’s second try, telling Spandler to use a pre-rehearsed short line-out routine. It worked a treat as Graham took the ball and burst through before passing back inside for Spandler to touch down.
Team Bath reverted to their regular driving maul for their third try of the half, Spandler again touching down as the hosts went into half-time with a 17-7 lead.
Swansea had the wind behind them in the second half and put Team Bath under plenty of pressure, the home team not helping their cause by conceding a succession of penalties.
They stood strong defensively, though, to prevent Swansea getting on the scoresheet before finally putting the result beyond doubt with three minutes to go. Again, the try came from a driving maul, with replacement Barnes this time getting the touchdown to secure the bonus point.
Mignot’s conversion completed the scoring for Team Bath, who now face testing back-to-back away trips to Exeter (30 November) and Cardiff (7 December). They then return to the Sports Training Village on Wednesday 14 December to face Leeds Beckett in their last match before Christmas (kick-off 18:30, free to watch).