Royal Wootton Bassett are 80 minutes away from a trip to Twickenham after they defeated Newent 29-22 to complete their return from the brink.

Bassett travelled to Newent in a Papa John’s Community Cup Group decider in need of a bonus point win over previously unbeaten Newent to secure a semi-final spot.

Backed by a large and vocal support, Newent immediately went on the offensive using their large pack with a clear game plan. However, Bassett’s defence was working hard and snuffed out several drives allowing counterattacks in a close-fought battle.

In the twentieth minute, the Gloucestershire side opened the scoring from an attacking lineout when Jack Devries went over in the corner in a bundle of players, but the conversion was missed.

Five minutes later Bassett conceded a penalty for a high tackle and Newent fly-half Tom Webb slotted the penalty for an 8-0 lead.

Bassett now upped their game and were looking to run the ball about. A Bassett attack saw a Newent player yellow carded for a trip and a quickly taken tap penalty was fed wide and Mike Clifton was on hand to go over in the corner, but this conversion was also missed.

Just before the interval Scott Parry saw yellow for an infringement at the ruck and Newent took advantage and Dan Fletcher added the try. Webb kicked the conversion for Newent to lead 15-5 at the break.

After the break, Bassett moved the ball around more confidently and Newent struggled with the pace they brought.

In the fiftieth minute, Bassett scored the first try in a pulsating fifteen-minute salvo that was to deliver 24 unanswered points.

First Parry fed Clifton after a lineout before evading defenders to score his second, then Clifton again drove through the Newent defence but was brought down on the line only for Jack Daynes to drive under the posts, before Scott Douglas added the bonus point try. Baker capped it off with a superb long-range drop goal to extend the lead to 14 points.

Newent responded by exerting pressure knowing they needed a bonus point to advance. Five minutes from time Newent hooker Will Tanner added a try to set up a thrilling end to the match but Bassett held out for a close but deserved win.

Bassett are now through to the semi-finals against Southend Saxons RFC and victory would see Bassett off to Twickenham to play for the National Regions 2 Cup.