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Burned once, Burns once more

By Lawrence Aggleton
October 16 2018

Wasps - we experienced a massive European humiliation   Freddie Burns - hold my beer...

Well... that was frustrating, wasn't it? A disjointed Bath performance that should still have earned a victory finished with ashen-mouth defeat and, even after one game, we're already staring down the barrel of European exit. Wasps suffered what is technically known as an 'education' of rugby at the hands of clear pool favourites, Leinster. Whoever loses this game can make plans for a team mid-season break in April.

Both Bath and Wasps have flattered to deceive this season. Wasps are definitely suffering with turnover of key players (Cipriani to Glaws and Gopperth to the treatment table). Sopoaga looks a quality player at 10, but it will take the team time to settle around him. Alongside injuries to Robson, Launchbury and others, their squad is looking a little thin. Bath have a similar injury challenge - particularly at centre, so I expect to see two fairly makeshift teams, ahead of a rest for the new made-up pointless cup.

In the pack for Bath, the first choice trio of Catt/Dunn/Thomas might be asked to push out one more game, with a strong set of locks behind them whoever's selected. Francois Louw returned from international duty with aplomb, I'd be tempted to try combining him with Underhill and Mercer, and let the impressive Tom Ellis hit out from the bench.

Now to the backs. Oh the backs. Hopefully we can restore a Roko/Coka wing selection. I assume Jamie Roberts will not have recovered from his encounter with Jerome Kaino, so Max Wright and Jackson Willison will likely form the centres. Will Chudley may be available. I'd be tempted to stick him in. Max Green should continue his development from the bench.

So, to our trials at 10 and 15. You can be furious with Freddie (I am). You can be sympathetic with Freddie (I am). You can rage and regret to your heart's content. There is no way any of us feel that as much as Freddie does. We're not even a quarter into the season - there is no way we can get through this without Freddie. He is a confidence player. The best thing for Bath, the best thing for Freddie, is that he is rehabilitated and gets back on the horse quickly.

Absent our two highest quality backs, Bath are trying to play an attack pattern that is similar (at the simplest comparison) to Sarries. Hard running 12 to fix defenders (Roberts/Wright). 13 with a bit of flair (Willison/Clark). Powerful wingers. That leaves a second distributor at 15. Freddie Burns is not Alex Goode - for one thing he hasn't had the benefit and confidence that playing that Sarries team for a decade will give you. But given the midfield ahead of him - and absent the pace and focus of JJ and Watson - Burns at 15 and Priestland at 10 is our best selection. Second half of this season it may all change, but our start, focus and defence has been wrecked by constantly changing backs selections. We should stick. Not twist.

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Burned once, Burns once more
16/10/2018 20:26
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:10:23:16:30:48 by CoochieCoo.

CoochieCoo (IP Logged)

Re: Burned once, Burns once more
16/10/2018 21:26
Great preview Hasta wise words!

TCM2007 (IP Logged)

Re: Burned once, Burns once more
17/10/2018 07:38
Looks like Roberts will make it, and Freddie will be 10


Former ed.

hasta (IP Logged)

Re: Burned once, Burns once more
17/10/2018 10:06
Yeah, I saw that after I posted the story. Looks like Rhys has tweaked something too. So:


Paul60 (IP Logged)

England squad for Autumn Internationals
18/10/2018 09:13
Just been announced the squad for England in the autumn series.
Well done to Charlie Ewels, Elliot Stooke, Sam Underhill, Zach Mercer and ‘big’ Joe C.

one fine day
one fine day (IP Logged)

Re: Burned once, Burns once more
22/10/2018 23:32
just a polite inquiry, why is your Tom Homer not the regular 1st choice f-b.
he has pace as he showed against saracens, he seems to understands when and where to kick better than any other of Baths alternative choices.

Bathovalballer (IP Logged)

Re: Burned once, Burns once more
23/10/2018 07:30
IMO he should be our go to penalty taker especially on the longer range shots at goal.

Adopted player 2018/19 Semesa Rokoduguni

The Rock that is Semesa and how he will be rocking this season.

hasta (IP Logged)

Re: Burned once, Burns once more
23/10/2018 09:03
Well, Watson is the real first choice 15. Homer has had a couple of high profile errors and Blackadder/Dempsey look to be giving Atkins some game time to see if he can step up.

Boldangrey (IP Logged)

Re: Burned once, Burns once more
23/10/2018 20:53
I wonder if Fred is Girvan's long term FB to increase attack options with Rhys at 10 - Watson on the wing.

BathMatt53 (IP Logged)

Re: Burned once, Burns once more
23/10/2018 21:04
Hope not. Roko and JC are fine on the wings and AW thrives in the extra space imo.

[Adoptee 18/19: Man Mountain Dave Attwood, back in the BB&W and ready to smash]

one fine day
one fine day (IP Logged)

Re: Burned once, Burns once more
24/10/2018 19:13
yes, i also see Watty as a Baths and Englands best winger on the basis that defensively and his tactical kicking are not great.
However a lot depends on the teams 12, 13 selection.
if you go for two bruises then the F.B needs to be a second play maker. ali Saries.. south africa and All blacks

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