Bristol Sonics’ Head Coach Jason Talbot believes his side is “heading in the right direction”, despite a disappointing start to the season.


The Sonics are rooted to the bottom of Conference League South following a trio of heavy defeats, but Talbot remains convinced that his side will be in the play-off picture at the end of the season.


Talbot, who took over coaching duties at the Sonics in January, said: “We’ve had a tough start to the season, but we’re heading in the right direction. In each game we’ve had decent spells, we just need to play better for longer periods. With so many personnel changes over the close season, this team is still a work in progress. We’ve barely trained together as a squad due to a number of factors, but over the last couple of weeks numbers have improved and the commitment is impressive. It will still take time to get where we want to be, but the signs are good.”


This Saturday, (May 31st) the Sonics travel to the East Midlands to face old foes Leicester Storm. The Storm has enjoyed a mixed start to the season, but should prove a stern test for the struggling Sonics.


Last season, the Sonics twice came from behind to claim dramatic, last-gasp victories in Leicester, and captain Dom Swann would love a repeat performance. He said: “In both of those matches last year we struggled for long periods, but we had enough desire and belief to hang in the game and take our chances when they came. We may need a similar sort of backs-against-the-wall performance on Saturday to defeat what I hear is a big, strong Leicester side. We could do with getting a win sooner rather than later, and Saturday would be a great time to notch up our first points of the season”.


Bristol Sonics A, the club’s second team, will also be looking to notch up their first win of the season when they host Oxford Cavaliers A at Dings Crusaders’ Landseer Avenue ground (K.O 2.30pm, free entry).


The Sonics’ second string, which features a number of young players from the club’s Academy set-up, produced a stirring second half comeback in their first game of the campaign a fortnight ago. Although they lost 70-50 at local rivals Gloucestershire Warriors, there were many promising signs for coach Tristan Moore.


He said: “We struggled a bit to begin with at Gloucester, but we were excellent in the second half. We trailed 38-8 at half-time, so to score 42 points in the second half was a tremendous achievement. Many sides would have folded, but the lads dug in and showed what we can do. We’ll be looking to tighten up defensively this weekend and hopefully that will be enough to put us on the road to a first win of the season.”


In a big weekend for the Sonics, the club’s Under-16 Academy Side will also play their first match of the season. They travel to Cheltenham to face Old Patesians on Sunday.



Sonics U16s vs Old Pats (A) Sun 1st June

The Sonics Academy Under 16 team will kick-off their season on Sunday with a match against Cheltenham Old Patesians (away).

Players and parents will be travelling in cars and are requested to be at the ground for 10:15 to allow some preparation time. The address is:

Old Patesians RFC
Everest Road
GL53 9LG

More details can also be available on the Academy facebook group:


Double Disappointment for Sonics

The Sonics Open Age teams endured a tough weekend with both 1st and 2nd teams in action for the first time this season. An understrength first team went down 44-18 away to Oxford and the seconds put in a brave performance but lost 70-50 away at Gloucestershire Warriors.

The 1st team found themselves under pressure from the kick-off as the Cavaliers camped down in their 20m but it took 12 minutes for the deadlock to be broken. Stand off Andy Winfield ghosted through the Sonic’s defence untouched to score under the posts giving the hosts a 6-0. The Sonics soon got back on level terms as they found some space down the right hand side. Dom Swann put centre Mike Gaston into a gap and he found his way over from 40m, beating the last defender with an outrageous side-step.

The game then saw defences on top till the 35th minute when the deadlock was broken by Ed Vickers who crashed over from 10 meters out to make it 10-6. Winfield once again added the easy extras to extend the lead to 12-6. Straight from the restart the Cavaliers broke once more and a weaving run Scrum Half Wez Newton saw him score next to the post to make the score 16-6. Andy Winfield once again added the simple extras making the half time score 18-6 to the Cavaliers.

The second half started off poorly for the away side with Ed Vickers picking up his second on 42 minutes and once again Winfield added the extras to put the Cavaliers in control at 24-6. The Sonic’s needed to score next to stay in touch and this they did with hooker Luke Williamson crossing over from close range. Swann added the extras to make it 24-12.

The Cavaliers then took advantage of a tiring Sonics defence having had control of the ball for the majority of the game. Four quick tries killed the game off before the Sonic’s had the last say with a try from winger Ryan Goodman on debut making the final score 44-18.


The 2nd team put in a brave performance in a game that Gloucestershire Warriors looked to have full control of at one stage. An improbable fightback was on the cards at one stage but Gloucestershire had enough quality to hold on despite conceding 10 tries. There were hatricks from Simon Price and 16 year-old Morgan Rees. Lawrence Roycroft added a brace with Harry Brooker and Freddie Blanks also crossing for the Sonics.


Both teams now have a week off league action over the bank holiday although a Sonics squad will be competing in the Bournemouth 7’s competition. Both teams return to action on the 31st May with the 1st team away to Leicester Storm and the 2nd team hosting Oxford Cavliers ‘A’.


Junior Training Off to Flying Start

The Sonics Junior Academy training sessions continues this Wednesday (21st May) having got off to a great start. But please note there will be no session on Sunday 25th May as it is a bank holiday weekend.

Academy Chairman Ian Waters has been impressed with the standard of players and the enthusiasm shown in the first few training sessions: “We’ve had some good lads turn up and they’ve all got fully involved. We’re always pleased to get feedback on how the sessions have been received by players and parent and I want to share one of the fantastic comments that we’ve had through Facebook:

“Just back from taking Jake Knight to his first Rugby League session at Bristol Sonics. Surprised by how technical the game is and there is nowhere to hide on that park for the big units, unlucky son. The hits are hard and the workrate super high but he loved it! A nice change to Rugby Union! — at Dings RFC
Anyone wanting to get involved with the Sonics Academy must be U14 or U16 and should meet at Ding’s Crusaders RFC at 18:30 on Wednesday evenings and 10:30 Sunday mornings (excluding 25th May).


Junior Rugby League returns to Bristol this weekend, with the first of a series of regular training sessions for U14 and U16 players at Dings Crusaders RFC.


The popular Bristol Sonics Academy, run by the city’s Rugby League club, will offer training sessions and matches for junior players throughout May, June and July.


Training sessions take place at Landseer Avenue, home of Dings Crusaders RFC and Bristol Sonics RLFC, on Sunday mornings (10:30) and Wednesday nights (18:30), starting on Sunday 11th May and Wednesday 14 May respectively. Matches will take place on Sunday mornings, with the fixture list for the season due to be published on the Bristol Sonics website within the next couple of weeks.


Players between 12 and 16 years of age are welcome, regardless of previous Rugby League experience. Coaching will come from qualified, accredited, CRB-checked coaches, including a number of Bristol Sonics first team players.


Enrolling in Bristol Sonics Academy costs £20 for the season. All players get an exclusive Sonics Academy t-shirt when they pay their membership.


Bristol Sonics have seen an upsurge in interest in their Academy programme following October’s Rugby League World Cup 2013 match at the Memorial Stadium. It’s hoped that this year’s Junior Rugby League program will be the best yet.


A number of last year’s under-16 players have already made their open-age debuts for the Sonics, with Jack Farler appearing for the first team in their season-opener against Sheffield-Hallam Eagles a fortnight ago. Another Sonics Academy graduate, Morgan Rees, is in line to make his debut against Nottingham Outlaws this Saturday (Dings Crusaders RFC, kick-off 2.30pm).


Bristol Sonics Junior Chairman, Ian ‘Muddy’ Waters, said: “We’re really excited about this year’s Bristol Sonics Academy. Offering opportunities for youngsters to get a taste of Rugby League is of huge importance to the club. Rugby League is an exciting, all-action game where you’re involved in the action almost non-stop. It’s a great game to play, and any interested juniors are encouraged to come down on Sunday or Wednesday and give it a go.”


Bristol Sonics’ Club Captain Dom Swann said: “The Bristol Sonics Academy is the future of the club. We’ve already seen a number of players come through our junior ranks and play for the first team. In future, we’d love to be able to field an adult team entirely of former Academy players. The earlier you start playing the game, the more you can get out of it. I didn’t have a chance to play League as a junior where I lived, so it’s great that youngsters in Bristol are getting a chance to give it a go.”


For more information about Bristol Sonics Academy, prospective players and parents should check out or contact Ian ‘Muddy’ Waters on 07787 436158.