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Bath Rugby youngsters seize their chance in LV Cup demolition

 

A largely youthful Bath Rugby side, featuring several players making senior debuts, seized their chance to shine in convincing style with a demolition of hapless London Welsh in their LV Cup fixture.

The Bath scrum enjoyed complete dominance throughout

The Bath scrum enjoyed complete dominance throughout

Captain Charlie Ewels built on his outstanding debut performance of last week to lead from the front back in his customary position of lock forward, and he was aided and abetted in so small measure by fellow second row Tom Ellis, blindside flanker Max Northcote-Green, second row Marcus Garratt and centre Max Clark, as the Rec faithful gained some fascinating insight into the next generation of talent.

You had to feel sorry for London Welsh, a side bereft of confidence and increasingly hope, put to the sword week-in, week-out in the Premiership, they must have travelled in the hope that a Bath team shorn of all of its top names would give them an opportunity to get on the front foot and hope for a first win of the season. All of that hope was dashed from the start as Bath tore into them, playing with pace and width and dominating the scrum and the breakdown.

To be fair, the youngsters of Bath were galvanised by the likes of Gavin Henson and Matt Banahan, international quality players who are finding it hard to get game time in the first choice selection due to the depth of talent and form of the team in recent weeks, and they led from the front, continually forcing the exiles onto the defensive under great pressure.

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Henson probed and pulled the strings and Banahan showed glimpses of his best, blasting into contact and releasing late to supporting runners as he committed the defence. Both enjoyed outstanding matches.

Where Bath really showed their superiority though was up front. The front row of Auterac, Batty and Kane Palma Newport again proved that they can be relied upon to perform at the highest levels of club rugby and all have years ahead to meet their full potential. Mercer, Sisi and Northcote Green lorded it over their opponents in the back row.

The backs revelled in the space and forward momentum that the pack provided and Ollie Devoto had another notable all round game, carrying, tackling and kicking beautifully all afternoon. Olly Woodburn again showed his predatory instincts with another well-worked finish to add to his increasing collection and Northcote Green’s workrate was rewarded with two tries on a debut he won’t easily forget.

Yet another penalty after more forward dominance

Yet another penalty after more forward dominance

London Welsh are, of course, very limited indeed and it starts to look increasingly possible that they could go through the whole season without winning a competitive fixture. A damning indictment of the structure of the English club game.

We shouldn’t read too much into the result of course, this is the least important competition in the calendar and London Welsh almost certainly the weakest side Bath will face all season, but it was great to watch the strength in depth and young players laying down a real marker for the future.

Bath Rugby

15. Luke Arscott
14. Olly Woodburn
13. Matt Banahan
12. Ollie Devoto
11. Horacio Agulla
10. Gavin Henson
9. Chris Cook
1. Nick Auterac
2. Ross Batty
3. Kane Palma-Newport
4. Tom Ellis
5. Charlie Ewels (c)
6. Max Northcote-Green
7. Guy Mercer
8. David Sisi

Replacements

16. Tom Dunn
17. Nathan Catt
18. Juan Pablo Orlandi
19. Marcus Garratt
20. Tom Woolstencroft
21. Micky Young
22. Max Clark
23. Richard Lane

 
 
 

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