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Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald


By Steve Trenchard
April 23 2012

Stephen Donald has been a huge topic of discussion throughout the season for Bath fans but recently there has been speculation he would be leaving Bath rugby after just one season with the club. However it was announced this week by Bath that Donald would be staying with the club and that he has had frank discussions with them about his performances on the field.

Much was expected from Donald when he came to the rec, after just winning the world cup for New Zealand with a penalty kick, but in most peoples eyes he just hasn’t delivered whilst at Bath.

However the rumors that he would be leaving after just one season just seemed ludicrous to me! Although Donald hasn’t been in the best of forms I still think he is a valuable player who will come good eventually. ​

His first home game for Bath came in the form of a tough Heineken cup pool game against Montpellier. Bath narrowly won the game 16 – 13 but the main story was the performance of Donald who earned himself a deserved man of the match performance. Donald orchestrated play superbly with the highlights being a long looping pass which sent Olly Woodburn into the corner to an interception which set up Baths second try in the form of David Flatman.

Read the full story at  http://www.bathrugbyinsideout.com/2012/04/fans-view-on-bath-rugby-inside-out_22.html

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Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
BathRugbyEre.co.uk (IP Logged)
23/04/2012 19:49
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2012:05:07:16:17:11 by Glen The Ed.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
BathBerk (IP Logged)
23/04/2012 20:30
I agree with your comments. I think Donald is the real deal and when he has played well, Bath have played well. He's big and physical, he passes extremely well, creating spaces for players in much the same way that Butch did, and his kicking from hand is very good, even if his kicking style always seems a little odd. From where I'm sitting I think he just needs to sort out his fitness and most importantly, get his head straight about being here and wanting to play for Bath. If he can do that and stay clear of injury I think we could be in for a treat.

Heathcote shows great promise, but we're not going to really go places in the Premiership with Heathcote at 10, not yet anyway.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bod (IP Logged)
24/04/2012 00:26
We need a new, inspired 9 to get Donald firing.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dOg4Ljp3kh8/Sf89bRrqecI/AAAAAAAAAJY/eJCF1kt4b0E/s200/DON%27T-SHOOT-THE-MESSENGER1.jpg

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
DanWiley (IP Logged)
24/04/2012 09:17
The trouble with commenting on this is it depends on the readers expectations. I mean if I say 'I think he's a dud' I mean it in the sense we had massive expectations we were looking at signing DC or at least one of the best 10s in the world, we signed the wc winning 10, so many seemed to think he was one of the best 10s in the world, and in that context I think we're going to be disappointed.

However, putting aside those expectations (and rumors of salary, I don;'t think they can be relied upon) I think he'll do ok, set against the list of a dozen or so other competitive 10s in the league I'd say he's in the top third.

I would say that both Butch and TH have impressed outside class, so I don't believe he's the problem.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
CountryMike (IP Logged)
24/04/2012 11:03
I think the article sums it up perfectly. He has had little chance to show us what he can do given his injuries and playing with slow or poor quality ball. Our "game plan" also doesn't seem to suit his attacking instincts, which will hopefully be addressed once we get a new coaching team in place.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
annie blackthorn (IP Logged)
24/04/2012 18:40
Poor chap would never live up to expectations, and couple that with joining a Club in virtual meltdown (again) coaching wise, having to adjust to non-work life in the UK which is very different from the outdoor sportsmad life in NZ, a bally miserable cold wet winter etc.....

No wonder the poor chap wasn't at his brilliant best. IMHO, the content of the top two inches of height count for everything in a professional sportsman.

Francois Louw
Proud to be wearing the BB&W and feared by all who play in the English Prem!

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bod (IP Logged)
25/04/2012 08:29
He'll do well with a consistently urgent 9 and liberated 12/13.
Fitter forwards needed.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dOg4Ljp3kh8/Sf89bRrqecI/AAAAAAAAAJY/eJCF1kt4b0E/s200/DON%27T-SHOOT-THE-MESSENGER1.jpg

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
25/04/2012 13:12
Claasy has gone from hero to zero in a matter of 12 months. I agree there's not enough pressure on him, but think it'd be a mistake to bin him. He needs to accept Butch has gone, and to stop trying to carry the team single handedly.

I'd be inclined to let MMM go and bring in Simpson, if Wasps'd release him. Then I think Claasy would go one of two ways- he'd either sulk and leave, or step up and play.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
marshie10 (IP Logged)
25/04/2012 14:40
Claassens' form has gone backwards under McGeechan. McGeechan has tried to make him a more 'complete' 9. The only thing it has done is detract Claassens from his natural game. Claassens does have problems with trusting his 10 but the main problem lies with the way he's been handled by McGeechan. Other players to go backwards under McGeechan are Barkley, Banahan and Abendanon to an extent.

Players to go backwards under Haag are Flatman, Wilson and pretty much the whole pack. It's not all the coaches fault, but these players don't go bad overnight...

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
old lag (IP Logged)
25/04/2012 18:31
A very good NZ friend who is a rugby nut (inevitably), recently "earthquaked" out of his home in Christchurch, is into everything AB, is a former player (not quite to AB standard) and whose judgement I trust completely, reckons that Donald is a hell of a good player and that the more he plays, the better he gets.

So I can understand his early lack of form, but when he is on song his distribution is superb, as is his kicking out of hand - both better than Mike Catt at his best - as is his tackling (other than the feeble attempt in the N'hampton game).

A good signing.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
rightarmover (IP Logged)
25/04/2012 21:19
"We need a new, inspired 9 to get Donald firing."

...to quote "ex bod"

Absolutely right - unless someone can exorcise Claassens' obsession with the box-kick.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Coalminer (IP Logged)
25/04/2012 22:12
I don't think Class has an personal obsession with box kicking. I am sure it is a pre-determined tactic imposed by the coaches.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
26/04/2012 12:47
Donald's arrival just doesn't sit comfortably with me. I cannot help but think that he's here simply because he cannot afford not to be, not because he had a burning ambition to leave NZ for anyone.

Above all, even Carter, I'd have much preferred Brock James to have replaced Butch.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bod (IP Logged)
26/04/2012 12:57
I guess when SD signed he never in a million years thought he be anywhere near the ABs RWC squad in any way shape or form so I think his motives for moving to Europe were reasonably genuine.
Brock James would have been an interesting option, but I don't think SIM would possess the wit, or contacts to sign him, and SIM had just shafted over one of his respected countrymen.
Vern Cotter would have put him straight on a few scores I guess.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dOg4Ljp3kh8/Sf89bRrqecI/AAAAAAAAAJY/eJCF1kt4b0E/s200/DON%27T-SHOOT-THE-MESSENGER1.jpg

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Tricky=Legend (IP Logged)
26/04/2012 13:08
We have to give SD some time. Those who have watched the S14/15 over the last few seasons will have seen some great performances from him. Like any other player, he has his off days, in in general is a very good acquisition.

As many others have said, let's give him a chance. I think once he finds his voice within the team, he will have more and more of a positive influence over the way in which we play.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
26/04/2012 18:42
We approached James but he was happy, settled and very well paid in France. Nothing to do with any perceived flaw in McGeechan's character or intellect.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
marshie10 (IP Logged)
26/04/2012 21:15
We didn't go after James, it was paper talk. As was Michalak.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
26/04/2012 21:18
Shame. Not that I think he would have left France, I really believe he would've been the best 10 we could've signed.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
marshie10 (IP Logged)
26/04/2012 21:28
Too many eggs were put into the Carter basket. Brock James is more inconsistent than Butch James. I actually would have gone with Jimmy Gopperth, or Peter Grant. By the end of next season though when Donald goes home, Heathcote will be first choice.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
gloucesterwatcher (IP Logged)
26/04/2012 21:41
10's
Brock James like Butch wins games.
As for eggs in your basket : it's no good pitching all for Tommy, he could get injured.
We need to bring more forward like Devoto and keep them.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Stuart Anderton (IP Logged)
26/04/2012 22:55
Quote:
marshie10
. By the end of next season though when Donald goes home, Heathcote will be first choice.


Season after next: "My contract is for three years so I am looking forward to next season," Donald told Sky Sports News. "It will be good to get a good pre-season under my belt as it is probably something I need."


Stuart

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Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
marshie10 (IP Logged)
27/04/2012 01:11
Stuart, most thought the same with Carraro...

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
27/04/2012 07:46
Did Carraro ever state it publicly?

On that vein, what happened to the centre we so badly need to sign?

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
BathBaby (IP Logged)
29/04/2012 10:15
Seems fair to me and I support Old lags point. Look back over Donald's playing career and the times he has been consistently good are when he has been settled and secure. A good pre-season should help stabilise the team spirit. A DoR and a settled coaching staff would do a whole lot more.

I really should sort one of those witty signatures

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Wilts Tiger (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 09:17
I don't think you are that far from being a good team, The issues you seem to have are consistency as individuals/team & good game plans.

My question to you guys/girls on SD is how long is his current contract & when it ends do you think he will resign,
Therefore do you build your future around a 10 who will be there or one that will be there.

Good luck I'm sure you will be ok

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
marshie10 (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 12:28
Donald will most likely be off at the end of next season.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
06/05/2012 12:59
What's the lowdown Marshie?

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Stuart Anderton (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 15:41
That will strongly depend how next season goes, so such long term predictions are just guesses.

Stuart

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Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
marshie10 (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:04
Yes Stuart, a predicition is a guess. But there is such thing as an educated guess. You don't have to quash everything that isn't fact.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bri (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:07
Would we go with Tom by then Marshie or another big signing?

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
marshie10 (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:11
I'd imagine Tom, if he continues to develop as quickly as he has. In my opinion, if he can continue developing his management of the games, he has has the lot. By that stage Ollie Devoto might be at the level Tom is now, so we would be rather well placed. It might be worth bringing in a Jimmy Gopperth type player, but I think Heathcote should by that stage be first choice. If Donald wasn't "the big name player" that he is, Heathcote would probably be first choice now!

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bod (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:11
Depends on BC2s objectives for Bath.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dOg4Ljp3kh8/Sf89bRrqecI/AAAAAAAAAJY/eJCF1kt4b0E/s200/DON%27T-SHOOT-THE-MESSENGER1.jpg

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Stuart Anderton (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:12
Then don't state things so firmly!

Stuart

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Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bri (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:13
Indeed,Ollie played England under 19 against France recently,he is also a outstanding talent,I believe he went to your old School,Have the still got that old White pavilion.Done a bit of coaching up there awhile back.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Stuart Anderton (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:17
Should Donald leave there's no way we would go into 2013/14 with just one 21 year old as the only senior option at 10. Well, I'd certainly hope not anyway.

Are we going to spend teh next year speculating about Donald's level of motivation, or maybe we should get behind the guy?

Stuart

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Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bri (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:22
I agree with you Stuart but 10 is such a pivotal position whoever plays there needs to be on their metal.Let's hope SD has a great second season backed up by a ever improving Tom.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
marshie10 (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:26
Stuart, look at Gloucester with Burns (21) as their first choice fly half, with Tim Taylor (29) an able back up, but actually Ryan Mills (19) is the more frequent deputy.

I will support Donald as he currently plays for Bath, but on balance, I firmly believe he will leave at the end of next season.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bod (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:28
Maybe Tom should take a couple of seasons in S15s to broaden his experience and skill sets?

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dOg4Ljp3kh8/Sf89bRrqecI/AAAAAAAAAJY/eJCF1kt4b0E/s200/DON%27T-SHOOT-THE-MESSENGER1.jpg

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Stuart Anderton (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:28
Is that the Gloucester who managed to finish even lower down the table than us Marshie? Not sure that's a good example!

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Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bri (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:29
If you are right and I believe you are a Steven Jones would have been good.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
marshie10 (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:31
Bod, that's exactly what I was thinking recently. I think Mercer and Heathcote would benefit enormously from a season in S15.

Stuart, yes the same Gloucester that finished below us but, like us, have lost their coaching set up. Also the same Gloucester that have played some outstanding rugby this season, the same Gloucester that have beaten us twice this season, and last.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bod (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:33
I think SD will show his true worth, including playing some part in the AIs for the ABs ironically!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dOg4Ljp3kh8/Sf89bRrqecI/AAAAAAAAAJY/eJCF1kt4b0E/s200/DON%27T-SHOOT-THE-MESSENGER1.jpg

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bri (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:36
Nice one Bod,he has a lot to offer,his passing is awesome and he reads the game well,let's hope he comes back refreshed and super fit.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Stuart Anderton (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:40
Glaws save their best rugby for us (cheers guys!) they've not rustled up much else this term: Newcastle did the double over them FHS, even we didnt sink that far..

Not saying it's Burns fault at all, but I bet Redpath would hav rather had options.

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Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bri (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:43
It's no secret that Burns form has dipped and the release of Nicky Robinson was a mistake IMHO.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bod (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:44
Well Marshie, all the NZ S15 franchises bar Otago are up for sale, so maybe BC2 might wish to evaluate some involvement/tie up - fancy having Smith or Blackadder as Coaching Consultant to develop Bath's coaches? (Bath Crusaders has a ring to it!) World Branding anyone?

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dOg4Ljp3kh8/Sf89bRrqecI/AAAAAAAAAJY/eJCF1kt4b0E/s200/DON%27T-SHOOT-THE-MESSENGER1.jpg

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Stuart Anderton (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:47
The SA ones might be interesting, but NZ is problematic as you can't swap players.

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Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bod (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:50
Yet Stu!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dOg4Ljp3kh8/Sf89bRrqecI/AAAAAAAAAJY/eJCF1kt4b0E/s200/DON%27T-SHOOT-THE-MESSENGER1.jpg

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bri (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 19:53
Bar Otago

[www.nzherald.co.nz]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2012:05:06:19:54:50 by Bri.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Stuart Anderton (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 20:00
Quote:
Ex-Bod
Yet Stu!

Any reason to think the law will change?

Stuart

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Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bod (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 20:07
Yep, Otago Union has been saved , Local donation and charity fund raising (many Highlander players involved), and a local council have written off some council tax issues (NZRU have added another loan as well) However, don't confuse the Regional Unions with the S15 franchise which is controlled by NZRU.

Stu - there seems to be a few French T14 clubs sniffing around in SA - they have a lot more money to spend and I believe Toulouse or Toulon have some kind of academy/rugby charity already established there somewhere.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dOg4Ljp3kh8/Sf89bRrqecI/AAAAAAAAAJY/eJCF1kt4b0E/s200/DON%27T-SHOOT-THE-MESSENGER1.jpg

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Stuart Anderton (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 20:19
Ah, see what you meant.

Stuart

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Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Bod (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 20:47
Quote:
TCM2007
Quote:
Ex-Bod
Yet Stu!

Any reason to think the law will change?

TV money will change the Clubs attitudes as the club game develops further worldwide I guess.

National legislation obstacles?

Probably the referendum to leave the EU in a year or two will help! I think the UK govt will be interested to make friends again, especially given the sizeable Oil reserves discovered off the W.Coast of S.Island over the last 3 years.
Just a hunch!
I also thought that the worldwide employees of Britsh companies were given favourable rights to relocate if they possessed specialist skill.
Can you prevent a US rock band performing at Twickenham? At the final analysis this is a similar money generating entertainment business - if there is enough demand then a solution will be found I'm sure!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dOg4Ljp3kh8/Sf89bRrqecI/AAAAAAAAAJY/eJCF1kt4b0E/s200/DON%27T-SHOOT-THE-MESSENGER1.jpg

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
DanWiley (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 21:37
I wouldn't get too excite by the oil, the most excitable guesses are at most 20 billion barrels, or the amount the Arabs produce in three years. That will give new Zealand enough to meet its own needs, they are not about to become a world power.

They found 60 billion barrels in the falklands in case you need something to compare.

I'd be surprised if we leave the eu, even the current gov isn't that stupid.

I don't believe the rock band is a reasonable analogy. The permit I require to visit other countries to give presentations is not the same that I would require to actually work there long term.

 
Re: Fans View on Bath Rugby Inside Out - Stephen Donald
Stuart Anderton (IP Logged)
06/05/2012 21:55
Clubs have no part in the process Bod. It's the government!

A rock band performing is the equivalent of a touring side playing over here - there are some hoops to jump though, but it's easy enough.

Stuart

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