Bath v Clifton
Up and running
By Herbie Gale
After last week’s dominant display we turned up at Bath expecting a fierce challenge, especially at the breakdown, and we were not disappointed.
The game started off with Clifton showing great physicality in our carries, leading to an early try from George in what was an excellent start. This was then followed up by great pressure straight off the restart and we found ourselves with a lineout close to Bath's line.
This allowed Callum to peel off the back of a powerful maul and bump off a few defenders on his way to the try line to make it 10-0 to Clifton
Bath then found their feet and began to pressure us, using our supposed ill-discipline at the ruck to their advantage and they eventually crossed the line to make it 10-7. This was a frustrating period of play where many boys felt the ref was being overly harsh at ruck-time, me included.
At halftime we unloaded the bench and began the second half knowing that we had a serious game on our hands. However, the ref woes continued and Bath were piling on the pressure thanks to their big number 8 who kicked them down the pitch into our 22.
Some good goal-line defence led to a highly celebrated penalty which would ease the pressure for a little while at least.
But Bath would not go away and they began to push back up the pitch, tiring the Clifton boys out, or maybe that was just me… Anyway this progress was then brought to a halt as Sam Costley intercepted a wayward pass and sprinted half the pitch to dot down under the posts. This not only relieved the pressure on the pitch but also the scoreboard which now stood at 17-7 to Clifton.
Bath picked up where they left off and used a penalty to pin us back on our try-line. They then used our highly rated lamppost ball but with a slight twist as they decided to hold back Reuben and Grubby in the lineout meaning a convenient path opened up for Bath to score.
This obviously did not go down too well with the boys but we picked ourselves back up with the scoreboard at 17-14 going into the last 10 minutes.
After some late pressure from Clifton, proving that Alex’s fitness work is worthwhile, we ended up with a penalty on the Bath line.
George Taylor then bundled his way over to give us a 24-12 win in our first cup match of the season.