Birmingham and Solihull Bees 12 Ayr 18
BEES’ director of rugby Russell Earnshaw hailed ‘a useful weekend’s work’ for his side despite losing this British and Irish Cup group match.
A rare run-out for some of Bees’ fringe players allowed Earnshaw ‘to find out some things’ about the depth of his squad.
However, difficult conditions and unfamiliar combinations meant Bees struggled for rhythm against the dogged Scottish Cup holders.
Earnshaw stood by his line-up, though: “We wanted to win and I wanted us to be pragmatic to do that, but we also wanted to try to show how we can play and practise some things too.
“In that respect it was a useful exercise because, especially in the backs, we found out some things about the guys.”
Crucially, Bees did not pick up any injuries withe the added bonus of utility forward Ross Noonan making his first start after recovering from ankle ligament surgery while back rower Mark Hopley returned after tearing his hamstring.
Watching from the stands was new Bees signing Ian Davey, formerly of Bedford and Spanish side El Salvador. “It’s a good signing for us,” the director of rugby said of the 24-year-old. “He will add real gas for us out wide, can play both full- back and wing and will be good cover when Simon Hunt goes away with the Sevens.”
Bees continue their B and I Cup exploits away to Llandovey on Saturday 22, and Pontypridd on Tuesday 25 but all eyes will be on the crunch Championship fixture away at Moseley on January 29.