Bath Rugby – Our First Season
The first season, that Uniserve have officially partnered with Bath Rugby as sponsors, has just drawn to a dramatic close. So, following on from our mid season article (December), here’s our review of the second half.
When we last updated you, Bath were progressing nicely in the Aviva Premiership, sitting in 4th place. They were also sharing the lead in a very tight European Champions Cup pool and were hopeful of a place in the quarter finals.
Unfortunately, the next few weeks proved to be a difficult period for the team, with results not quite reaching the high standards achieved in the first half of the season.
A January defeat at home to Scarlets in the Champions Cup left Bath needing to secure a bonus point win in their final pool match and then hope that other results went their way.
They managed to complete their part, with a thrilling 47-28 away win at Italian side Benetton, but eventually missed out on the quarter finals by a single point.
While league form had been a bit hit and miss during January and February, this was followed with a fantastic run in the Anglo Welsh Cup. Four wins out of four in the pool stages earned Bath a home semi final against Northampton and a narrow 13-12 victory saw them through.
The original game versus Exeter Chiefs was postponed by 5 days due to snow and was eventually played on the 23rd March. The match was always going to be a difficult challenge against the runaway league leaders, and on the day it proved to be exactly that for our lads. A 28-11 defeat meant that the great run had come to an end at the final hurdle.
Four league defeats in a row meant that the season was drawing to a disappointing close. While Champions Cup qualification was still mathematically possible, a whole series of results would have to go Bath’s way in the next two games. They would also need to win both of their final games with a bonus point and next up was Gloucester away, who had not conceded four tries at home for years.
Against the odds, and in a scintillating display, Bath secured the bonus point with four tries in the first 32 minutes, adding a further two in an incredible 43-20 victory at Gloucester.
With Sale losing at Exeter this meant that it was still possible, albeit unlikely, for Bath to qualify as they approached the final game of the season.
Bath were still sitting in 8th place and needed to finish 6th to ensure a Champions Cup spot. This mean that not only did they need to win comfortably against London Irish, but both Gloucester and Sale needed to lose their respective final games, without Gloucester securing a losing bonus point.
Bath’s result was almost never in doubt, running in nine converted tries, including three for Matt Banahan in his last game for the club, they stormed to a 63-19 win versus London Irish.
With our game finishing first, news from Sale followed – they had lost their final game. So, what about Gloucester? At half time they were seemingly on track to secure what they needed out of the game.
A few minutes later the news arrived, Gloucester had lost to Saracens and had failed to secure the losing bonus point. Bath had qualified for what had appeared to be an impossible Champions Cup place just a week before.
An exciting and fitting end to our first season as sponsors and one that we will certainly remember for some time to come! A big thank you to Bath Rugby for the hospitality, to the team for some great entertainment, and to the fans for the incredible support!
Uniserve are sponsors of Bath Rugby and the UK’s leading logistics and global trade management provider, for further information on how we can add leverage to your supply chain please call 01375 856060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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