Sunday, 28 October 2012

Moving in the right direction. - Bath Bytes

I sense the positivity is returning to the stands of the Rec. The game against Agen and Chiefs are to thank for this.

With the forwards playing as such a tight unit and powerful, winning ball enabling the backs to spread it wide and release the fast duo on the wings. It now feels to many as Gary Gold's plans he spoke of are now starting to fall into place. I'm not saying that Bath have become the polished complete package, but its now evident how far forward they've moved on from the early few rounds of the Aviva Premiership.

The second half against Agen showed the move forward in development of the squad and how they have become a 'team' not a squad of individuals. To grind out an away win in France, which in no mean feat, showed heart and character in the team.

The first half against Exeter especially the first 20 minutes was so clinical and relentless tearing the Chiefs apart. The second half saw Bath rocked back on the back foot but defensively saw them withstand a pounding making over 100 tackles in the second half. A half that goes on for 54 minutes seeing two teams who just know the importance of the bonus points showed true character and what this fixture meant to them, basically what a true epic battle from both tribes.

Exeter are know as a team not full of individuals but a team who play together and I felt Bath were on a par with them in those steaks, plus the added bonus of the individuals flair.

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Aviva Premiership table after 7 rounds...

Bath Rugby V Exeter - all the match reaction

Bath 23 Exeter Chiefs 15: match report

Former England centre Dan Hipkiss will be relieved that his moment of madness did not prevent Bath from preserving their 34 year unbeaten record their South West rivals.
Hipkiss was sent off after 73 minutes while he was in the sin bin after he prevented Exeter’s Phil Dollman from gathering Stephen Donald’s kick by leaving his seat and palming the ball into the crowd.

It was Hipkiss’s second yellow card offence in six minutes and left referee Wayne Barnes with no option but to issue an automatic red card.

It also forced Bath to play the last seven minutes of a frenetic encounter with 14 men but Exeter could not capitalise. Their attempts to batter Bath into submission were resisted and Stephen Donald sealed the win with a nerveless penalty a minute from time.
Exeter could not salvage a losing bonus point from an error-riddled performance as Ignacio Mieres hooked an injury-time penalty and they never really recovered from conceding to tries in the first 14 minutes when Bath, inspired by the elusive Nick Abendanon and the direct approach of Francois Louw, were dominant.

Read more...

Bath sweating over injuries suffered by Davey Wilson and Francois Louw

Bath head coach Gary Gold was delighted to see his side hold on for a 23-15 victory over Exeter at the Rec.

The hosts led 15-5 at half time but were forced to withstand a tremendous second-half fightback from the Chiefs, who failed to even pick up a losing bonus point for their efforts due to a late missed penalty.

Tries from Ben Williams, Kyle Eastmond, who both crossed before the break, and Francois Louw proved enough for Bath, even though they had Dan Hipkiss red-carded with seven minutes to play in a see-saw contest.

"I'm very proud of the character we showed but not so much of certain aspects of the way we played in the second half, such as the penalty count," Gold said.

"We'll take that win against a team of that quality though. We've got massive respect for Exeter. They're one of the toughest opponents we've played this season."

Read more...

Friday, 26 October 2012

Army star joins Bath Rugby

Semesa Rokoduguni has signed a full time contract with Bath Rugby, the Club can today confirm.

Rokoduguni, a reconnaissance tank soldier of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in the British Army, has impressed during a trial period with the Club, scoring tries on both his appearances with Bath United and being relentless in defence.

He has two caps for the Army, scoring four tries against the Royal Air Force and a hat-trick against the Royal Navy at Twickenham in the more recent, which ensured he was awarded man of the match.

The Fijian is a strong presence in the back line, and will add great strength in depth to the Bath squad.

Gary Gold, Head Coach, commented: "Roko really caught the eye playing for the Army at Twickenham earlier in the year, and continued to do so when he came on trial with us. He's worked hard throughout his time with the Army, but has the desire to play professional rugby and we believe he has the ability to do so. He is strong, quick, and very committed, both during games and training, and we're looking forward to having him in the squad."

Source: Bathrugby.com

“We’ll have to dominate up front if we want to beat Exeter,” – Neal Hatley

Bath return to Premiership duties with a mouth-watering West Country derby against Exeter at The Rec tomorrow.

For forwards coach Neal Hatley, the battle up front will be key against on the best pack in the league.

He told The Rugby Paper: “If we have any aspiration of winning, there is no doubt we’ll have to come on top in those forwards exchanges.

“They pride themselves on their set piece and they are one of the top sides at the breakdown. They work really hard whether it is to slow you down or produce quick ball for themselves.

“Despite two very good displays, they were very unlucky against Leinster and Clermont so they’ll go out to make amends tomorrow. We’ll have to be ready for the battle.”

Bath struggled with consistency in the Premiership but go into the game on the back of two bonus-point wins away from home in the Amlin Cup.

Last week, they trailed Agen all game but managed to clinch a 27-22 win with a try on the siren from Francois Louw.

Even though the moral is high, Hatley is adamant they are aware of the challenge that lies ahead.

Read more...

Bath Rugby team to face Exeter Chiefs

Bath welcome derby rivals Exeter Chiefs to the Recreation Ground on Saturday, kick-off 14.30

15. Nick Abendanon
14. Kyle Eastmond
13. Dan Hipkiss
12. Ben Williams
11. Tom Biggs
10. Stephen Donald
9. Michael Claassens
1. Paul James
2. Lee Mears
3. David Wilson
4. Dominic Day
5. Dave Attwood
6. Carl Fearns
7. Francois Louw (c)
8. Ben Skirving

Replacements

16. Brett Sharman
17. Nathan Catt
18. Anthony Perenise
19. Stuart Hooper
20. Will Skuse
21. Mark McMillan
22. Sam Vesty
23. Horacio Agulla

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Congrats to Davey Wilson...

Named in the England squad for this Autumns internationals...

England squad: Mouritz Botha (Saracens), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), James Haskell (London Wasps), Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Tom Johnson (Exeter Chiefs), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby), Tom Palmer (London Wasps), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers) , Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), David Wilson (Bath Rugby), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Allen (Leicester Tigers), Chris Ashton (Saracens), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins) , Danny Care (Harlequins), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonathan Joseph (London Irish), Ugo Monye (Harlequins), Charlie Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers).

This weeks Chronicle articles on Bath Rugby

Summer signing Horacio Agulla says Bath Rugby's acceptance of his international commitments was the conclusive factor in his decision to head to The Rec.

With the Rugby Championship heavily restricting the Argentine winger's involvement at club level, previous side Leicester Tigers opted not to renew his contract at the end of last season.


New Bath head coach Gary Gold was quick to secure the 28-year-old's services, with Agulla grateful for Bath's backing following his arrival at the club last week – four months after first agreeing to join.

"I always wanted to stay in the Premiership," said Agulla, who arrived at Welford Road in 2010 from French outfit Brive. "I enjoy playing my rugby here and like it more than the Top 14.

"Leicester didn't want me to stay because of the Championship but then they said yes then no many times.

"When I had the option to join Bath and heard they were interested in me and didn't mind that I would be away I was really thankful.

"It is not easy for an Argentina player to find a club at the moment but they trusted me and my game.

Read more...

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Claassens insists Bath Rugby's time is now

In five years at the Rec Michael Claassens has seen a lot of changes - now he admits it's time for the latest incarnation of Bath to prove they can be more than mid-table scrappers.

Currently seventh in the league, Bath welcome sixth-placed Exeter Chiefs this weekend in their return to Aviva Premiership action knowing that anything but a win could see them cut adrift in the race for a top four spot.
Capped eight times by the Springboks, Claassens is now the longest-serving South African at Bath with more and more compatriots joining him in recent seasons.

Top of that list is head coach Gary Gold and Claassens admits he is relishing finally getting the chance to work with Gold.

He said: "I'd heard a lot about Gary but I didn't know him from my time back home so it's great to now have had the chance to work with him.

Read more...

It's official - Koster signs for Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby are very pleased to confirm they have signed 23 year old back row Nick Koster from Western Province.

An impressive and pacey young player, Nick has represented Western Province since the 2008 season. He made his Super 14 debut in 2009 on the wing, but has since reverted to his traditional position in the back row.

At 6ft 4in, Nick is an imposing figure and has represented South Africa at all age group levels. Quick, strong and brave, he will add an extra dimension to the Club's talented back row.

Speaking of the signing, Bath Head Coach, Gary Gold, said: "Nick is a very exciting young player and we are delighted that he has agreed to move to Bath. He is a hard-working, incredibly motivated guy, and we are sure he will fit in with the Club ethos we are developing. We have a very talented and competitive back row at present, and Nick knows he will have to fight for his place, but he is up for the challenge and we can't wait to see the results."

Read more...

Are Bath becoming rugby's version of Liverpool?

Growing up as a Bath supporter I was gifted to watch what can only be described at their 'glory years'. This as a fan was a superb time for me and other followers. Through the 80's and early 90's Bath were simply the dominant force in England. Between 1984 and 1996 only '88 and '91 eluded a clean sweep of John player/Pilkington cup victories, backed up by league champions of the league six times between 1988/89 and 1995/96. The strongest year was 1993/94 when league, cup and Middlesex sevens victory saw them to be the ultimate team.

With Bath being run ultimately as a professional team in an amateur era saw their dominance shine, as the man who masterminded their success Jack Rowell leave to take on the England job it signalled the start of the end of Bath's superiority. Rowell left in 1995 and the sport turned fully professional in 1996, the rest of the chasing pack suddenly were catching them up. The 1995/96 season saw Bath's last double and the 1997/98 saw them become the first British club to become European champions beating Brive 19-18 winning the Heineken cup.

Read more...

Monday, 22 October 2012

Bath United team to face London Welsh A

15. Ollie Devoto
14. Olly Woodburn
13. Sam Vesty
12. Luke Adamson
11. Horacio Agulla
10. Tom Heathcote
9. Mark McMillan
1. Charlie Beech
2. Will Tanner
3. Kane Palma-Newport
4. Jake Oldaker
5. Freddie Clarke
6. James Tyas
7. Guy Mercer
8. Joe Buckle

Replacements

16. Jake Fields
17. Tom Dunn
18. Adam Jamieson
19. Tom Baldwin
20. Josh Ovens
21. Chris Cook
22. JJ Kilmartin
23. Richard Lane

London Welsh A v Bath United - kick-off 19.30

Saturday, 20 October 2012

It was never my ambition to become a Hooker!

I've recently been asked to read and review a book, an honour for me to do as what a book it was as well.

Neil Clark's ' It was never my ambition to become a Hooker' was actually quiet an enlightening piece of scripture, and also quite a gripping tale......its Not all just about rugby. The book runs through the Hookers time at Exeter, Bristol, Bath and Cornish All Blacks then once again back to Exeter and now celebrating his testimonial year with the Cheifs.

A very frank, open and very honest account of his life. A forward for the book written by another renowned Hooker Mark Regan gives a tiny insight into Neil's life but not a scratch on his own version.

The book begins with the players perspective of the second fixture of the Exeter v Bristol championship promotion final. We're given a behind the scenes view of the fixture- before, during and the celebrations of their victorious promotion.

Once the opening chapter is done the book flips back to his childhood. This for me was the truly gritty part as its somebodies childhood who shapes the man they become, and what a topsy-turvey time he had.

A long move when young to the parental issues that can only be described as unbelievable. What he witnessed and went through as a child would of broken many a child's spirit. Luckily through the passage of his story he was gifted with meeting some people who saw good in this tearaway. For all of his wrong doings and mistermeaners there was people who saw good and helped him turn his life around.

He was a late comer to rugby but eventually came to the realisation this was the pathway for him, turning his back on his beloved surfing.

As the book progresses we hear of his physical and personal development. He met some fantastic connections in the game and became passionate to make it his life.

Read more...

Friday, 19 October 2012

Agen were a tough nut to crack, admits relieved Davis

Coming away from Agen with a 27-22 win and a four-try bonus point was all the Bath coaching team could wish from their Amlin excursion to south west France.

Clinching the victory with a Francois Louw try in the finalminute which needed the television match official's approval was less convincing, along with a first-half performance littered with missed tackles and misplaced kicks.
Always fighting a fiercely swirling wind, which the locals claimed had blown in from the Sahara, Bath's kicking from hand in the first half was often too long, giving easy possession to the home side. Being behind 10-8 at the break concentrated the mind wonderfully for a second 40 performance which was much more controlled, even if it took until the last second to seal the win.

Read more...

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Bath Rugby team to face SU Agen

15. Nick Abendanon
14. Kyle Eastmond
13. Dan Hipkiss
12. Ben Williams
11. Tom Biggs
10. Stephen Donald
9. Michael Claassens
1. Paul James
2. Lee Mears
3. David Wilson
4. Dominic Day
5. Dave Attwood
6. Francois Louw ( c )
7. Will Skuse
8. Ben Skirving

Replacements

16. Will Tanner
17. Nathan Catt
18. Anthony Perenise
19. Guy Mercer
20. Josh Ovens
21. Mark McMillan
22. Sam Vesty
23. Olly Woodburn

Amlin part 1- It may not be the Heineken but let's win this baby!!

Quite noticeably the fixture list for Bath Rugby this season will be missing the Heineken cup, a loss that will sadden many a supporter.......but At least there's the Amlin Challenge Cup. It may not be top flight European rugby but it still means the Blue, Black and White roaming army can flit off to foreign climes for hope of some European victory.

So who will Bath be facing in this fresh challenge- Agen, Bucharest Wolves and Cammi Rubgy Calvisano.

After a loss to local rivals Gloucester in the premiership Bath wanted to return to winning ways and show what they are really about this season. A two week premiership break lay ahead in which they were going to have a little European wander.
Their first fixture sees them off for a nifty little jaunt of 1730miles to Bucharest in Romania to play their team the Wolves. A little bit of an unknown quantity, so how much resistance will they show Bath?

Vesty honoured with the duties of the boot started the ball rolling in the first minute, starting how he meant to go on by taking an early three points. A show of dominant play ensued for Bath and Vesty added a further three to the board 12 minutes in.

Ollie Devoto gifted with his first start to Bath nailed a penalty kick into touch well into Wolves territory putting Bath firmly on the front foot. A well taken lineout saw the ball swiftly distributed through the hands (it can be done) finally ending in the hand of young Will Spencer who obliged in scoring Bath's first try. With Vesty adding the extra two points Bath were 0-13 to the good 23 minutes in to the game.

Read more...

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Bath to use Eastmond at fly-half

Bath boss Gary Gold could use Kyle Eastmond at fly-half after the former rugby league star excelled in the role in their Amlin Challenge Cup clash with Bucuresti on Saturday.

Eastmond has been turning out on the wing for Bath and has made nine appearances in the Premiership and scored two tries to date. Standing at just 5'7" he's already drawn comparisons with former England great Jason Robinson but rather than staying out on the wings or at fullback like the ex-Sale player, Eastmond could be used in the thick of it at fly-half, according to Gold.

Eastmond came on as a second-half replacement for Jack Cuthbert in Bath's win and Gold was impressed by his showing at fly-half. "He wanted an opportunity in a less-pressurised situation to see how he goes and he was very good," Gold told the BBC. "It's a weapon we are investigating a little bit further."

Read more...

Sunday, 14 October 2012

David Flatman: Unlike that bloke Armstrong, I once failed a drugs test

Hang on a minute; let me add some context to this headline before you damn me as the next Lance Armstrong. What I am about to describe is a week so dreadful that a failed drugs test will seem insignificant. Yes, a letter written entirely in French landed in my pigeon hole and yes, I had to have Thomas Castaignède translate it for me but, to be honest, by that point I had resigned myself to a career in the shadows anyway.
It all began one crisp Monday morning as I rolled into camp with the England A squad for a match against France A. It was a big game, so the lead-up was crucial. "Passports please," said the team manager, and this is where it all started. By Wednesday afternoon, and against all odds, I had a new passport. Sadly, to achieve this I had to miss every training session and tactical briefing. The fact that my original passport dropped out of my wash bag (where I had placed it so as not to lose it) as I packed for the airport is something I have kept a secret from all but my dog. Let's call it an exclusive.

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Tom Bradshaw: Schedule has done Bath no favours

Spare a thought over the next few days for Bath's rugby operations manager, Dave Guyan. In what is no doubt proving to be a logistical nightmare, Bath play two different continental sides in the space of five days.

Bath's opening two rounds of the Amlin Cup will see them zig-zag around Europe as though on a very ambitious tour.

It's Bucharest on Saturday, followed by Agen in France in Thursday. It must have been tempting to fit in a bit of central European sightseeing in the intervening few days, but it will be back to Bath straight after the Bucharest match before flying out to Agen midweek.

This fixture schedule is not ideal for Bath. I doubt it was on the agenda when European rugby chiefs met in Rome on Monday, but this cramped planning does not do European rugby's second-tier competition any favours.

Rugby coaches do not like short turnarounds. A match every seven days is fine; if they see a six-day gap they start to frown; a five-day turnaround is likely to bring on the sweats.

Read more...

Bath Rugby start European campaign with bonus point win

Bath Rugby started their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign with a five try bonus point win over Bucharest Wolves, final score 17-40.

Fullback Sam Vesty secured an early lead for Bath inside the first minute with a well struck penalty. It was a lead he doubled on the 12th minute, after the home side were found guilty of pulling down a strong driving maul from the visitors. 0-6

Bath dominated the early exchanges, and whilst Vesty missed with his third penalty attempt, it wasn't long before they had their first try of the match.

Ollie Devoto, on his first start for the Club, kicked for the corner from a penalty, and a well taken lineout saw the ball moved quickly through the hands in the Bucharest 22. It eventually found Academy lock Will Spencer who powered over from short range. Vesty's conversion was good, extending the lead to 0-13 after 23 minutes.

Bucharest had barely made it out of their own half in the opening stages, and it went from bad to worse for the Romanian side as prop Flavius Dobre saw yellow after the referee's impatience ran out with the persistent indiscipline. Vesty was once more on target with the resulting penalty. 0-16.

Read more...

Friday, 12 October 2012

Bath Rugby team to face Bucharest Wolves

15 Sam Vesty
14 Olly Woodburn
13 Jack Cuthbert
12 Ben Williams
11 Tom Biggs
10 Ollie Devoto
9 Mark McMillan
1 Nathan Catt
2 Ross Batty
3 Anthony Perenise
4 Will Spencer
5 Dave Attwood
6 Ben Skirving ( c )
7 Guy Mercer
8 Will Skuse

Replacements:

16 Brett Sharman
17 Charlie Beech
18 Kane Palma-Newport
19 Dominic Day
20 Francois Louw
21 Chris Cook
22 Kyle Eastmond
23 Nick Abendanon

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Bath Rugby on TV

Confirmed by Premier Rugby today...

Round 10

Friday 30th November 19:45 Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints Salford City Stadium ESPN

Saturday 1st December 12:30 Leicester Tigers v Bath Rugby Welford Road ESPN

Sunday 2nd December 15:00 Saracens v Gloucester Rugby Vicarage Road Sky

Round 11

Saturday 22nd December 13:15 Bath Rugby v Saracens The Rec ESPN

Saturday 22nd December 15:15 Northampton Saints v Harlequins Franklin's Gardens Sky

Sunday 23rd December 14:00 London Wasps v Sale Sharks Adams Park ESPN

Round 12

Saturday 29th December 14:15 Harlequins v London Irish Twickenham Stadium ESPN

Saturday 29th December 17:00 Leicester Tigers v Gloucester Rugby Welford Road Sky

Sunday 30th December 14:15 Saracens v Northampton Saints Stadium MK ESPN

Round 13

Friday 4th January 20:00 Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers Sixways ESPN

Saturday 5th January 15:00 Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints Sandy Park Sky

Sunday 6th January 15:00 London Wasps v Bath Rugby Adams Park Sky

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Vesty happy to be Bath Rugby's man for all seasons

Versatility is as much a curse as it is a blessing but Bath Rugby's Sam Vesty insists he is happy to fill in wherever required for Gary Gold's side.


The 30-year-old made his first start for the West Country club in the 16-10 Aviva Premiership defeat to Gloucester Rugby last weekend at Kingsholm, slotting in at inside centre.
However the former Leicester Tigers utility back is equally at home at fly-half or full-back and is adamant that as long as he is playing he doesn't mind where he starts.

And he admits that the departure of teammate Olly Barkley to Racing Métro means that he will have to step up in the Bath backline.

He said: "I'm happy to play wherever for Bath. I know there are some guys who think they should stick to playing one position and only want to play there but I've always been happy wherever I start.

"I can play at fly-half, inside centre or full-back I really don't mind.

Read more...

Bath welcome arrival of Argentina wing Horacio Agulla

Bath coach Toby Booth says the arrival of winger Horacio Agulla will bring "positive pressure" to the squad.
Agulla, 27, agreed a move in the summer but has yet to make his debut because of his international commitments with Argentina in the Rugby Championship.
The former Leicester man arrives in Bath next week and will add depth to the back line which already boasts in-form wings Tom Biggs and Kyle Eastmond.
"It will provide us with a much-needed boost," Booth told BBC Radio Bristol.
"We need to bolster our squad size and numbers as we're a little bit thin.

Read more...

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Bath surrender ten-point lead in fifth straight derby defeat

MATCH REPORT: Gloucester 16 Bath Rugby 10

Resurgent Gloucester overturned a ten-point deficit to register their fifth straight West Country derby victory over Bath Rugby.

When All Blacks World Cup winner Stephen Donald ghosted through a non-existent defence for a try after just one minute, Kingsholm was stupefied.

It was not just that Donald try that had Gloucester on the rocks from the off – the Cherry and Whites had no forward power, no phase play – and for the first time they were smashed backwards in the scrum.

The first-up midfield defence continues to pose Gloucester problems, as shown by that soft Donald try.

Nick Abendanon knocked on with the tryline at his mercy after Kyle Eastmond had sneaked in behind James Simpson-Daniel.

Donald’s penalty extended the lead to 10-0, and that’s how it stayed until the half-hour.

Gloucester found something resembling their feet, and Freddie Burns was able to slot two penalties in as many minutes to cut the deficit to four points.

Turning around within a score after a horror-show half, Gloucester will definitely have wiped their brow in relief.

And when the teams returned, Gloucester struck the right chords.

Burns could not convert a penalty chance six minutes into the second period, but the unfazed home side sustained their pressure.

Read more...

Friday, 5 October 2012

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT! - RFOTR

At yesterday’s (Oct 4th) Bath Recreation Ground Trust meeting David Dixon (Councillor - Chair of the Trust) made a brief but highly significant announcement. The Charity Commission (CC) will soon publish their ‘Scheme’ for the Recreation Ground (Rec) which will deal with land use at the Rec. There will then be a statutory notice period of 28 days within which people can send comments into the CC. This will not be a consultation like the one 18 months ago, as this time free form comments will go directly to the CC. When the ‘Scheme’ is published there will be a special Recreation Ground Trust meeting when the Trust will announce their plans to publicise the ‘Scheme’ and outline how people can send comments into the CC. The Recreation Ground Trust will also respond to questions about the CC ‘Scheme’.

This is very positive news as once the 28 day statutory notice period has passed, and should the CC finally adopt the ‘Scheme', the way will be clear for planning applications to be submitted for development on the Rec. We will, of course, let RFOTR members know how and when they can submit their comments to the CC. It is expected that this will be before the end of the year.

Significantly, members should also be aware that the outcome of the consultation that took place 18 months ago was key in getting the Charity Commission to move ahead with a ‘Scheme’ for land use on the Rec.

We are moving steadily forward in enabling the Rec to become a great venue for ‘All Sports for All People’!

CONTACTS
You can contact the Executive Committee via email at contact@realfriendsoftherec.co.uk

Real Friends Of The Rec

Bath Rugby team to face Glaws tomorrow

15. Nick Abendanon
14. Kyle Eastmond
13. Dan Hipkiss
12. Sam Vesty
11. Tom Biggs
10. Stephen Donald
9. Michael Claassens

1. Paul James
2. Lee Mears ( c )
3. Davey Wilson
4. Dominic Day
5. Dave Attwood
6. Carl Fearns
7. Ben Skirving
8. Simon Taylor

Replacements

16. Ross Batty
17. Nathan Catt
18. Anthony Perenise
19. Will Spencer
20. Will Skuse
21. Mark McMillan
22. Ollie Devoto
23. Jack Cuthbert

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Bath Rugby Club: Rec land swap deal gets 'thumbs up'

An announcement over a significant land-swap deal is due to be made later, enabling the expansion of Bath Rugby Club.

The BBC understands the Recreation Ground Trust has given a "thumbs up in principle" for the proposal.

The swap involves Bath Rugby Club giving up its former training ground in Lambridge in exchange for a bigger part of the recreation ground.

If the deal is made, permission will be needed from the Charity Commission.

Planning application
The Charity Commission will then begin a 28-day public consultation before making its final decision.

If the commission agrees the plans are in the best interests of the trust, then a planning application will be submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council.

The area currently occupied by the rugby club takes up just over a quarter of the total space at the Rec.

Previous plans by the club to redevelop the ground were turned down by the Charity Commission in 2009.

A meeting is due to be held by the Recreation Ground Trust at 18.30 BST.

Source: BBC

This weeks Chronicle articles on Bath Rugby

Olly Barkley thanked Bath Rugby fans for their 'unconditional' backing after playing his last game for his hometown club on Saturday.

The France-bound back was presented with an engraved blue glass rugby ball by the Bath Rugby Supporters' Club following the win over Sale Sharks to recognise Barkley's status as a fans' favourite.

read them now...

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Bath Rugby sign Nick Koster?

...from the rumour mill!

Nick Koster

Position: Loose Forward
Physical: 1.93m, 110kg
Born: 22 February 1989, Robertson
Province: WP
WP Caps: 32
WP Points: 35(7)
WP Debut: 2008 v Boland
Stormers Caps: 19
Stormers Points: 10(2)
Stormers Debut: 2009 v The Sharks

Big, strong, quick and with excellent ball skills, Nick has all the attributes of a top quality loose forward. Despite his young age Nick already has significant senior and Super Rugby experience. Nick will be looking to continue his rapid rise and will be competing for a place amongst some world class loose forwards.

Profile source: Stormers Website

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Five try Bath United see off London Irish

A dominant Bath United put five tries past London Irish this evening to secure their second bonus point win in the Aviva A League in as many weeks.

Tries from Guy Mercer, Ollie Devoto, Will Skuse, Chris Cook and Semesa Rokoduguni, in addition to 12 points from Devoto's boot proved too much for Irish, who could only manage one converted try for fullback Foster Horan in response.

Source: Bath Rugby

Monday, 1 October 2012

Bath victory as Barkley sets Sale for France

After the poor performance from Bath last week against London Irish everybody was hoping for a good win against Sale, especially to give Olly Barkley a farewell to remember.

Many will disagree with me but I left the Rec feeling positive about Bath's performance. There was signs that intention of the game plan was starting to take shape.
Yes some kicks were fruitless and poorly executed, but quite a few were lofted high giving the players to Chase down and add pressure. In the first half Biggs executed this brilliantly nearly forcing the player into touch he inturn threw the ball wildly back in field to bobble into the hands of an oncoming Donald, sadly Sale managed to halt his progress.

At times there was an air of frustration when Bath's back line took the ball and on several occasions instead of releasing either Biggs or Eastmond opted to dink through for them to Chase. In that situation isn't ball in hand in more secure than chasing an oval bobbling ball? I understand when facing a flat heavy defence it could be a good option, but a one-on-one with the dancing feet of Kyle 'Michael Flatly' Eastmond I know where my money would lying.

Yes the game was at times a little scrappy but a fan I saw the improvements were there to be seen. For some they require perfection and the point Sale are yet to win a fixture could be passed, I'm pretty sure as a fan a 21 point victory regardless of who it is is a positive step to take away from the game?

Hipkiss tackled like a man possessed even if he was seeming mildly concussed at one period, one concern was the huge hit he did make may see him up against the citing committee again. He may of received his man of the match award but me personally saw a man with a stronger performance and he scored! Stand up and take the plaudits Davey Wilson. Every breakdown he was there and on the ball he was like a rampaging bull, which is what lead to his try, a move he started and finished.
As all Bath fans may wonder and pose the question......why is Biggs not in the English set up? Between him and Wade there is only one victor. Rugbying abilities its hands down Tom Biggs all the way. When he unleashed a tackle that made everybody in the Rec's bones crack its true proof this guy is more than just a speedster. To take a lose pass From Barkley and chip and Chase down the wing taking Play 60/70m down the park and force Sale into conceding a penalty is another display of his insight on how to read the game move it forward when you as an individual aren't receiving much ball. So Mr Lancaster please take note get Biggs sporting the Red Rose on his chest.

Everybody knew it would be an emotional send off for Barks and this would be the case. He played with his normal kicking continuity and even passed a lot more than kicked. And what a dream finish it must of been by scoring the last kick if the match and his last appearance in the Blue, Black and white colours.His heartfelt speech at the end showed he's not just a Bath player but also a Bath supporter. You could sense the teams loss with the unified lap of honour finishing with the squad bringing him home with a guard of honour clapping through the tunnel. Mr Barkley you may be gone but won't be forgotten!

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