Oct 03, 2016
Report: Storm edge thriller at The Rec
Saracens Storm ran-in five tries to beat Bath United 29-23 in a tight and hard-fought Aviva A League Southern Conference game at The Rec.
Two late tries from replacement hooker Jared Saunders won it for the Storm, after Bath United had come back from 17-13 down to lead the game with ten minute left on the clock. Hooker Scott Spurling also crossed for a brace of tries, with the Storm’s other effort on the night a fine-solo try from left wing, Rotimi Segun.
Scott Spurling was the game’s first try scorer. The energetic hooker crashed over from close range, picking up a pass from his bootlaces to score after scrumhalf Henry Taylor’s quick-tap wreaked havoc in the Bath United defence. Whiteley couldn’t add the extras.
The hosts hit back with a Rory Jennings penalty minutes later, but the Storm were very much in the driving seat during the first forty. Controlling proceedings for Ian Vass’ side was scrumhalf Henry Taylor. The Storm number nine is very much a ‘jack-in-the-box’ type of halfback, and he dictated the tempo of the game from behind a pack of forwards lead by the wily flank forward, Kelly Brown.
It was Taylor who put on the second try of the night, his second assist of the evening when left wing Rotimi Segun danced past his opposite number Levi Davis on the back of a well-executed back row move from a scrum. Taylor showed good vision, but the try took some finishing and Bath United’s Davis had no answer to Segun’s magic feet. Whiteley converted expertly from out wide.
The Storm suffered an early scare right from the restart when United wing knocked-on over the line after Bath scrumhalf Will Homer cut through the Storm defence. Sarries though regrouped, and added to their try tally ten minutes after the break when Scott Spurling crashed over for his second of the evening on the back of a powerful Storm driving maul marshalled by lock forward Mark Flanagan.
The hosts though were much improved after the break, and they scored their first of the game when right wing Davis atoned for his earlier error to score in the corner. Former England U20s playmaker Rory Jennings converted well from out-wide to cut the Storm lead to four points.
The momentum had swung at this point and the hosts, with midfielder Jennings and halfback Homer influential, crossed for their second of the night to take the lead via a Jake Polledri try that was converted by United skipper Jennings.
The Storm nearly responded instantly, with a well-worked move involving Whiteley and Taylor (now at full-back) released wing George Perkins, but the England U20s flyer spilt the ball with the Bath try-line approaching.
Perkins’ blushes were spared though as Storm replacement hooker Jared Saunders crossed for two late tries to seal the win. Bath United added an 80th minute penalty but the Storm hung on to record their second win of the season.
Saracens Storm coach, Ian Vass: “I thought we played the conditions better and our game management in important parts of the contest won us the game. We lost our discipline after halftime but some cool old heads got us back into the game as we went back to our strengths, our forwards and our set-piece. The lads showed great character to edge back in front after they took the lead. We’re very pleased with the result.”
Saracens Storm: 15 Andrew Fenby (Neil de Kock 57’); 14 George Perkins, 13 Oli Morris (Rueben Bird-Tulloch 57’), 12 Tom Griffiths, 11 Rotimi Segun; 10 Tom Whiteley, 9 Henry Taylor; 1 Richard Barrington (Billy Walker 32’), 2 Scott Spurling (Jared Saunders 57’), 3 Titi Lamositele (Ralph Adams-Hale 61’); 4 Mark Flanagan, 5 Nick Isiekwe; 6 Jack Nay (Anthony Maka 61’), 7 Kelly Brown (c), 8 Ben Earl.
Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Ralph Adams-Hale, 18 Billy Walker, 19 Byron Hodge, 20 Anthony Maka, 21 Neil De Kock, 22 Rueben Bird-Tulloch, 23 Elliott Obatoyinbo
Tries: Scott Spurling (8’ & 50’), Rotimi Segun (29’), Jared Saunders (76’ & 79’)
Conversion: Tom Whiteley 1/3
Bath United: 15. Will Partington; 14. Levi Davis, 13. Jeff Williams, 12. Rory Jennings (c), 11. Darren Atkins; 10. Adam Hastings, 9. Will Homer; 1. Beno Obano, 2. Michael van Vuuren, 3. Max Lahiff; 4. Alex Humfrey, 5. Will Britton; 6. Jake Polledri, 7. Levi Douglas, 8. Josh Bayliss.
Replacements: 16. Gabriel Oghre, 17. Greg Palmer, 18. Shaun Knight, 19. Mike Snook, 20. Alex Weighton, 21. Cameron Brown, 22. Ludi Hopkinson.
Tries: Levi Davis (56’), Levi Davis (68’)
Conversions: Rory Jennings x2
Penalties: Rory Jennings x 3