Somerset Cup semi-final

Taunton 53, Bath University 20

TAUNTON Warriors continued their unbeaten season by beating Bath University in the semi-final of the Somerset Cup on Saturday, writes Keith Brooking.

On a perfect day for rugby at the Commsplus Stadium, the Taunton side started the game well, launching strong attacks at a resolute Bath defence.

The forwards, searching for weakness, continued to build great platforms for the backs, who initially struggled to hit the line at pace and create clear-cut opportunities.

With Bath holding firm, the game remained tight until the hosts eventually opened their account with their first try from Lewis Geran.

Bath immediately hit back with a try of their own, after some good work from their forwards and a line break saw their centre go through untouched under the posts.

The away side then followed this up with a penalty to lead 8-5.

With Taunton remaining focused and starting to play in the right areas, they were rewarded for their efforts, the forwards worked tirelessly and with great control allowing the backs to exploit the space both out wide and through the middle.

Two more tries resulted, from Connor Banks and Sam Baker, with one conversion and a penalty from Baker taking Taunton into a 20-8 half-time lead.

The second half saw a change of intensity from the home side and they began to dominate the tiring Bath defence.

The overall play was more secure, focused and effective, and Taunton exerted overwhelming pressure in every phase of the game.

As the changes were made and fresh legs entered the game, the spaces opened up and Taunton took full advantage.

The outstanding forwards laid siege to the Bath line at every opportunity and with the backs finding their lines and executing crisp passing moves, the scoreboard started to climb – Richard Baker, Charlie Samways, Dan Johnson and Connor Vickery all going over the try-line.

Full credit is due to Bath, as they refused to go down without a fight, crossing the Taunton line for their own scores.

Still, it ended 53-20 in Taunton Warriors' favour, and they now play North Petherton in the final.

Taunton team: Alex Rodd, Casey George, Arran Wilman, Andy England, Tom Hooper, Ben Mallet, Ben OT, Charlie Samways, Connor Banks, Sam Baker, Lewis Geran, James Keay, Connor Vickery, Dan Johnson, Richard Baker, Milo Reynolds, Stuart Percy, Zab Zeregbe, Ben Clarke, Andrew Dudley, Josh Mynett, Jacob Nash.