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Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens -ADD TEAM HERE


Mercer: industry

By P G Tips
March 7 2019

Having surrendered to Quins in the last minute on Saturday Bath must keep the faith on Friday against Saracens.  Not necessarily with the game plan, but the self - belief essential to recover from a string of mishaps – a self- belief seemingly absent in 3 of the past 4 Premiership ties. Saracens visit as firm favourites for a bonus point win- while for Bath faith is unlikely to be enough. To win they will probably need to conjure up a miracle – will they have a prayer?

The visitors rise 10 years ago was built on a style of play dubbed heresy by many critics, derided as “anti-rugby” of kick and chase, defence, goal kicking and opportunism. That has now evolved into a much more rounded fifteen- man game.  Last Saturday, against Northampton Saints they showed ample evidence of positive play, racking up 6 tries despite missing 8 internationals. Those they were able to select did include 7 international starters, plus 4 more on the bench and Bath fans should expect a similarly strong squad again. Men to watch up front will be Koch, Skelton, Isiekwe, Burger and  Clark. Behind the scrum either Spencer or Wigglesworth will help the wily Goode to pull the strings, Barritt will provide midfield thrust and leadership while out wide they have the pace of Maitland and Strettle to call on. Add to these the highly impressive Wray, Malins and Gallagher and Bath really do look up against it.

 

In contrast to Saracens, Bath’s strength in depth is still being tested by injury and there will be anxious waits for medical reports and international  selections. Louw and Burns both took knocks against Quins and may not feature. Louw’s injury is particularly telling as Bath face another back row injury crisis- Underhill, Ellis, Faletau and Bayliss are all  unavailable so Michael Van Vuuren may be pressed into service as an emergency flanker. The welcome return of Jonathon Joseph from England duty is also offset by Eddie retaining Charlie Ewels as cover for Maro Itoje.

 

So, it may be back to the drawing board for team selection. It could be tempting to do the same with tactics, although the 6- day turnaround offers little time for a radical overhaul. Rather than change the style of play, I expect the coaches to stick with it, but they must eradicate the, ill- discipline, unforced errors and lack of concentration that have given up leads in the last minute in 3 of the last 4 Premiership matches.

 

Positives for Bath against Quins were the durability of the front row, the industry and penetration of Mercer and (until the final minute) lineout control of the locks.  Bath will look for more of the same on Friday but they should beware too much obsession with close quarter pick and drive. The patience that brought Nathan Catt’s try at the weekend could be unpicked by a streetwise Saracens pack. Breaks by the backs, especially Homer and McConnochie seem more likely to open the visitors’ defence, but that will require swifter distribution and better control by the halfbacks.

 

On the few occasions in recent years when Bath have beaten Saracens, they have enjoyed a full, or near full strength team. To expect a home win on Friday would be a leap of faith, but defeat could see Bath drop as low as 9th or 10th – the crisis zone. The players must keep the faith, but also need to deliver a performance and go all out for an unlikely miracle.

 

 

 

Possible Teams:
Bath:
Catt, Dunn, Thomas, Attwood, Stooke, Grant, Reid, Mercer. Chudley (Capt.), Priestland, Vuna, Roberts, Joseph, McConnochie. Homer.

Replacements:  Obano, Batty Perenise, Douglas, V Vuuren Cook, Burns, Willison.

 

Saracens:
Barrington, Woolstencroft, Judge, Skelton, Isiekwe, Clark, Earl, Wray.

Spencer, Goode. Maitland, Baritt (capt.), Tompkins, Strettle. Malins.

Replacements: Gray, Lamositele, Koch, Kpoku, Burger, Wigglesworth, Lozowski, Gallagher.

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Comeonmylovers.co.uk (IP Logged)

TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
07/03/2019 08:41
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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2019:03:20:08:07:02 by P G Tips.

 
MESSAGES->author
Rawce (IP Logged)

Re: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens -ADD TEAM HERE
07/03/2019 12:06
Quite a few changes! - [www.bathrugby.com]

15. Tom Homer

14. Jack Wilson

13. Jonathan Joseph

12. Jackson Willison

11. Ruaridh McConnochie

10. Rhys Priestland

9. Will Chudley (c)

1. Nathan Catt

2. Tom Dunn

3. Henry Thomas

4. Dave Attwood

5. Levi Douglas

6. Elliott Stooke

7. Miles Reid

8. Zach Mercer

Replacements

16. Ross Batty

17. Beno Obano

18. Anthony Perenise

19. Jack Davies

20. Tom Ellis

21. Kahn Fotuali’i

22. Freddie Burns

23. Max Clark

 
MESSAGES->author
hemington (IP Logged)

Re: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens -ADD TEAM HERE
07/03/2019 12:09
Good to see Ellis is back in the reckoning

 
MESSAGES->author
Rawce (IP Logged)

Re: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens -ADD TEAM HERE
07/03/2019 12:10
Sarries:

1. Richard Barrington (159)
2. Tom Woolstencroft (16)
3. Vincent Koch (57)
4. Will Skelton (50)
5. Nick Isiekwe (53)
6. Mike Rhodes (86)
7. Schalk Burger (69)
8. Jackson Wray (217)
15. Max Malins (25)
14. David Strettle (149)
13. Nick Tompkins (90)
12. Alex Lozowski (81)
11. Alex Lewington (20)
10. Alex Goode (282)
9. Ben Spencer (147).

Backs numbers assumed as they listed it all wrong.

REPLACEMENTS:
16. Joe Gray (5)
17. Titi Lamositele (67)
18. Christian Judge (14)
19. Dom Day (28)
20. Ben Earl (33)
21. Tom Whiteley (23)
22. Marcelo Bosch (128)
23. Matt Gallagher (29)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:03:07:12:13:44 by Rawce.

 
BathBurger
BathBurger (IP Logged)

Re: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens -ADD TEAM HERE
07/03/2019 12:13
Sarries look good! Great depth.

Injuries have affected us.

Hope Willison goes well, like how he stands at first receiver. Tackles well. If he gels with JJ they should have a great dynamic.

 
MESSAGES->author
Rawce (IP Logged)

Re: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens -ADD TEAM HERE
07/03/2019 12:19
A bit green in the locks and back row, but I'm hoping a bit of youthful fitness and dynamism may pay off.

Also, wasn't Charlie's Wheels released by England? Or his he travelling reserve reserve?

 
MESSAGES->author
FourSticks (IP Logged)

Re: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens -ADD TEAM HERE
07/03/2019 12:22
Well, with that team at least we're unlikely to lose the match in the last play of the game.

 
john fox
johnnyf (IP Logged)

Re: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens -ADD TEAM HERE
07/03/2019 12:34
So, back to the bad old days!
15 first team players unavailable for various reasons - that's 33% of the squad.

 
dr.bath1865
dr.bath1865 (IP Logged)

Re: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens -ADD TEAM HERE
07/03/2019 13:04
The quality we're missing in the second row, back row and on the wings is ridiculous. But hey ho, same for all teams, Sarries more than most.

Miles Reid v Schalk Burger on the openside is some baptism for the young lad.

Odds on Alex Goode being man of the match?

 
MESSAGES->author
OutsideBath (IP Logged)

Re: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens -ADD TEAM HERE
07/03/2019 13:12
What's up with Paul Grant and James Wilson?

Tom Dunn - Adopted player 2018/19

 
BathMatt53
BathMatt53 (IP Logged)

Re: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens -ADD TEAM HERE
07/03/2019 13:13
Great that Obano came through unscathed and also great to see Ellis back. Miles Reid looked to have really bulked up since I last saw him - he is a talented kid.

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

 
Old Bath Tub
Old Bath Tub (IP Logged)

Re: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens -ADD TEAM HERE
07/03/2019 13:31
Quote:
hemington
Good to see Ellis is back in the reckoning

Yes definitely , but where is James Wilson ?

Adopted Player 2018/19 Ross Batty

"AN OUNCE OF ACTION IS WORTH A TON OF THEORY"
FRIEDRICH ENGELS

 
dr.bath1865
dr.bath1865 (IP Logged)

Re: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens -ADD TEAM HERE
07/03/2019 13:36
James Wilson has a groin problem.

No mention that Grant is unfit. I must be honest, I rate him but I can't remember him doing very much last week. Miles Reid was more visible.

 
Bath Hammer
Bath Hammer (IP Logged)

Re: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens -ADD TEAM HERE
07/03/2019 15:45
Quote:
FourSticks
Well, with that team at least we're unlikely to lose the match in the last play of the game.

That is one consolation as you rightly say (Sm128)

 
MESSAGES->author
hasta (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
07/03/2019 15:49
Nice to see we're all prepped for the inevitable Alex Goode MOTM performance.

 
BathBurger
BathBurger (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
07/03/2019 16:39
Quote:
hasta
Nice to see we're all prepped for the inevitable Alex Goode MOTM performance.

Yeah! But! Defensively he’s really suspect! His positioning is terrible! Forget his great hands, flat passes of both hands, elusive running, high ball defuses and game management ability because sometimes he’s not where he needs to be defensively...

So there... we win...

 
MESSAGES->author
OutsideBath (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
07/03/2019 16:43
Quote:
BathBurger
Quote:
hasta
Nice to see we're all prepped for the inevitable Alex Goode MOTM performance.

Yeah! But! Defensively he’s really suspect! His positioning is terrible! Forget his great hands, flat passes of both hands, elusive running, high ball defuses and game management ability because sometimes he’s not where he needs to be defensively...

So there... we win...

Yeah! But!.....He won't have to do much defending.

So there... we lose (heavily).. (Sm147)

Tom Dunn - Adopted player 2018/19

 
SarrieSaint
SarrieSaint (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
07/03/2019 18:46
Good preview P G Tips.

Looking forward to the game tomorrow. Appreciate that you guys have some disrupting injuries but I still expect us to be playing a very motivated team. Best of luck.

 
BathMatt53
BathMatt53 (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
07/03/2019 19:10
Is Chris Cook injured? Signs a new contract and that’s the last we see of him!

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

 
by
by (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
07/03/2019 19:11
Only this week I read that Ellis was targeting the end of the month and now hes on the bench.

 
by
by (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
07/03/2019 19:55
Quote:
BathMatt53
Is Chris Cook injured? Signs a new contract and that’s the last we see of him!

Yes I think so, I'm basing that on his instagram where he posted something about doing rehab not too long ago.

 
DorsetBoy
Dorset Boy (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
07/03/2019 20:04
Ouch, that's still a really strong Sarries squad.
With all our injuries it looks like it'll be a very long night.

 
Boldangrey
Boldangrey (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
07/03/2019 21:39
Interesting to see Sarries are also playing a 10 (Malins) at FB.

Mind you, they are also playing a 15 (Goode) at fly Half.

 
ballsout
ballsout (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
07/03/2019 23:35
Quote:
SarrieSaint
Good preview P G Tips.
Looking forward to the game tomorrow. Appreciate that you guys have some disrupting injuries but I still expect us to be playing a very motivated team. Best of luck.

Sarries haven't won at the Rec for a fair while, so I'm fully expecting a motivated Sarries team. Should be quite a good contest, best of luck. (Sm108)

 
Bath Hammer
Bath Hammer (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
07/03/2019 23:42
After the last two games that we should have won I fear that we will be on the end of a thumping this time. I would love it to be one of those exilerating Friday night performances in which we pull out all the stops & defend heroically to get us over the line but we are just not that sort of team at present & I have no confidence in the direction TB is taking us. I would like nothing more than to be proved wrong.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:03:08:06:48:28 by Bath Hammer.

 
TomReagan
TomReagan (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
07/03/2019 23:53
At the risk of tempting fate, it's rare that we're thumped by anyone, especially at the Rec. If we're miles better than a side on the day we stop playing and let them back into it, but conversely tend to battle hard to stay in touch when we're up against it. It's why that win against Falcons recently made such a welcome change, with no nail-biting ending. I don't think there'll be more than 8 points in it either way...

 
gaz59
gaz59 (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
08/03/2019 08:45
If I were Freddie I would be thinking wtf?

We persist in chucking the starting 10 shirt to a player we have openly said is not good enough to be a 10 for us next year

This game will require serious pull on serious mental belief, total physical effort and focus to last whistle with zero error

Far from being over our season starts here is the message I would want players to get

 
Beergoggles
Beergoggles (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
08/03/2019 10:04
Quote:
TomReagan
At the risk of tempting fate, it's rare that we're thumped by anyone, especially at the Rec. If we're miles better than a side on the day we stop playing and let them back into it, but conversely tend to battle hard to stay in touch when we're up against it. It's why that win against Falcons recently made such a welcome change, with no nail-biting ending. I don't think there'll be more than 8 points in it either way...

I was pleasantly surprised when I looked back through the Bath v Saracens archive. 5 wins and 5 losses at the Rec over the past 10 years. Unfortunately I remember the 22-0 loss back in 2012-2013 much more vividly than I remember the 66-21 trouncing (win) in 2008-2009.

Really can't see us getting anything out of tonight and I'm struggling to find the enthusiasm to trek into Bath and watch us get humped. Can't remember when I last thought that ... way to go boys, you really are creating a season that will live on in our memories for all the wrong reasons.

 
1876-Fez
1876-Fez (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
08/03/2019 12:08
Quote:
Boldangrey
Interesting to see Sarries are also playing a 10 (Malins) at FB.
Mind you, they are also playing a 15 (Goode) at fly Half.

We did this last week.... Caused all sorts of mutterings on the terraces... But worked out quite well, played a more open running game.. although that could have been because of the strong wind.

Anyway looking forward to a decent game ...

SUPPORT Help for Heroes:
Help for Heroes

 
ballsout
ballsout (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
08/03/2019 12:22
Quote:
Beergoggles
way to go boys, you really are creating a season that will live on in our memories for all the wrong reasons.

The whole Blackadder era, not just this season.

Last year we played some of the worst rugby I've ever seen, barely touching the ball, spending most games defending, barely scoring any tries but at least we snuck a few wins here and there. This year we're not up to much with the increased possession and we're losing tons of games.

What a waste of three years.

 
dannyf2
dannyf2 (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
08/03/2019 13:42
Goode played 10 at grade level for England. 16s & 18s I think.

 
Victor Ludorum
Victor Ludorum (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
08/03/2019 13:48
My over-optimistic 'predictions' have been consistently rubbish this season, but on the basis that even a broken clock is right twice a day I'm going for Bath by 1 (having been 15 up at half-time)!

 
Beergoggles
Beergoggles (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
08/03/2019 14:18
Quote:
Victor Ludorum
My over-optimistic 'predictions' have been consistently rubbish this season, but on the basis that even a broken clock is right twice a day I'm going for Bath by 1 (having been 15 up at half-time)!

I'll take it. Where do I sign ?

 
MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
08/03/2019 14:21
Quote:
Victor Ludorum
My over-optimistic 'predictions' have been consistently rubbish this season, but on the basis that even a broken clock is right twice a day I'm going for Bath by 1 (having been 15 up at half-time)!

Fixed it for you!

My over-optimistic 'predictions' have been consistently rubbish this season, but on the basis that even a broken clock is right twice a day I'm going for Bath by 1 (having been 15 up with 5 minutes to go.)!

https://i.ibb.co/sbQsmcr/darren-atkins-5.jpg


Darren Atkins Age 21 years, Fullback, 6 ft 1 in, 13 st 4 lbs. Sadly injured for the rest of the season!

 
BathMatt53
BathMatt53 (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
08/03/2019 14:24
Quote:
dannyf2
Goode played 10 at grade level for England. 16s & 18s I think.

Goode is 100-1 to get 2 tries tonight with SkyBet. Based on how he plays against Bath it has to be worth £1 cup deposit I would have thought...in fact that's what I have just done.

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



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:03:08:15:19:31 by BathMatt53.

 
MESSAGES->author
OutsideBath (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
08/03/2019 14:30
Quote:
shipwrecked
Quote:
Victor Ludorum
My over-optimistic 'predictions' have been consistently rubbish this season, but on the basis that even a broken clock is right twice a day I'm going for Bath by 1 (having been 15 up at half-time)!

Fixed it for you!

My over-optimistic 'predictions' have been consistently rubbish this season, but on the basis that even a broken clock is right twice a day I'm going for Bath by 1 (having been 15 up with 5 minutes to go.)!

Assuming Bath haven't lost by half time I think it more likely Bath to lose by 13 having been 1pt up with 10mins to go.

Tom Dunn - Adopted player 2018/19

 
opti
Optimist (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
08/03/2019 14:46
That's a bloody great tip BathMatt …. Shall have to suppress my joy if he actually does it this evening!

 
dr.bath1865
dr.bath1865 (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
08/03/2019 15:22
I’ve put a fiver on that BathMatt. Cheers for the tip. The only cheer at the Rec when Goode slides in for his second (and Sarries tenth!) will be us!

Also stuck £10 on JJ to get two at 28/1 to make myself feel less of a turn coat.

Hoping for a high scoring game (weather not looking good...).

 
Old Bath Tub
Old Bath Tub (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v S aracens
08/03/2019 15:26
Quote:
ballsout
Quote:
Beergoggles
way to go boys, you really are creating a season that will live on in our memories for all the wrong reasons.

The whole Blackadder era, not just this season.

Last year we played some of the worst rugby I've ever seen, barely touching the ball, spending most games defending, barely scoring any tries but at least we snuck a few wins here and there. This year we're not up to much with the increased possession and we're losing tons of games.

What a waste of three years.
Agree, not just this season !

Adopted Player 2018/19 Ross Batty

"AN OUNCE OF ACTION IS WORTH A TON OF THEORY"
FRIEDRICH ENGELS

 
BathMatt53
BathMatt53 (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
08/03/2019 15:55
Quote:
dr.bath1865

Also stuck £10 on JJ to get two at 28/1 to make myself feel less of a turn coat.


Yes I'm hoping for Bath 30: sarries 10 (2 Goode scores, unconverted) as I have also put a fiver on a Bath win just so I don't feel quite so like a weasel.

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

 
SarrieSaint
SarrieSaint (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
08/03/2019 16:37
Quote:
ballsout
Sarries haven't won at the Rec for a fair while, so I'm fully expecting a motivated Sarries team.

I know. Last game I went to was the one Rokoduguni scored twice at the end. Went from a win, to a LBP to nothing in 5 minutes or so!

 
opti
Optimist (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
08/03/2019 17:09
It's just one more annoyance of the Quins, Wuss, Saints results that a game we have no chance of winning, or any real right to win given how consistently outstanding Saracens are, has become a must-win game.

 
SarrieSaint
SarrieSaint (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
08/03/2019 19:33
Quote:
dannyf2
Goode played 10 at grade level for England. 16s & 18s I think.

... and switched to FB by one E Jones Esq. Does anyone know what happened to him?

 
Mike the Taxi
Mike the Taxi (IP Logged)

Re: TEAM UP: Keep the Faith: Bath v Saracens
09/03/2019 12:57
How's the humble pie tasting, this morning?

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