Somerset Senior Rugby







Bill Beaumont County Championship Division 2, Pool 2

Saturday, May 20, 2017 at Heathbrook
North Midlands 20 - 38 Somerset

SOMERSETS hopes of reaching a Twickenham final against Leicestershire were thwarted by Hampshire defeating 14-man Warwickshire at Havant but the young west country outfit finished as Pool 2 runners-up. The revised structure of the Bill Beaumont County Championship means that the same sides will meet again next year and young Somerset squad look as though they will a strong force when they will have home advantage for two of their three Pool games.

A one-minute silence was observed before the start in memory of John Jeavons-Fellows, the former North Midlands President, RFU Council Member and former IRB board member who passed away on Tuesday aged 78 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Somerset looked on course to secure a try-scoring bonus point in the opening forty minutes but they went into the break 19-5 with their hosts’ only reward being a touchdown from wing Cael Hodgson after eight minutes. But it was Somerset who had taken the lead through some good work from centre Huw Morgan and fly-half Sam Harrison for inside centre Rob Dempsey to touchdown and full back Harry Butland add the extras.

In the later stages of the half Somerset scored tries from replacement hooker Callum Lynch, with his first touch of the ball, and wing Oscar James from a move started deep inside his own half with Butland adding the conversion of the second. North Midlands half time team talk worked wonders with Hodgson crossing for his second but James wasn't letting him steal the limelight was he claimed his second try and the bonus point. This was followed-up quickly with a close range touchdown from prop Alex Giltrow, Butland converted, only for North Midlands hooker Gino Belmonte show a pace on his way to the line.

With ten minutes remaining No.8 Jake Childs picked-up from the base of the scrum to score Somerset's sixth try but their hosts claimed a bonus point with a George Morgan try with the last play of the game.

North Midlands scorers - C Hodgson (2), G Belmonte, G Morgan

Somerset scorers -  tries - R Dempsey, C Lynch, O James (2), A Giltrow, J Childs cons: H Butland (4)

Somerset: Harry Butland (Clevedon); Oscar James (Hornets) (Kirk Middleton (Weston-super-Mare) 78), Huw Morgan (Weston-super-Mare), Rob Dempsey (Hornets), Harry Gliddon (North Petherton); Sam Harrison (Clifton), Hayden Tuttiett (Weston-super-Mare) (Mitchell Spencer (Clifton) 76); Carl Jones (North Petherton) (Liam Appleton) 22-56 (T Harrison (Stourbridge) 67), Dave Wheeler (Clifton) (Callum Lynch (Loughborough University) 22), Alex Giltrow (Clifton), Andy Glen (Weston-super-Mare) Henry Harper (Clifton), Brett Harvey (Taunton - capt) (Ed Hack (Dings Crusaders) 59), Jake Holcombe (Dings Crusaders) (Connor Phillips (Dings Crusaders) 49), Jake Childs (Barnstaple).

Referee: D Conway (London)  Att: 250

Bill Beaumont County Championship Division 2, Pool 2

Saturday, May 13, 2017 at Gosport Park
Hampshire 36 - 36 Somerset

SOMERSET were denied victory at Gosport Park as Hampshire fly-half Pierre-Alex Clark landed a penalty two minutes from time to earn the home side a draw and keep them at the top of Pool 2 ahead of the visitors on points difference.It means that it is ' all to play for' in the final round of Pool matches when Somerset travel to face the North Midlands knowing that a victory by twenty points plus, if Hampshire beat Warwickshire, the margin at Havant to progress to a Twickenham final.

The visitors stretched their lead with a break from wing Oscar James who gave the inside pass for full back Harry Butland and Hill convert from close to the touchline. Hampshire went into the lead midway through the half after a break down the touchline. Full back Matt Fearnes got the touchline with Clark converting from outwide.

With ten minutes to play Hampshire intercepted a Hill stray pass but then had their own pass intercept by Hill who raced through to score under the posts. Hill adhered the simple conversion but Clark reduced the arrears with a penalty. Hampshire were penalised at a scrum after prop Alex Giltrow was held-up over the line  A quick tap and go from scrum half Mitch Spencer gave Somerset their third try.

The visitors, leading 26-20 at the break, had Barnstaple No,8 Jake Childs sent to the sin-bin. Hampshire took advantage of the extra man with Clarke landing a penalty and the conversion of Dugan's second try to take the lead.

Another quick tap penalty allowed Clifton centre Sam Harrison to crossed for Somerset's bonus point try. Hill converted and added a penalty but Hampshire, who had a comfortable win away to the North Midlands last week kept battling away to draw level.

Hampshire scorers - tries Wayne Dugan (2) H Carr, M Fearnes; cons: Clark (2); pens: Clark (4); Yellow card: R Wilkie (71)

Somerset scorers - tries: D Wheeler, H Butland, K Hill, M Spencer, S Harrison; cons: K Hill (4); pen: K Hill. Yellow card: J Childs (45-55)

Referee: G Holsgrove

Bill Beaumont County Championship Division 2, Pool 2

Saturday, May 6, 2017 at Bridgwater & Albion RFC
Somerset 43 - 36 Hampshire

SOMERSET began their Bill Beaumont County Championship campaign with a comfortable victory over Warwickshire at Bridgwater & Albion RFC as they ran in six tries plus 13 points from the boot of Clifton fly-half Brad Barnes.

"It was a fantastic result really because it is always important to win your opening game when everyone is fresh and it gives us a target for the next week away to Hampshire and then North Midland whom we beat last season," said Somerset captain Brett Harvey.

"If we stick to how we played in the first half then I don't think anyone will trouble us too much. They had a decent set of backs but we played 15-man rugby when even our front row were prepared to run with the ball in hand."

Clifton prop Alex Giltrow crossed for a try in each half while the other touchdowns came from Taunton No.8 Harvey, Barnstaple No.8 Jake Childs and North Petherton wing Henry Gliddon and Clifton's Mitchell Spencer, the replacement scrum half.

Following the match the County President, Andy Shorney, presented Weston-super-Mare second row Andy Glenn with his County cap having played twentieth game for the County after his first being in 2001.

Somerset scorers: tries: A Giltrow 2, B Harvey, J Childs, H Gliddon, M Spencer; cons B Barnes 5; pen: B Barnes

Warwickshire scorers - tries: J Hughes, C Venus; cons: R Adamson 2

Somerset:; H Butland (Clevedon); H Gliddon (North Petherton), S Harrison (Clifton), K Middlemiss (Weston-super-Mare), O James (Hornets); B Barnes (Clifton) (R Dempsey (Hornets) 72), J Bath (Barnstaple) Mi Spencer.(Clifton) 73); C Bullimore (Clifton) (L Appleton (Cleve) 55), C Lynch ( Loughborough University) (D Wheeler (Clifton) 70), A Giltrow (Clifton) (C Jones (North Petherton) 72), H Harper (Clifton), A Glenn (Weston-super-Mare), B Harvey (capt) (Taunton) (M Withey (Keynsham), 73), T Crossman (Weston-super-Mare) (H Morgan (Weston-super-Mare) 55), J Childs (Barnstaple)

Yellow card: K Middlemiss (43-53)

Referee: Jack Lewars (RFU)

County Championship
Bill Beaumont Division Two South

Somerset 14 - 7 North Midlands

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at Taunton RFC

SOMERSET made it two wins out of three this season in the County Championship, Division Two South leaving visitors North Midlands to pick-up the dreaded 'Wooden Spoon' having lost all their three games.

"I'm very pleased with the win especially after the disappointing performance in the first game against Devon when we weren't able to field our strongest possible team due to other commitments," said Somerset head coach Mark Hawkes.

London based Argentinean referee Luis Caviglia wasted little time stamping his authority on the game sending Somerset prop Mike Flook to the sin-bin after just five minutes followed five minutes later by his opposite number Steff Thorp.

The visitors should have taken an early lead but full back Oli Rayner's penalty attempt was wide. The stalemate was broken midway through the first half when Brad Barnes landed a 40 metre penalty and the fly-half added a second three minutes before the break.

Barnes increased Somerset's lead early in the second half with his third penalty before replacement prop Alex Giltrow powered over the line from close range for the opening try but Barnes failed to convert from outwide.

Somerset continued to press and dominate the scrum replacement Joe White being the second North Midlands player to be yellow carded quickly followed by Sam Knott reducing the visitors to 13 men.

The visitors kept battling away and with Knott back on the pitch they finally found a gap in the Somerset defence with replacement scrum half Jacob Nash crossing the whitewash and fly-half Rob Petty adding the extras.

In the final minutes of the game Giltrow was the fourth player to spend time in sin bin in what was a scrappy game played in a constant drizzle.

Somerset: A Francis (Hornets); C Carter (Hornets), D Ashfield (Clevedon), K Middlemiss (Weston-super-Mare), O James (Clevedon); B Barnes (Clifton), M Spencer (Clifton); M Flook (Hartpury), K Ward (Hornets), T Harrison (unattached), E Hack (Dings Crusaders), B Harvey (capt, Taunton), W Vakalutukali (Taunton RFC & Royal Navy), M Canulli (Dings Crusaders), J Childs (unattached).

Reps: J Williams (Clifton), A Giltrow (Clifton), C Harris (Hornets), C Francis (Hornets), H Tuttiet (Weston-super-Mare), K Hill (Clevedon), A Rice (Clevedon),

Somerset scorers -

try: A Giltrow (55); pens: B Barnes (20, 37, 49)

Yellow cards: M Flook (5-15), A Giltrow (80)

North Midlands: O Rayner (Old Halesonians); T Hunt (Bromsgrove), F Kelly (Luctonians), S Leach (Old Halesonians), J Trinham (Stourbridge); R Petty (Stourbridge), S Boxall (Luctonians); B Green (Bromsgrove, capt), W Crane (Moseley Oak), S Thorp (Stourbridge), N Murphy (Stourbridge), C Goddard (Birmingham & Solihull), J Kelly (Luctonians), A Cheshire (Luctonians), C Nicholls (Stourbridge).

Reps: J White (Luctonians), G Belmonte (Bromsgrove), S Knott (Worcester University and Luctonians), E Parry (Dudley Kingswinford), J Nash (South Leicester), A Elvers (Stourbridge), Joe Bridger (Stourbridge).

North Midlands scorers -

try: J Nash (72); con: R Petty (72)

Yellow card: S Thorp (11-21), J White (62-70), S Knott (64-75)

Referee: Luis Caviglia (RFU)

Bill Beaumont Cup -  Division Two South

Somerset 26 - 22 Kent

Saturday, May 14, 2016 at Taunton RFC

SOME tough talking at half time, when Somerset were trailed 8-6, rejuvenated the home side with Royal Marine Watisoni Vakalutukali creating their first try just after the break and then scoring the second himself.

"We decided at half time to get stuck into the game and not let it slip away," said 'Toots' Vakalutukali. "Its always a privilege to play for Somerset at the end of long hard season for Taunton and glad that we got the victory."

Brad Barnes' penalty gave Somerset the early lead which was cancelled out by his opposite number James Cameron. But it wasn't until the half hour when forwards power saw Kent No.8 Tom Stradwick cross the whitewash.

Barnes added penalties either side on the half time break and the conversion of Somerset's opening try as Vakalutukali broke from inside his own half and timed perfectly his offload for fellow flanker Michele Canulli to score under the posts.

This sparked life back into the Kent side with tries from Stradwick and scrum half Charlie Edwards, both converted by Cameron, either side of Barnes landing his fourth penalty before Vakalutukali's try which Barnes converted.

Somerset: Adam Francis (Hornets); Charlie Carter (Hornets), Sam Harrison (Clifton), Dean Ashfield (Clevedon), Oscar James (Clevedon); Bradley Barnes (Clifton), Mitchell Spencer (Clifton); Mike Flook (Hartpury), Jack Williams (Clifton), Tom Harrison (unattached), Ed Hack (Dings Crusaders), Brett Harvey (capt, Taunton), Watisoni Vakalutukali (Taunton RFC & Royal Navy), Michele Canulli (Dings Crusaders), Jake Childs (unattached).

Reps: Kieran Ward (Hornets), Liam Appleton (Cleve), Courtney Harris (Hornets), Nick Spellisey (Bridgwater & Albion), Hayden Tuttiet (Weston-super-Mare), James McLachlan (Bridgwater & Albion), Kieran Hill (Clevedon)

Somerset scorers -

tries Canulli (45), Vakalutukali (65); cons: Barnes (45, 65); pens: Barnes (7, 39, 42, 59)

Kent: Frankie Neale (Westcombe Park); Temi Okenla (Gravesend), Rob White (Old Elthamians), Josh McMahon (Tonbridge Juddians, Dan Hamilton (Blackheath); James Cameron (Westcombe Park), Charlie Edwards (Old Elthamians); Nick Porter (Westcombe Park), Joe Bonner (capt, Westcombe Park), Terry Read (Blackheath), Luke Bellinger (Westcombe Park), Royce Cadman (Canterbury), Lee Covington (Westcombe Park), Hugh McCormick (Colfeians), Tom Stradwick (Blackheath).

Reps: Ted Lang (Blackheath), Jimmy Green (Canterbury), Issac Ajayi (Blackheath), J Ames Munton (Sidcup), David Bonner (Westcombe Park), Ben Hough (Old Elthamians).

Kent scorers -

tries: Tom Stradwick (30, 55), Charlie Edwards (61); cons: Cameron (55, 61); pen: Cameron (10)

Referee: Don Conway (RFU)


Bill Beaumont Cup -  Division Two South

Devon 39 - 10 Somerset

Saturday, May 7, 2016 at Teignmouth RFC

DEVON are biding to return to the top tier of county rugby for the first time since 2010 and they showed their intent by running in six tries in the comprehensive victory, their first for six years, in their only home match in this campaign.

"The boys were outstanding especially considering that we have had just three training sessions," said coach Paul Setter. "The forwards provided the platform for the backs because we wanted to play the game at speed."

The South Devon sunshine and the rock hard dusty pitch at Teignmouth plus some crunching tackled took its toll on the players. Somerset No.8 Jake Holcombe left the field after 15 minutes with a suspected broken ankle.

Devon had to play out the final minutes of the game down to 12 players when first captain Adam Thomas was yellow carded for a no arms tackle. He was followed to the sin-bin by scrum half Jordan Petherbridge and hooker Dean Avery.

Somerset, when their hosts were down to 14 men, scored a consolation try through prop Tom Harrison which fly-half Stuart Heal converted to add to his first half penalty. But Devon had established a 20-3 lead by half time.

Centre Steve Parry crossed for the first Devon try followed by wing Will Topps and full back Dan Powell. Flanker Dan Williams powered over for two tries after the break with Lewis Paterson the last.

Petherbridge had an off day with his kicking from the tee adding just one conversion first half and a penalty in the first half and the extras to Williams two touchdowns.

Devon: Dan Powell (Exmouth); Will Topps (Barnstaple), Lewis Paterson (Ivybridge), Mark Wathes (Exmouth), Ollie Rice (Exmouth); Steve Perry (Barnstaple), Jordan Petherbridge (Barnstaple); Isaac Dalton (Exmouth), Dean Avery (Newton Abbot), Matt Dowrick (Newton Abbot), Adam Thomas (Brixham, capt), Jack Fahy (Exmouth), Dan Williams (Torquay), Wayne Sprangle (Tiverton), Sam Thomas (Brixham).

Reps: Chey Bryce (Brixham), Nigel Berry (Exmouth), Dom Loomes (Ivybridge), Alex Smith (Newton Abbot), James Harris (Exmouth), Dean Squire (Brixham), George Meadows (Exmouth).

Devon scorers -

tries: S Perry (4), W Topps (16), D Powell (38), D Williams (42, 56), L Paterson (64); cons: J Petherbridge (4, 42, 56); pen: J Petherbridge (40)

Somerset: Craig Nicholls (Hornets); Charlie Carter (Hornets), Rob Thompson (Taunton Titans), Aaron Rice (Clevedon), Oscar James (Clevedon); Stuart Heal (Taunton), Josh Mortimore (Clevedon); Brian Largenton (Clevedon), Chris Francis (Hornets), Tom Harrison (unattached), Ed Hack (Dings Crusaders), Courtney Harris (Hornets), Jake Childs (unattached), Luca Ercolani (Bridgwater & Albion), Jake Holcombe (Dings Crusaders).

Reps: Jon Gatford (Taunton), Matty Hudd (Dings Crusaders), Dan Ogden (Hornets), Brett Harvey (Taunton), Nick Spellisey (Bridgwater & Albion), Kieran Hill (Clevedon), James Bath (Barnstaple).

Somerset scorers -

try: T Harrison (78); con: S Heal (78); pen: S Heal (14)

Referee: A Heal (RFU)


Bill Beaumont Cup -  Division Two South

North Midlands 48 - 19 Somerset
Saturday, May 23, 2015

Two tries on his county debut for Weston-super-Mare wing Sylvan Edwards one of which was converted by Cleve full back Joe Hall, who also converted his own touchdown, was too little - too late for Somerset in their final County Championship game of the season. Those scores all came in the final quarter of the match at Stourton Park in Stourbridge with the North Midlands having notched-up their 48 points having run in seven tries, including three touchdowns in an eleven minute burst. Wing Will Sparrow kicked the opening penalty for the home side before No.8 Phil Horton burst through from the back of the scrum for the first try. The bonus point came through tries from wing Tom Jarvis, flanker Sam Montieri and centre Steve Leach.

Sparrow converted all three before the break before adding the extras to lock Chris Goddard's touchdown. Somerset then had skipper Ed Hack and, five minutes later, centre Alex Mitchell were sent to the sin-bin. Tries from full back Joe Doyle, converted by Sparrow, and a second from Jarvis followed before Somerset found the break in the North Midlands defence with two tries from Edwards and one from full back Joe Hall who also added two conversions.

Somerset will continue in Division Two South for the 2015/16 season where they will again face Devon and Kent who have been relegated from Division One South following defeats by Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Hertfordshire. During their three matches this season Somerset had used 32 players, including eight Under 20s players, drawn from 18 different clubs with 15 players making their county debuts. Skipper Ed Hack (Dings Crusaders), Jake Woolmore, Brett Harvey (both Taunton), Ian Gardiner (Launceston), Kieran Norris (Walcot) and Joe Hall (Cleve) played in all three matches. Click on images for larger version

Somerset scorers - tries: J Hall, S Edwards (2); cons: J Hall (2)

North Midlands scorers - tries: Phil Horton, Tom Jarvis (2), Sam Montieri, Steve Leach, Chris Goddard, Joe Doyle; cons: Will Sparrow (5); pen: Will Sparrow

Somerset: Joe Hall (Cleve); Sylvan Edwards (Weston-super-Mare), Alex Mitchard (Midsomer Norton), Kieran Norris (Walcot), Jordan Paul (Burnham-on-Sea); Ian Gardiner (Launceston), James Bath (Taunton); Sam Coles (Weston-super-Mare), Jon Gatford (Taunton), Jake Woolmore (Taunton), Ed Hack (Dings Crusaders, capt), Brett Harvey (Taunton), Lewis Beer (Cleve), Aaron Gibbs (North Petherton).

Reps: Sam Williams (North Petherton), Matt Hudd (Dings Crusaders), Liam Appleton (Walcot), Michele Canulli (Dings Crusaders), Mitch Quoi (Chew Valley), Louis Wolf (Clifton), Kieran Hill (Clevedon).

Yellow card: E Hack (51-62) A Mitchell (57- 68)

Referee: A Thomas (Warwickshire)
Bill Beaumont Cup -  Division Two South

Surrey 59 - 33 Somerset
Saturday, May 16, 2015

Somerset finished on the wrong side of a fourteen try thriller in the 59-33 defeat by Surrey at London Irish Amateur in Sunbury with the hosts outscoring them nine tries to five. The visitors included three under 20s - Henry Harper (Hartpury), Conor Littlewood (Hornets) and Ian Gardiner (Launceston) - in the starting line-up plus another four - Liam Appleton (Walcot), Louis Wolf (Clifton), James Bath (Taunton) and Kieran Hill (Clevedon) - on the bench. Tries from Will Crow and Harry Watts, both converted by Matt Noble, gave the hosts a 14-nil lead. But Somerset applied pressure only to be kept at bay by the Surrey defence.

That was until five minutes before the break when Kieran Norris (Walcot) crossed for Somerset's opening score and his third try in two games with Joe Hall (Cleve) adding the extras. The final minutes of the half were frantic with Cameron Pimlow's touchdown converted by Noble, but Somerset came back with a try from eighteen year old Conor Littlewood (Hornets), converted by Hall.

Surrey started the second half with a 21-14 advantage with both sides continuing to play playing an expansive style of rugby just as the first period had finished. Crow and Elliot Awin added tries, both converted by Noble, to stretch Surrey's lead to 35-14 but Somerset came back again with a try from Jake Holcombe (Dings Crusaders), converted by Hall. Quick tries from Surrey skipper Armand Roux and a second from Watts, Noble converting both, but Somerset replied with a late rally. There were touchdowns for John Gatford and Nick Mason (both Taunton), Hall converted the first, only for Surrey to finish with tries from Matt Betty and James Faaatuatu.

Surrey, who had already won 60-17 away to the North Midlands, head the Division Two table with ten points with Somerset second on six points ahead of Saturday's game against the North Midlands at Stourbridge, 3pm

On Saturday Surrey travel to Okehampton to face Devon who, who had lost 34-31 against Somerset, have suffered back defeats as they went down 34-24 against the North Midlands at Brixham.

Somerset: Joe Hall (Cleve); Nick Mason (Taunton), Alex Mitchard (Midsomer Norton), Kieran Norris (Walcot), Ali Taylor (Richmond); Ian Gardiner (Launceston), Conor Littlewood (Hornets); Jake Woolmore (Taunton), Dave Wheeler (Dings Crusaders), Elliott Bowler (Cleve), Ed Hack (capt, Dings Crusaders), Henry Harper (Hartpury), Jake Holcombe (Dings Crusaders), Lewis Beer (Cleve), Brett Harvey (Taunton).
Reps: John Gatford (Taunton), Sam Coles (Weston-super-Mare), Liam Appleton (Walcot), Louis Wolf (Clifton), Michele Canulli (Dings Crusaders), James Bath (Taunton), Kieran Hill (Clevedon).
Bill Beaumont Cup -  Division Two South

Somerset 34 - 31 Devon
Saturday, May 9, 2015

Somerset stormed to a 26-5 lead in their opening County Championship Division Two South tie at Taunton's Hyde Park but Devon rallied in the final thirty minutes to close the gap to just three points as the visitors ran out of time. Devon started strongly but it was Somerset who opened the scoring on their first real foray into the opposition's territory which resulted in skipper Ed Hack crossing the line and full back Joe Hall adding the extras. The home side added a second through flanker Mitch Quoi, converted by Hall, before Devon got their first points on the board through wing Tom Goodman only for Somerset to counter with tries through centre Kieran Norris and wing Jack Claydon.

Hall converted the second to give Somerset a 26-5 interval lead and then added a penalty early in the second half. Norris claimed his second try, taking a short pass, but from there on it was all Devon pressure for the final half hour. Replacement lock Matt Tempiton crossed for the visitors second try, converted by fly-half Matt Simmonds before he added the extras to teh touchdown from No.8 Sam Thomas as the game went into the final quarter.  Goodman weaved his way past some slack defenders to score the visitors next try, converted by Simmonds, before scrum half Jordan Petheridge crossed for their fifth. Despite battering the Somerset defence they were unable to find that final score.

Somerset scorers - tries: Hack, Quoi, Norris (2), Claydon; cons: Hall (3); pen: Hall
Yellow card: Quoi (39-51)

Devon scorers - tries: Goodman (2), Tempiton, Thomas, Petheridge; cons: Simmonds (3)

Referee: P Davies (Hertfordshire)

In the other game in the County Championship Division Two South, Surrey - who host Somerset at London Irish Wild Geese ground in Sunday on Saturday (May 16) - were 60-17 winners away to North Midlands.

Kent RFU 1st XV, 28 - 9 Somerset RFU 1st XV - 25th May 2014

As we went through all the seasons in one afternoon at Medway RFC Kent came out deserved winners in the end although the score may have flattered them a little.  Somerset handed debuts to 20 year old Nick Mason of Taunton RFC at full back and Callum Lynch 18 year old hooker, Carl Brown of North Petherton RFC and 22 year old Tom Crossman of Nailsea & Backwell RFC.  Marcus Adams of Keynsham RFC another 18 year old also travelled as a reserve. These guys have all progressed through the county under 20’s and Development XV this season.

A first half that saw Somerset come out all guns blazing and put a huge amount of pressure on the Kent side but they could not finish off the chances they had created sadly. The score was 11-9 at half time to the home team and coming out of the changing rooms there really was all to play for. However Kent scored twice in ten minutes and put the game out of reach really as Somerset struggled to break down a very well organised defence. The Somerset forwards were outstanding at scrum time and really caused the home forwards problems in that area, the county really are spoiled for front row forwards. It wasn’t enough though and the home sides continuity play was better. A couple of yellow cards for Somerset didn’t help but did cause them to play with more width and be more adventurous. That in its self caused a few problems for the home side. Dave Wheeler of Dings Crusaders scored a perfectly good try that wasn’t seen by the ref after some bad positioning on his part. That said it would not of changed the result only the score. Overall a good campaign for the county as yet again new talents have been identified and given opportunities to show them. As for the players they would of loved to have been going to Twickenham next weekend. It wasn’t to be this time and the county coaching staff felt that Kent’s well organised defence and availability of inside runners both in attack and defence was the best they had seen in the two years since they played Kent the last time. Good luck to Kent who play at 10am at Twickenham next weekend against Durham.

Somerset RFU v Kent RFU 24/5/14


1. J.Woolmore, Taunton RFC

13. A.Taylor Unattached

2. D.Wheeler Dings Crusaders RFC

14. M.Watkins WSM RFC

3. E.Booley Cinderford RFC

15. N.Mason Taunton RFC

4. E.Hack Capt Dings Crusaders RFC

16. C.Lynch Walcot RFC

5. B.Harvey Taunton RFC

17. M.Hudd Dings Crusaders RFC

6. D.Fry Old Redcliffians RFC

18. O.Streeter Burnham On Sea RFC

7. R.Vakalutukali Royal Navy & Taunton RFC

19. C.Brown North Petherton RFC

8. A.Gibbs North Petherton RFC

20. T.Crossman Nailsea & Backwell RFC

9. M.Spencer Hartpury RFC

21. R.Hickery Bristol Harlequins RFC

10. J.Hall Cleve RFC

22. M.Flook Dings Crusaders RFC

11. S.Harrison Clifton RFC

Travelling Reserve -

12. R.Dempsey Dings Crusaders RFC

23. M.Adams Keynsham RFC


Somerset RFU 1st XV 20 - 15 Devon RFU 1st XV- 10/5/2014 - Bridgwater and Albion

The county coaching team were really pleased with the start to this game, going 12 nil up in as many minutes into the wind. As the game progressed it looked as though the home team would, if they could keep the ball, go on to a comfortable victory. The scrum went well, the front row of Woolmore, Wheeler and Booley looked a real handful and the outstanding back row of Gibbs, Fry and Spellisy featured in most things. Fry's dynamism and Gibbs power were key in most things the county did in defence and going forward as half time came. 

Somerset came out after the break and Cook kicked a very difficult penalty, striking the ball superbly to take the game to 15-0. Cook had a good afternoon and showed some real class on occasions in what he did. However it was then Devon who capitalised on Somerset's mistakes and a loss of patience from the home team, along with a loss of understanding on keeping things simple, boosted Devon; who  strung together some good passages of play, often from turnovers, a good offloading game on occasions paid dividends.

The line breaks in the first half for Somerset numbered 8, but in the second half it was only 1 and they seemed not to know how to play with the very strong wind in their favour. However, Head Coach Hawkes said  "we were concerned in the first half at the number of times we were giving away ball that we had worked hard for, either in silly offloads or from poor presentation, we created a number of try scoring opportunities and we didn't finish them, the players were asked how they would solve those problems in the second half they came up with some good ideas, they really came through in the second half all credit to them".

There were tries from debutante Alex Mitchard of Midsomer Norton RFC who used a great line to score under the post from the 22, and 2 from the master finisher, wing Ali Taylor of Wellington RFC. Both tries different but very special, Mitchard was playing his first county game and demonstrates just what quality there is out here in the lower level leagues, which also goes for Aaron Cook from Wells RFC.

[click image for full sized version]

It all reflects well on Somerset RFU who have adopted an open policy to training and their skills development days to get players to come and play for the county who really want to.  Also being very pro active in going and watching lots of games through the season identifying both players to play first team rugby or develop them through their development XV who play three fixtures through the season. Hawkes said "we have received varying feedback from people who are not involved in the coaching set up, however, those that want to be here are and they are filling the county hoops with pride" . . . "I have a strong belief that county rugby is about the place we come from and those that empower themselves to get involved are proud of it".  Somerset play against Bath United about a month before the County fixtures start. Hawkes identifies this as a wonderful arena to see who genuinely wants to play for the county. Today we had 7 players on debut - that can only be a good thing for our county rugby.

Some Somerset players now look forward to having two weeks off and allowing some very tired players to recover some fitness before they travel to Medway RFC in Kent on the 24th May, however a development team travel to Newton Abbott RFC to play a Devon Combination side from Torbay and hopefully more talent will break through and put themselves in contention for a place on the bus to Kent.



Try:  Ali Taylor (2),  Alex Mitchard
Con: Aaron Cook
Pen: Aaron Cook

Dan Lee,  Chey Bryce,  George Savage

Somerset Team

Joe Hall (Cleve), Ali Taylor (Wellington), Rob Dempsey (Dings), Alex Mitchard (Mid Norton), James Oakley (Dings), Aaron Cook (Wells), Mitch Spencer (Hartpury Coll), Jake Woolmore (Taunton T), Dave Wheeler (Dings), Elliott Booley (Cinderford), Ed Hack (Capt) (Dings), Brett Harvey (Taunton T), Nick Spellissy (Bridgwater & A), Dan Fry (Old Reds), Aaron Gibbs (North Petherton)

Replacements: Sam Williams (North Petherton), Matt Hudd (Dings), Nigel Berry (Exmouth), 'Toots' Vakalutukali (Taunton T), Jake Knight (Wells), James Mackay (Weston SM), Matt Watkins (West SM)

Devon Team

Will Topps (Barnstaple), Alex Browne (Exmouth), Tom Goodman (Brixham), Kyle Browne (Newton A), Ben Rudkin (Unatt), George Meadows (Exmouth), Olly Massey-Birch (UWIC), Matt Dowrick (Newton A), Chey Bryce (Brixham), Declan Sexton (Devonport Serv), Chris Bentley (Capt) (Exmouth), Matt Ghol (Barnstaple), Sam Thomas (Brixham), Wayne Sprangle (Tiverton), Dan Lee (Taunton)

Replacements :  Dan Reed (Tiverton), Mark Manton (Taunton T), George Savage (Exmouth), Grady Wright (Barnstaple), Blake Lugg (Tiverton), Alex Pike (Tiverton), Ollie Mulberry (Saltash)

Referee : Luis Cavaglia  (RFU/London Society)


Bath United 34  Somerset RFU XV 7 - 14/4/2014 - The Recreation Ground, Bath.

A big group of players in every way pulled on their county shirt and had a great evening at Bath. 42 players managed to get on the pitch against the
Guinness A league champions Bath United captained by former County player Kane Palma-Newport. Players from levels 4 down to 9 were given the honour to challenge themselves and it looked as though they loved it. Rugby really was "for all" and all wanted to be there.

A big thank you to Bath Rugby for supporting your county's rugby and all involved that gave up their time.

Somerset now look forward to their representative season with fixtures against Torbay Combination "Sharks" 17/5 at Newton Abbot RFC, Devon RFU 10/5 at Bridgwater & Albion and Kent RFU on the 24/5 at Medway RFC in Kent.

Anyone wishing to play for their county please contact Saxons Coach or 1st XV Coach

The following players filled the county shirt with pride last night at the Rec v Bath United. In what was a special evening.


Ed Hack - Dings Crusaders (Captain) Ross Hickery - Bristol Harlequins RFC
Rhys Luckwell - Dings Crusaders Jason Court - Bristol Harlequins RFC
James Oakley - Dings Crusaders Elliot Bowler - Cleve RFC
Jack Hughes - Dings Crusaders Joe Hall - Cleve RFC
Sam Steer - Dings Crusaders Sam Lewis - Hornets Colts
Brett Harvey - Taunton Titans (Captain) Harry Lewis - Bath Youth
Jake Woolmore - Taunton Titans Callum Lynch - Walcott RFC
Carl Brown - North Petherton RFC James Hurrel-Smith - Keynsham RFC
Aaron Gibbs _ North Petherton RFC Alex Mitchard - Midsomer Norton RFC
Pete Dickens - North Petherton RFC Tom Clark - Midsomer Norton RFC
Ben Chase - Chew Valley RFC Sam Prentice - Midsomer Norton RFC
Trystan Davies - Chew Valley RFC Ciaran Moore - Stourbridge RFC
Tom Crossman - Nailsea & Backwell RFC Aaron Cook - Wells RFC
Ross Harrison - Taunton United RFC Tim Piper - Burnham on Sea RFC
Dan Pearce - Bristol Harlequins RFC Ollie Streeter - Burnham on Sea RFC
Mike Hocking - Burham on Sea RFC James Andrews - Chard RFC
Sam Coles - Burnham on Sea RFC Luke Hill - Sherborne RFC
Craig Britton - Avonmouth RFC James Gregory - St Bernadettes RFC
Rich Stephens - Old Redcliffians RFC Paul Ford - Kingswood RFC
Nigel Berry - Exmouth RFC Matt Hudd - Water Boy - Dings Crusaders
Paddy Dean - Wellington RFC  Sam Williams - Water Boy - North Petherton RFC
Alistair Taylor - Wellington RFC Marcus Adams - Water Boy - Keynsham RFC
Kieran Bromsgrove - Barton Hill RFC  




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