Romans reach the West of England Challenge Cup Final already!
By Mark Tanner
Newly formed Rugby League team, Bath & Wiltshire Romans RLFC (Rugby League Football Club), have reached a cup final in only their second ever home game. The Romans beat the Somerset Vikings 58-28 at Leafy Lane (Corsham) after taking a commanding 36-4 lead at half time.
The game itself was a double header so points were at stake for both the West of England Premier League and the League Cup Semi-Final. Therefore, Bath & Wiltshire Romans RLFC now go through to the West of England Challenge Cup Final in their debut season and are currently sitting top of the West of England Premier League.
“Some of the attacking play was breath taking at times, but in the early part of the second half this led to a number of errors which allowed the Vikings to capitalise and get themselves back into the game.” says Chris Chatten, Bath & Wiltshire Romans club spokesman.
He goes on to give a comprehensive match report of the game:
Mike Roberts (Loose-Forward) started off the scoring after barging his way through the Vikings defensive line on 5 minutes which was converted by wing Joe Knight. Then on 9 minutes via some effective pass play created an overlap for Knight to score out wide which he failed to convert. It was not long before Roberts scored his second on 17 minutes, and then Knight went in for his second try in an attacking play which was almost a carbon copy of his first.
However, having missed the last two conversions when Jay Patterson went over on 25 minutes the kicking duties were handed to hooker George Leat on his league debut for the Romans having signed from Trowbridge RFC. Patterson could be the find of the season and if he continues to learn the game the Romans could turn him into a very good Rugby League player. The Romans kept the score board ticking over with Olly Spence breaking the defensive line and sprinted under the posts from 20 yards out which was converted by Leat. Olly has been signed from Pewsey RFC on his competitive debut and impressed enough both in defence and attack to take the RFL man of the match award.
On 32 minutes the Vikings started to work their way into the game with a breakthrough try by full back Ryan Rossiter, before Knight hit back with the final try of the first half for his hat-trick with Leat converting.
After half-time the Romans allowed the Vikings back into the game due to some handling errors and penalties which were capitalised on by the Taunton club. Joe Bussell their Player-Coach showed some impressive invention throughout going over on 42 minutes and Bailey Jackson going over on 49 minutes both of which were converted by Steffan Pearce bringing the score to 36-16.
The momentum swung back the Romans way when Mike Roberts when over for his hat-trick try on 56 minutes which duly converted by Knight taking back the kicking duties from Leat. On 59 minutes Roberts walks in for his 4th try of the game again with Knight in for his 4th 3 minutes later and converting taking the score to 52-16. However, the Romans again went to sleep with the Vikings scoring twice in the last 10 minutes with further tries for both Bussell and Rossiter bringing the score to 52-28. However, Dan Knight (brother of Joe) had the last word going through a tired defence to score to the left of the posts which was converted by Joe Knight.
The Romans will welcome back some of their international players for their next game, which is the cup final. Mike Harrison & Player-Coach Tom Howley will come back into contention for a place in next week’s squad who were away playing for the British Army and have also recently been selected for the Armed Forces Rugby League tour of Australia.
Chris Chatten added; “We are looking forward to featuring in our first final in our debut season and keen to encourage people in the Bath & Wiltshire area to come and support the team”.
The Romans will now go into battle against Cheltenham Phoenix in the West of England Challenge Cup Final at Dings Crusaders RFC (Home of Bristol Sonics) on Saturday 20th June 2015, 2.30pm Kick Off. The Dings Crusaders RFC ground is located on Landseer Avenue, Lockleaze, Bristol, BS7 9YS.
Bath & Wiltshire Romans RLFC are still looking to strengthen the squad for this season and next. If you would like to give Rugby League a try please join them on Tuesday evenings 7pm at Leafly Lane Sports Fields, Corsham
For more information regarding the Romans:
Facebook: Bath & Wiltshire Romans RLFC