rugbyunion
Latest News:

Rhapsody or Blue Moon?


Louw: return?

By P G Tips
December 12 2016

Once a regular feature in the fixture calendar, Bath and Cardiff now meet in the professional era only on a blue moon.  Recent results may suggest to Bath’ s supporters that a win in the principality is also to be a blue moon event following last Saturday’s heavy defeat, dubbed by Blackadder “our worst performance of the season”. The job of coaches and players therefore on Thursday when these two sides meet again is to find a blueprint for recovery. Reversing the result, to challenge Cardiff at the top of Pool 4 will be one obvious goal, but the game could be bigger than that. A second successive defeat could threaten success in other competitions, fellow Premiership hopefuls Wasps and Exeter being the Christmas period AP challenges. Morale and self -belief will need to be strong for these, typically high-intensity, contests- especially with the domestic distractions of the season to deal with at the same time. Winning is a habit, which Bath will want to reassert with conviction. They will not want to be left, “standing alone…..without a dream in the heart” at  the final whistle.

Doomsayers read into Saturday’s showing a deep-rooted malaise which will lead to Bath being “found out”, eventually to slump to disappointment in 2017. Optimists counter that the squad which travelled to Cardiff was far from the strongest selection and the Premiership should be the priority anyway. To realists the ECC did seem to be Bath’s best chance of silverware this season, so if it remains a realistic ambition, there is work to be done. The Blue, Black and White currently stand tenth in the table rankings, two places outside the qualifiers, behind even newcomers Enisei-STM. One weekend can change all that of course, but it will not be plain sailing at the knockout stages: Gloucester, Ospreys, Cardiff and Edinburgh –all unbeaten- are building a head of steam, while Brive, unusually for a French club, are taking the away fixtures seriously.

 

So what are the bright glints of optimism to banish the blues for Bath? First, the Rec pitch. Bath struggled on Cardiff’s artificial surface in last Saturday’s slippery conditions. They should feel much more at home this Thursday and must use that familiarity as a leveller. Second, several rested internationals and long-term injured will be available for selection. Louw, Faletau and Attwood are all in the mix and will strengthen both breakdown and defence, while Luke Charteris should bring much needed security to the lineout. While a possible debut for Robbie Fruean will have many fans excited, the key is likely to be international class of tactical direction from halfback with Khan Fouali’I and George Ford ready to resume their effective partnership.

 

At their best under Steve Meehan and Mike Ford, Bath’s performances were like the finest jazz – inspired improvisation on top of the main score to send the fans into raptures. Blackadder has chosen a more prosaic approach- a pragmatism possibly enforced by necessity- to achieve similar levels of success, but perhaps yet to suggest great heights the squad might aspire to. With home advantage and stronger selection, Bath will be targeting a home win – and should get it. It may not be “Rhapsody in Blue” but supporters will be happy with a win, any form of win, to herald blue skies on Friday morning.

 

 

 

Possible lineups:
Bath:

Catt, Dunn, Palma-Newport, Charteris, Ewels, Ellis, Z Mercer, Faletau. Fotuali'I, Ford. Rokoduguni, Tapuai, Joseph, Brew; Homer.

Replacements: Walker, Auterac, Lahiff , Attwood, Louw, Allinson, Bowden, Fruean.

 

 

Cardiff Blues:

Gill, Dacey, Filise, Earle, Down, Davies, Warburton, Navidi. Williams, Shingler, Scully, Halaholo, Lee-lo, Cuthbert. Morgan.

Replacements:  Rees, Thyer, Andrews, Hoeata, Myhill.  Williams, Robinson, Allen

 

 

View a Printer Friendly version of this Story.

Bookmark or share this story with:

Comeonmylovers.co.uk
Comeonmylovers.co.uk (IP Logged)

Rhapsody or Blue Moon?
12/12/2016 10:56
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2016:12:24:10:54:53 by Stuart Anderton.

 
TG Kesmo
TG Kesmo (IP Logged)

Re: Rhapsody or Blue Moon?
12/12/2016 17:08
Bowden is definitely out and Fruean is unlikely to feature. I think Flo may start with Ellis on the bench.

 
MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked (IP Logged)

Re: Rhapsody or Blue Moon?
12/12/2016 18:24
If that is the side that plays on Thursday it will win by at least 14 points!

Flo and Faletau won't stand any nonsense fro the Cardiff back row.

 
Danchinho
Danchinho (IP Logged)

Re: Rhapsody or Blue Moon?
13/12/2016 00:22
How do we know Fruean is unlikely to play at all? Has there been some new info?

I probably don't know what i'm talking about.

 
ShortyinBurnham
ShortyinBurnham (IP Logged)

Re: Rhapsody or Blue Moon?
13/12/2016 08:56
I believe it was mentioned somewhere that Fruean would feature for the A team on Monday as his first run-out, rather than against Cardiff

 
TG Kesmo
TG Kesmo (IP Logged)

Re: Rhapsody or Blue Moon?
13/12/2016 09:17
Quote from Darren Edwards in the Chronicle Fruean likely to play Monday.

 
Danchinho
Danchinho (IP Logged)

Re: Rhapsody or Blue Moon?
13/12/2016 09:30
Cheers Gents.

I probably don't know what i'm talking about.

 
Frome Lurkers
Frome Lurkers (IP Logged)

Henry Slade rumours
14/12/2016 16:58
Report from BBC [www.bbc.co.uk]

Rob Baxters thoughts

 
Bath Hammer
Bath Hammer (IP Logged)

Re: Henry Slade rumours
15/12/2016 08:25
Quote:
Frome Lurkers
Report from BBC [www.bbc.co.uk]
Rob Baxters thoughts

How did that get on this thread (Sm56)

 
MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked (IP Logged)

Re: Rhapsody or Blue Moon?
15/12/2016 08:40
Bath Hammer, if you quote it it perpetuates the thread, I'm unclear if it is accidental?

 
Bath Hammer
Bath Hammer (IP Logged)

Re: Rhapsody or Blue Moon?
15/12/2016 12:14
Quote:
shipwrecked
Bath Hammer, if you quote it it perpetuates the thread, I'm unclear if it is accidental?

I don't follow???

 
MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked (IP Logged)

Re: Rhapsody or Blue Moon?
15/12/2016 18:39
Sent you a PM

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing abuse@sportnetwork.net
 

Bath Poll

Where do you think we'll finish this season?

See results > Submit >>