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REPORT: Bath Rugby 22 - 6 Bristol Rugby

Match Report

Thursday, October 20th 2016

European Rugby Challenge Cup

Bath Rugby 22 - 6 Bristol Rugby*

HT 12-3

Banahan Tries
Priestland Conversions
Priestland (5) Penalties Searle, Geraghty

KO: 7:45PM

Att: 13257

Venue: Recreation Ground

Ref: David Wilkinson


Bath Rugby

  • 1 Nicholas Alexander H. Auterac
  • 2 Michael Thomas van Vuuren
  • 3 Max Alexander Patrick Lahiff
  • 4 Luke Caley Charteris
  • 5 Charlie John Ewels
  • 6 Matthew Robert Garvey
  • 7 Guy Stuart Robinson Mercer
  • 8 Zach Ivan Mercer
  • 9 William Richard J. Homer
  • 10 Rhys Priestland
  • 11 Aled Gwilym Brew
  • 12 Matthew Andrew Banahan
  • 13 Jonathan Byron Alexander Joseph
  • 14 Jeffrey Ian Williams
  • 15 Thomas David William Homer


  • 16 Thomas George Dunn
  • 17 Shaun Adrian Knight
  • 18 Kane Palma-Newport
  • 19 Elliott Richard B. Stooke
  • 20 Leroy Donald Houston
  • 21 Daniel Russell Bowden
  • 22 Adam R. Hastings
  • 23 Semesa Rokoduguni

Bristol Rugby

  • 1 Kyle Traynor
  • 2 Christopher Leslie Brooker
  • 3 Anthony Isaac Perenise
  • 4 Ian Richard Evans
  • 5 James Montague Phillips
  • 6 Mitchell William Eadie
  • 7 Jonathan Alexander T. Fisher
  • 8 Jordan Stephen Crane
  • 9 William Peter Samuel Cliff
  • 10 Billy George Searle
  • 11 Thomas William Varndell
  • 12 William Harry Hurrell
  • 13 Jack Terence Tovey
  • 14 Ryan Luke Edwards
  • 15 Jordan Rhys Williams


  • 16 Robert Andrew Hawkins
  • 17 Jack James O'Connell
  • 18 James Stephen Hall
  • 19 Giorgi Nemsadze
  • 20 Oliver James Robinson
  • 21 Andrew William Uren
  • 22 Shane Joseph James Geraghty
  • 23 Jack Edward Wallace

A spirited display wasn’t quite enough for Bristol as they fell to a 22-6 defeat at the hands of Bath in the European Challenge Cup on Thursday night.

A penalty apiece from Billy Searle and Shane Geraghty completed the scoring for Bristol, while 17 points from the boot of Rhys Priestland and Matt Banahan's late try saw the hosts take the spoils. 

In front of a full house at The Rec, it was an impressive start for Searle who, on debut, waltzed his way through the home defence as early as the third minute before being hauled down just inches short of the whitewash. A scrambling Bath defence regouped and were able to clear their lines courtesy of a penalty, as play reconvened in the Bristol half.

From here, a second Bristol infringement saw Rhys Priestland open the Bath account with a well-struck 40-metre penalty – and after Billy Searle had seen his effort drift wide of the left-hand post, the Welshman doubled the host’s lead with a carbon copy of his first kick.

Searle made amends on 27 minutes when he dissected the uprights with a penalty from just outside the 22 – while in contrast, Tom Homer’s speculative effort from halfway minutes later proved unsuccessful. The home side did eventually increase their lead courtesy of a third Priestland penalty on the half-hour mark, to nudge them into a 9-3 lead.

Bristol were enjoying territory and possession in the Bath half, but were unable to turn pressure into points – while at the other end, Priestland kept the scoreboard ticking with a fourth penalty on the stroke of half-time as Bath took a nine-point lead into the break.

Early in the second-half, one debutant replaced another as Shane Geraghty entered the fray in place of Searle – and former London Irish man’s first action in a Bristol shirt was to fire over a penalty from 30 metres after Bath had infringed at scrum time.

The host’s reply was instantaneous and a surging break from Guy Mercer took play into the Bristol 22, as the number eight returned a long kick down field with interest.

A Banahan charge took Bath to within inches of the line, but their momentum was halted illegally and Priestland obliged from under the posts for 15-6.

Jack Tovey was then sent to the sin-bin by referee David Wilkinson after being deemed to have tackled the man without the ball – and replacement Shane Geraghty followed suit for an alleged no-arm tackle on Aled Brew to leave Bristol down to 13-men.

Tovey returned to the field with two minutes remaining - but with the final play, Matt Banahan raced home from 60 metres to seal the game for Bath, while Priestland’s conversion condemned Bristol to a 22-6 defeat.

Bristol Rugby: Jordan Williams; Ryan Edwards, Jack Tovey, Will Hurrell, Tom Varndell (Wallace 70); Billy Searle (Geraghty 52), Will Cliff (Uren 71); Kyle Traynor (O’Connell 75), Chris Brooker (54), Anthony Perenise (Hall 67), Ian Evans, James Phillips (Nemsadze 67), Mitch Eadie, Jon Fisher (Robinson 65), Jordan Crane (c).

Replacements: Rob Hawkins, Jack O’Connell, James Hall, Giorgi Nemsadze, Olly Robinson, Andy Uren, Shane Geraghty, Jack Wallace.

Bath Rugby: Tom Homer, Jeff Williams, Jonathan Joseph, Matt Banahan, Aled Brew, Rhys Priestland, Will Homer; Nick Auterac, Michael van Vuuren (Dunn 52), Max Lahiff (Palma-Newport 58), Luke Charteris (Stooke 59), Charlie Ewels, Matt Garvey (co-capt.), Guy Mercer (co-capt.), Zach Mercer (Houston 75).

Replacements: Tom Dunn, Shaun Knight, Kane Palma-Newport, Elliott Stooke, Leroy Houston, Dan Bowden, Adam Hastings, Semesa Rokoduguni.

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