UGRFC head into the Christmas break at the top of their league after a big win against Bath this afternoon, winning 31 points to 19.
Braces from both George Sanderson and Adam Hopkins helped Gloucestershire to never go behind on the scoreboard and gain them the important bonus point victory. Both try scorers were pleased to get over the white-wash but mentioned the enjoyment to play with a close-knit squad:
“It’s great to see the boys playing so good together, especially with the circle (of players) being so tight. It’s great to go out and play for each other”
UGRFC got their first points early on in the first half when George Sanderson flew over the try line following a pass out wide. The conversion extended their lead to 7 points. The next few penalties didn’t go the home sides way and Bath took the opportunity to score some points, however, their kick to goal just went wide of the posts.
The possession changed hands multiple times, with little separating the sides attacking and defending efforts. But Bath finally broke the Gloucestershire defence and found space to score their first try to make the scores level. UGRFC backed themselves close to the Bath line after taking the choice of a scrum from a penalty, which paid off with the pack winning their set piece to let the backs show off their running skills and send Sanderson over for his second of the afternoon. The successful conversion brought the score to 14-7 at the break.
Gloucestershire carried their momentum from the first forty into the second half and soon broke the Bath defence and went deep into their ’22 before No8, Adam Hopkins scored for the home team. Harry Morgan-Grant maintained his 100% success rate from the boot with the conversion. But Bath soon replied as they continued to put pressure on the Gloucestershire defence and after a series of missed tackles they scored their second of the afternoon, closing the gap to 7 points.
Gloucestershire looked to extend their lead further when a penalty in kicking range was awarded. However, the kick was just wide and bounced off the posts, but it was quick thinking from UGRFC as Adam Hopkins collected the ball and went over the try line. The kick this time did go through the up-rights and extended the score to 28-14.
The next ten minutes consisted of many set pieces and penalties and before long Bath rolled over the try line with a driving maul from a lineout. The conversion was missed but Bath looked hungry to bounce back with another score. But it was UGRFC who were in control for the final stages of the match and extended their impressive lead once more before the final whistle following a successful penalty kick, which saw the final score read 31-19.
The boys now have over a month off before they return to the BUCS league and head into the new year top of the table, which is somewhere they will want to stay as we enter the business end of the season in January.