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Can we dream Bath v Glaws match preview
By several quirks of fate, its just over two years since our friends from Gloucester last came to visit us at the Rec
5 into 4 : Sale v Bath Match Preview
Nobody can say this season hasn’t been different and if you are Blue, Black and White fan you have will have realised that’s its pretty good to be supporting Bath right now with five wins from six since restart and an emerging style that’s brought a smile.
All change! : Bath v Worcester match preview
What a difference a week makes, with most Bath fans in abject despair after the part self inflicted Wasps loss turning to euphoria after the stunning win at the potential banana skin that is Harlequins on their own patch, left even the blackest of black depressive Bath fans strangely quiet. Most encouragingly the young guns and not so young squad members proved their worth so perhaps now this is the perfect time to rest some of the big guns against Worcester mid week.
KEEP ON BUZZING: BATH v WASPS
Even without spectators there should be a buzz at The Rec when Bath host Wasps on Monday. The two teams will be scrapping for 4th place and both can claim to have hit form on the resumption of the Premiership. Bath may feel the happier of the two, having won all three matches, but the attacking style and flair that brought the visitors try bonuses against Northampton and Worcester suggest another tough test for Bath’s defence. Will the Blue, Black and White have the resolve, the skill and the venom to make it four in a row?
SAINTS PRESERVE US: NORTHAMPTON v BATH
Both teams could have both victory and self-preservation in mind when Bath visit Northampton on Wednesday. Northampton’s onward march stuttered from Round 9 of the Premiership and missed a step in Round 14 against Wasps. Form was quickly restored against London Irish, but Bath’s victory at Leicester edged them above Saints in the table so 6th plays 5th. For their second game in five days, both DORs must balance ambition against rotation in their quest for a top four slot.
OLD BEAST,NEW CLAWS: LEICESTER v BATH
Bath will encounter a familiar old beast armed with new claws when they visit Leicester on Saturday. Despite faring the better of the two fallen giants in recent years they can no longer count on Tigers under new head Coach Steve Borthwick floundering as they did last season. In addition, referees are encouraged to pounce ruthlessly on breakdown offences, so there are several new challenges to adjust to. One old certainty will remain though: the tie is bound to be contested tooth and claw.
WHO’S KISSED THE BLARNEY STONE? BATH V LONDON IRISH
It will be a case of “who’s kissed the Blarney stone?’ when the Premiership resumes on Saturday. Kissing the stone requires the kisser to approach the stone upside down and backwards – a metaphor for the contortions Directors of Rugby have had to cope with to train under Covid conditions. The phrase also of course refers to “the gift of the gab”, a quality often ascribed to the Irish. Both sets of coaches will have employed their best motivating patter, but which side will be most eloquent on the pitch?
THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
The Premiership season restarts next month with preparations and the fixture list disrupted by the Corona pandemic. Squad makeups have been affected too- some radically, by clubs reducing wage bills and the early implementation of close season transfers. The runners and riders could either be stronger for the season run-in or weaker as a result. The current top 4 seem to be the obvious play off candidates, but who of these will win through, and what of Bath’s prospects of a top 6 finish? Let’s take a look.
CLUB, COUNTRY OR BOTH?
The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted how precarious rugby’s financial model is in Tier One and Tier Two nations alike. This at a time when World Rugby aims to rationalise a global playing calendar to maximise the game’s commercial potential and at the same time reduce the tension between competitions at national, provincial and local level. The project brings multiple interests into conflict, creating a perfect storm. Something’s got to give, but what? And what would the man or woman on the Rec terrace prefer?
SILVER BULLET? ONE FANTASY SIGNING
In the absence of real rugby to discuss, many fans’ focus has turned to recruitment. Bath’s early June squad update brought three very welcome signings, but also news of Francois Louw’s retirement and 15 other departures – so raising a number of questions. Stuart Hooper has said “Our recruitment cycle has not completely finished yet” so I thought it would be fun to consider one “silver bullet” signing to complete the squad and improve Bath’s chances of a playoff place for next season.