Romans march on after the cup
By Chris Chatten
The first West of England Rugby League 9’s competition was held on Saturday 4th July 2015 in Swindon hosted by Swindon St. George at the Supermarine Club. Rugby League 9’s is the league codes version of 7’s with very similar rules to the 13 a side game, fixtures are 9 minutes each way with 5 forwards and 4 backs.
West of England Premier League teams Bath & Wiltshire Romans RLFC, Swindon St George, Cheltenham Phoenix and Bristol Sonics entered sides along with touring team Surrey Sharks and Swindon RU.
The final was contested by Cheltenham Phoenix and Bath & Wiltshire Romans RLFC. Interesting the two sides met only a couple of weeks ago in the West of England Challenge Cup when new club the Romans ran out 40-10 winners, but this time it was Cheltenhams turn to win the cup as they won the final 10-0. However, the Romans intriguingly beat Cheltenham in the league format 26-22 in one of the most exciting games of the afternoon as it was nip and took for both sides till the end of the game.
The Romans are having a highly successful debut season and have recruited a good mix of university players, army personnel and local RU recruits. They are currently top of the West of England Premier League.
Paul Riley (Romans Captain) was at the hub of most of the attacking play guiding the team around the park, with others also impressing including youngster Huw Parks who has previous played for Wales Exiles under 18s in the other code and has been one of the finds of the season. Joe Knight also showed good go forward having signed from Trowbridge RU. Young winger Jack Porteus also scored some impressive tries with league novice Michael Perry also getting on the score sheet.
The Romans took the opportunity to field a mix of experienced players and new personnel. All players showed up well making a case for selection in next weeks West of England League fixture back at Swindon against Swindon St George on Saturday 11th July 2015 KO 2.30pm.
Other forthcoming fixtures for the Romans are as follows, note that home fixtures are played at Leafy Lane, Corsham:
Saturday 18th July 2015 KO 2.30pm V Cheltenham Phoenix (Home)
Saturday 1st August 2015 KO 2.30pm V Somerset Vikings (Away)
Saturday 8th August 2015 KO 2.30pm V Bristol Sonics (Home)
Bristol Sonics (Away) TBC
League play offs will commence in mid August and could run onto the middle of September depending how far the club can go. The club are also seeking to arrange some friendly fixtures on free weekends and some mid week fixtures against other clubs in the south.
For further information about Rugby League in the South West please visit the below website:
West of England 9s
Pitch 1 Pitch 2
Bath & Wilts Romans 26 22 Cheltenham Phoenix Bristol Sonics 32 10 Swindon RFU
Bristol Sonics 24 6 Swindon St George Bath & Wilts Romans 22 14 Swindon RFU
Cheltenham Phoenix 30 12 Swindon St George
Bath & Wilts Romans 6 24 Bristol Sonics Swindon RFU 32 26 Surrey Sharks
Swindon St George 16 14 Swindon RFU Bristol Sonics 32 26 Surrey Sharks
Bristol Sonics 14 22 Cheltenham Phoenix Surrey Sharks 28 0 Swindon St George
Bath & Wilts Romans 34 10 Swindon St George Cheltenham Phoenix 16 0 Surrey Sharks
Cheltenham Phoenix 24 12 Swindon RFU Bath & Wilts Romans 26 10 Surrey Sharks
Bath & Wilts Romans 0 – 10 Cheltenham Phoenix
NB: Bristol unable to field a team for Final despite finishing top