BATH TEAM OF THE DECADE


Banahan: most games
By P G Tips
June 9 2020

For this article I have to thank Shipwrecked who suggested it (and did a chunk of the research). He saw something similar on the Gallagher Premiership website and thought it would be a good lockdown topic for COML. The premise is TEAM OF THE DECADE, based not on opinion, but statistics, the players who have made the most appearances per position, in the 2010-2019 seasons. Across the entire Premiership, 2 Bath players make that list. Perhaps you can guess who they are?   The Bath equivalent XV is:

Nathan Catt (107) 
Tom Dunn (130)
Davey Wilson (84) 
Dave Attwood (117) 
Stuart Hooper (97)
Matt Garvey (94) 
Francois Louw (131) 
Leroy Houston (91) 

Chris Cook (113) 
George Ford (90) 

Matt Banahan (251) 
Kyle Eastmond (72) 
Jonathan Joseph (74)
Nick Abendanon (207) 

Anthony Watson (72)

Bench: Rob Webber (61), Paul James 74, Anthony Perenise 75, Dominic Day 110, Carl Fearns 56. Peter Stringer 43, Rhys Priestland, 68 Semesa Rokodoguni. 118

 

The list highlights some interesting points. As you might expect, six of the starting XV (plus 2 bench players) have captained the team – either as season appointment, or for individual matches. Many crowd favourites: Attwood, Louw, Houston and the entire three-quarter line, help make up the team and in key positions, notably hooker and fly half, Bath have tended to rely heavily on a single first choice. Tom Dunn’s 8 seasons netting him well over 100 appearances, while George Ford in 4 seasons clocked up 90 games, some way ahead of Butch James (also 4 seasons – 68) and Rhys Priestland (4 & 60).

 

The highest appearance figures are found on the wings – though these can be deceptive: Nick Abendanon played much of his rugby at full back, while Matt Banahan also appeared at centre and full back, in addition to starting in the forwards. This might seem strange, given that backs often burn out at 30 while forwards have a few more seasons left in them – but in the case of Matt and Nick, just shows how lucky (or perceptive) Bath were to get and cap them early.

 

Those of a wistful (or critical) mindset will see some missed opportunity in the list too. As often stated elsewhere in this board, Bath let Abendanon go just when he had forged a potent counter attacking partnership with Anthony Watson, we could have had two more productive seasons from Matt and George Ford’s continuing excellence for Leicester and England highlight the tragedy of fallout from his father’s acrimonious departure. There is a surprise at scrum half, where Chris Cook outstrips Peter Stringer and Khan Fotuali’i, showing the value of a loyal clubman, compared to an international import.

 

For me though, there are two burning talking points:

  * With all that talent, why oh why did Bath not achieve more between 2010 & 2019 than one Premiership final place?

  *  Would this XV (plus bench) be the BEST selection of the decade, based on class and performance in a Bath jersey?

Both thought provoking questions, worthy of hours of virtual pub chat. Over to you.

 

Footnote:

If you want to check the Gallagher Premiership selection to confirm your guess on the 2 Bath players, you will find it here:

  

https://www.premiershiprugby.com/news/gallagher-premiership-rugby-team-of-the-decade

You may notice a disconnect between their numbers and mine (for example Francois Louw scores higher than Julian Salvi, and the wings figures already explained above).  This is because appearance records of Bath players do not separate Premiership from other competitions and due to some being fielded in more than one position. My figures do though represent overall contribution during the decade.

And again, my thanks to shipwrecked for the idea and helping to delve for the information.

PG 

pqs: qs:
BATH TEAM OF THE DECADE
Posted by: Comeonmylovers.co.uk (IP Logged)
Date: 09/06/2020 09:34

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:06:23:07:42:30 by P G Tips.

Re: BATH TEAM OF THE DECADE
Posted by: BathSalmon (IP Logged)
Date: 09/06/2020 09:52

Nice work P G Tips and Shipwrecked!


Might I suggest to alter it slightly though and move Nick Abendanon to fullback (where he played the majority of his career) and then bring Semesa Rokoduguni off the bench and to the wing - as he has more appearances (118) than Anthony Watson (72). Then move Watson to the bench?

Matt Banahan (251)
Kyle Eastmond (72)
Jonathan Joseph (74)
Semesa Rokoduguni (118)

Nick Abendanon (207)

Think that would be better reflective of the positions they played and increase the number of appearances in the team overall.

Great work!

Re: BATH TEAM OF THE DECADE
Posted by: shipwrecked (IP Logged)
Date: 09/06/2020 09:59

OMG, there's a dilemma, Watson or Bendy at full back. I'm split right down the middle.



https://i.ibb.co/gjWyP09/Unknown-1-2.jpg


Beno Obano Age 25 years, Loosehead prop, 5ft 8ins 18st 12lbs 'Mauls are like Transformers' they change form to become more powerful!

Re: BATH TEAM OF THE DECADE
Posted by: woodpecker (IP Logged)
Date: 09/06/2020 10:21

Although Watson is probably a more standout player than bendy, I'd have bendy at FB. Thats where he played

Re: BATH TEAM OF THE DECADE
Posted by: BathSalmon (IP Logged)
Date: 09/06/2020 10:47

I'm not sure we have got to see the best of Watson in a Bath shirt over the last year of so, really hope we get to see a bit more consistent game time from him this season. For his status in world rugby as one of the best wingers around right now, I don't feel he has positively influenced games for Bath as much as perhaps he should. Hoping for big things from him this season.

Re: BATH TEAM OF THE DECADE
Posted by: shipwrecked (IP Logged)
Date: 09/06/2020 10:59

He does need the ball though BS, if RP was Dan Biggar he would have a hatfull of tries from cross kicks when was the last time he was given the ball with 10 yards of space to exploit.



https://i.ibb.co/gjWyP09/Unknown-1-2.jpg


Beno Obano Age 25 years, Loosehead prop, 5ft 8ins 18st 12lbs 'Mauls are like Transformers' they change form to become more powerful!

Re: BATH TEAM OF THE DECADE
Posted by: BathSalmon (IP Logged)
Date: 09/06/2020 11:19

The ball would help! As would a less conservative gameplan and Dempsey actually finding that Playbook we heard so much about!

Anyway, hoping for big things from Watson this year, a senior player with big international experience and hopefully confidence from a great world cup, should hopefully influence our backline more, command the ball and start taking a greater leadership role.

Starting to get excited for a new season now!

Re: BATH TEAM OF THE DECADE
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 09/06/2020 11:47

Bendy didn't make 207 appearances for Bath in the decade, he made about 120 - about the same as Roko. Those appearances were from 2006.

Ewels has about 115 for Bath so should be above Hoops?



[Adoptee 19 / 20: The High ball and counter attack meister, Tom Homer]

Re: BATH TEAM OF THE DECADE
Posted by: P G Tips (IP Logged)
Date: 09/06/2020 12:06

Thanks Matt
Where do you get your stats from?

PG

Re: BATH TEAM OF THE DECADE
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 09/06/2020 12:44

Quote:
P G Tips
Thanks Matt
Where do you get your stats from?

PG

Rugby Statbunker



[Adoptee 19 / 20: The High ball and counter attack meister, Tom Homer]

Re: BATH TEAM OF THE DECADE
Posted by: guernseyfan (IP Logged)
Date: 10/06/2020 23:15

That back line is more or less the one that tore Toulouse apart in Toulouse all those years ago. Sigh!

Re: BATH TEAM OF THE DECADE
Posted by: gaz59 (IP Logged)
Date: 13/06/2020 09:21

Quote:
shipwrecked
He does need the ball though BS, if RP was Dan Biggar he would have a hatfull of tries from cross kicks when was the last time he was given the ball with 10 yards of space to exploit.

Every fn time

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