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Big three games coming up
Bristol Fashion (IP Logged)
17 September, 2018 10:25
We have been ahead in all 3 of our games so far at half time:
6-0 vs Bath,
18-13 vs Sarries and
13-3 vs Glos.

In those games we conceded just 1 try in 3x40mins of rugby and this against what many people would have considered 3 strong top 4 candidates.

The big difference in the second half of the latter two games was in-discipline, lost defensive shape and a slight dip in intensity. Keeping 15 players on the pitch has to be key and I feel it is no coincidence that our defence drops off when Smith is not on the pitch.

I noticed (more so vs Glos) that our line speed dropped off hugely in the second half as it did in patches against Sarries. This really hampers us. In the first half of both games, our line speed and aggression meant we were causing errors (knock-ons, fwd passes etc..) just as much as we were creating our own turnovers. As soon as the line speed dropped off, Cipriani and Farrell both got that extra bit of time that enabled them to create.

In my mind this means, lower penalty count, keep 15 on the pitch and go the full 80 defensively and we will win alot of games. We proved against Bath we can go a full 80.

I did hear someone say that they thought running the ball from everywhere in the first half could mean less in the tank in the second, which would stop us going 80 defensively. This could be a factor.

I still think it is a very canny tactic to run the ball alot, as it means we can dominate possession, which is essential for a promoted team. The more we have the ball the less the opposition does. However we must recognise there is a time to clear lines and a time to put a little grubber/chip in (there was acres of space behind the Glos defensive line on Friday as we became predictable, perfect time for a grubber/chip).

Still I am very positive. Two tough away games where, although we did not get points, we proved that we can compete in this league, and compete really well.

Next three games are huge for me. Two winnable home games (we must make AG a fortress) and then away at Worcs. These three games could determine whether we can start to look up the table, or whether we will start to be in a dog fight at the bottom.

Big crowds needed for Quins & Saints. I am looking forward to both.

 
Re: Big three games coming up
chuckynut (IP Logged)
17 September, 2018 10:35
Agree with all of that.

I think the truth of it is that we knew we would be lucky to get anything out of either Sarries or Gloucs away - we gave it the best go we could but when it was obvious we were not going to get a result the intensity dropped off, especially vs Gloucs. Had we been in the game on Friday with 15 to go I think both the intensity and the tactics would have been different.

 
Re: Big three games coming up
Sit_Down (IP Logged)
17 September, 2018 11:07
I'm convinced we will win at least 2 of the next 3, if not, all 3. Quins are very shaky away, Northampton have underwhelmed (they concede almost as much against Sarries as we did with 14) and whilst our record away to Wuss is not great, I genuinely believe this team will rid itself of the past history.

 
Re: Big three games coming up
Jimeno (IP Logged)
17 September, 2018 16:16
This next game has the same feel about it as the Sale home game last time out.

Much like the Harlequins game this Saturday, that was touted as being the one that could really kick-start the season.

Let's hope that's where the similarity ends.

 
Re: Big three games coming up
inatthebreakdown (IP Logged)
17 September, 2018 18:28
Quote:
Jimeno
This next game has the same feel about it as the Sale home game last time out.
Much like the Harlequins game this Saturday, that was touted as being the one that could really kick-start the season.

Let's hope that's where the similarity ends.


Although equally important at the same stage of the season, there are also significant differences.

1) we have a noticeably stronger side overall than 2016
2) in particular, a better defence
3) the side goes into it confident, already with a P1 W1 record at home

 
Re: Big three games coming up
thorpebayexile (IP Logged)
17 September, 2018 18:37
One thing is for certain. We will know where we stand after these three games.

The die for the season was caste through the whole of last season's recruitment and we will see where it ends up over the next 3 games.

Bring it on.

 
Re: Big three games coming up
Redfieldman (IP Logged)
17 September, 2018 22:01
Indeed we will. Iím taking my ten year old son to the Quins game on Saturday, his first Prem match. I hope we play the way we have all been told we can. To be honest Iím a bit suspicious of the amount of talk thatís come out of the Club (Together we rise etc) .Time to put a deserved (not lucky) W on the board. Come on Bris!

 
Re: Big three games coming up
tbr (IP Logged)
18 September, 2018 08:11
Quote:
Redfieldman
Indeed we will. Iím taking my ten year old son to the Quins game on Saturday, his first Prem match. I hope we play the way we have all been told we can. To be honest Iím a bit suspicious of the amount of talk thatís come out of the Club (Together we rise etc) .Time to put a deserved (not lucky) W on the board. Come on Bris!

Yes. I concur I think.

After the Saracens game, I was certainly impressed by the attitude of the squad. All this talk of "culture" and "community" and "together we rise" etc etc etc, (off field) by Pat. et. al. suddenly seemed to make sense I thought. It was clear across the players faces on the park too, I thought. Despite us coming away from Hendon with zero points. It was genuinely, almost-palpably impressive and I think I even posted here along those lines.

But.

We now need a win.

Or two.

Or three.

And that will only strengthen any culture, community and spirit.

But.

Without win(s).. and win(s) soon..... that off field stuff will be sorely tested as far as both fans and squad are concerned.

I also reserve the right (as Big Dave, I think said) to remain nervous until we have secured our Premiership status for next year.

So.

A HUGE game this weekend.

Against a Quins side who are undoubtedly better than last year's Quins side and are dangerously embarrassed with their defensive performance against Barf last week, I'd say.
I expect a BIG step up from Quins this week after internal rollickings and we MUST BE ready for that.



C'mon Bris.

 
Re: Big three games coming up
thorpebayexile (IP Logged)
18 September, 2018 14:57
Bottom line is that we need to be able to win 6 games to be certain of staying up. This means that home wins against teams outside the top have to be easily taken. Also we need to be able to pinch one or two away games.

I can't make the quin's match but will be happy with a five pointer. Anything other than a win moves us into us v Worcester territory.

This becomes really important as recruitment thinking for next season will be starting now and we need to look like we will be safe to sign the talent needed for long term safety.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 18/09/2018 14:58 by thorpebayexile.

 
Re: Big three games coming up
Tiny George (IP Logged)
20 September, 2018 13:15
Absolutely agree we need to score lots of league points during the next 3 games and should be targeting 2 home wins for starters.

I'm expecting to see a more conservative game plan, more tactical kicking whilst maintaining the defensive line speed and intensity around the contact.

 
Re: Big three games coming up
Hercules Spoons (IP Logged)
21 September, 2018 08:12
Iím hoping that too Big George

 
Re: Big three games coming up
thorpebayexile (IP Logged)
21 September, 2018 09:32
The additional factor here is Worcester's next three weeks.

We have had two of the toughest away games you could have and emerged bruised but relatively proud and able to say that we gave a good account of ourselves.

Worcester have had two games that they really would have been targeting as possible wins and just lost both. They appear to be struggling with lineout and attack.Things that over the last few seasons they have tended to fix as the season went on.

However they now face Leicester and Exeter away. In all likelehood, they will find those games very difficult and be lucky to come away with any points.

Bristol should see the next two games as possible/probable wins.

If things go Bristol's way then we go into the Worcester game with confidence against a bruised Worcester and a significant points gap. Just having a points gap from the bottom team would in itself - as Worcester found last year - enable a more confident style of play and augur well for the season.

That's why Bristol beating Quins and Leicester playing the way they did against Wasps could be a big big deal for the season.

 
Re: Big three games coming up
JimboFB (IP Logged)
21 September, 2018 12:20
Perhaps slightly simplistic but if we can keep 15 players on the grass for 80 minutes itíll give us a chance.

Im backing us to win most games at home providing thereís a loud support cheering the boys on!


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