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Autumn Colours: Bath v Quins


Tapuai: direction

By P G Tips
November 22 2017

Multi coloured Quins visit the Rec this week depleted by the chill winds of Autumn Internationals. Their November results have been chequered in the past few seasons, deprived of their key decision makers and most colourful characters. Bath, having already lost twice at home this season and having scraped a pallid victory at strugglers London Irish could also be missing 6 star players. Despite these absences, Saturday’s game promises to be a close encounter. But will it bring colour to the grey weather?  

There was plenty of colour in Harlequins’ last outing, but to no avail. For all their flair and endeavour they left Sandy Park empty handed from a frustrating defeat. Bath, by contrast lacked light but their monochrome victory edged them into fourth place. At this time of year any win is to be valued, but Bath supporters, who were promised rugby “in the Bath style” just over a season ago are getting impatient for brighter showings. They want the colour in their cheeks to come from the flush of excitement, not the apoplexy of frustration.

 

The power of Quins’ threat this week will partly depend on injury in the Wales camp. If Jamie Roberts is available, he could be invaluable, providing both  leadership and forward momentum. With Marcus Smith in mercurial form reminiscent of George Ford’s first season, the men from the Stoop look dangerous when allowed to get the ball wide. In Visser, Alofa and Marchant they have swift, direct runners who know how to find the whitewash. The question is- can they get enough good ball? Lively though the whole pack, especially Ward and Clifford are in the loose, without Marler and Robshaw their forwards can be less than imposing. Stronger packs sometimes expose them at the set piece - Horwill too often seeming to fight the tight battles almost alone.

 

Bath will look to their strength and experience up front and hope to use it to subdue Quins forwrds. Perenise, Charteris, Garvey and Grant give them a hard core who will not only take the contest to the Quins in set piece and loose but will lead the defensive effort. This looks likely to be needed as another makeshift backline seems probable. Bad news is injuries to Tom Homer (pectoral) and Max Clark (bruised knee) mean 2 months out each. Good news has Ben Tapuai due to return at 12, which should give some direction and additional distribution in midfield. Jonathon Joseph has been released by England, as have Tom Dunn and Zach Mercer – all 3 could feature but Anthony Watson is likely to be rested.

 

The return of Joseph, even from the bench, could add much needed sharpness to Bath’s finishing power out wide.  For a top four side to be third lowest try scoring club is highly disappointing. Quins, who lie 7th have scored 3 tries for every 2 Bath have gained. It is high time that Bath began to catch up. There is much for Bath to improve if they are to live up to the “Bath style” promise: possession, territory, fluidity and penetrative attack: tries being top of the list.

 

Time was when a Bath:Quins encounter would be one of the most colourful in the calendar –in both senses. Quins chocolate, French grey, magenta, lime green, sky blue and black against the bold Blue, Black and White of Bath. Two teams with positive attacking traditions. Supporters will settle for a win, but preferably not one as sombre as the colours of late autumn. They would welcome a spot of dash, splash and panache –in short a little touch of colour.

 

Possible Teams:

Bath:

Obano, Dunn, Perenise, Stooke, Charteris, Garvey, (Capt.), Mercer, , Grant. Fotuali’i, Burns. Banahan, Tapuai, James Wilson, Jack Wilson. Atkins.

Replacements: Auterac, Walker, Andrews, Phillips, Bayliss. Cook, Lewis, Joseph

 

Harlequins: 

Lambert, Ward, Collier, Matthews, Horwill (Capt.), Chisholm, Clifford, Luamanu.
Kitto, Smith. Alofa, Sloan, Lang, Visser. Chisholm;

Replacements: Piper, Boyce, Swainston, Merrick, Glynn, Prior, Ibitoye, Walker.

 

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Autumn Colours: Bath v Quins
22/11/2017 16:01
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:11:30:15:17:53 by CoochieCoo.

 
MESSAGES->author

Re: Autumn Colours: Bath v Quins
22/11/2017 16:08
That's one of your best PG. Certainly sums up my feelings about Bath's impotency at the moment. Thank goodness for our stalwart defence, but teams like Quins will test that to the full.

 
Bathovalballer
Bathovalballer (IP Logged)

Re: Autumn Colours: Bath v Quins
22/11/2017 23:23
If Quins play like they did at Exeter, they will win with ease. They didn't have Roberts or Marchant there and still looked very lively and speedy in the backs, well controlled by the excellent Smith.

But the man who shone IMV, was Kitto who played very much like Care and from whose fast service, much of their attack came from. Bath need to corral him to win, and I don't think we have the pace in the likely back row to do it. By starting Cook might be the best plan as he is faster than Kahn and a good defender, but that would rob us of much of the game control and intelligence of Kahn. A real dilemma in my view.

 
Boldangrey
Boldangrey (IP Logged)

Re: Autumn Colours: Bath v Quins
23/11/2017 08:05
Back row is our strongest area with widest choice.

Cook/Khan and Freddie are a match for any half backs.

If the coaching team have given them a plan then we will overcome the threat.

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