SGB Premiership
Somerset Rebels 51 (3), Poole Pirates 39 (0)

A PERFECT night's work on Monday from world champion Jason Doyle helped ensure Somerset Rebels responded to manager Garry May's request 'to bounce back in style', after conceding their unbeaten home run last Wednesday, writes Stephen Allen.

A 51-39 victory over in-form Poole restored the Rebels back to the top of the SGB Premiership table, ahead of their second home meeting this week on Wednesday, when they face basement side Leicester.

Against the Pirates the hosts opened solidly, with a treble of 4-2 heat advantages, but the visitors were back on level terms after just five heats.

The Rebels' response, though, was instant, as Doyle and Aaron Summers fired in a 5-1 and steadfastly denied the visitors any opportunity to come back a second time.

A crucial 5-1 in heat 9 from Richard Lawson and battling Nico Covatti interrupted a string of shared heats, and gave the Rebels something of a stranglehold.

Just three heats later, Covatti squashed Poole's tactical ride as he led home Brady Kurtz by some distance.

With the immaculate Doyle pairing up with Holder in heat 13 for another maximum advantage, the Rebels assured themselves of victory but top spot in the table wasn't confirmed until they ensured the Pirates would leave pointless.

A telling ride by Bradley Wilson-Dean – replacing fellow reserve Jake Allen – rendered the Pirates facing a tough ask in heat 15, needing maximum points against the unbeaten Doyle, who again would have Holder backing him up.

The pressure was too great on out-of-sorts Poole number one Kurtz, and he acquired his second starting offence disqualification of the night, and with that any realistic chances of holding on to the Premierships premier position faded too.

Doyle went on to make it five from five, but Garry May was full of universal praise for his side, saying: "The lads rode well tonight.

"We knew we had to get off to a good start and put some pressure on Poole, and we did just that.

"Jason was superb but we had good scoring down through the side.

"That was a valuable three points in the bag for us and we just need to keep plugging away."

Somerset (51): J.Doyle 15 (3,3,3,3,3), J.Holder 9+1 (0,3,3,2',1), R.Lawson 7 (3,1,3,0), B.Wilson-Dean 6+1 (1,2,1',0,2), N.Covatti 6+1 (1,0,2',3), A.Summers 5+1 (1,2',2,0), J.Allen 3 (3,0,0)
Poole (39): N.Klindt 11 (2,2,2,3,2), K.Woryna 9+2 (0,3,3,1',1',R,1), J.Grajczonek 6+1 (2,2',0,2), B.Kurtz 6 (0,3,2,1), F.Jakobsen 3 (2,0,1,0), C.Harris 2 (1,1,0), R.Worrall 2+2 (0,1',1')