TheSaracens.com
FROM SAINTS IN A WRECK TO BATH AT THE REC
By Barty11
September 5 2017

How do you top that performance I hear you ask? After arguably the greatest first half performance in recent times, we head to Bath with our divisive (and in my opinion, beautiful) green-streaked away kit, and rival supporters green with envy at the attacking talents we have at our disposal even without four sleeping Lions. Ashton who?... said Vincent Koch and Schalk Brits as they side-stepped an awe-struck Saints defence. To relive the details in all their glory see the account from Twickenham by JO’G.

To be ultra-mega-super critical, the lads will probably have been disappointed to ship three tries in the second half and will want to tighten up, and no doubt Loz’s radar will face some scrutiny with a less than 50% success rate. Given Bath’s performance at the weekend, both of these will need to be improved on for us to maintain our excellent form.

Bath edged a nail-biter away at Leicester on Sunday to secure their first win at Welford Road since the birth of Jesus (ok it wasn’t that long ago, but it was before Neil de Kock pulled on a black and red shirt so you get the idea). You could forgive Rhys Priestland for being the most smug man in the West Country; having played second fiddle to George Ford for two years he out-played and outkicked the returnee Tiger in a timely return to form. Young centre Max Clark grabbed the headlines with two tries but it was the work of bulldozing wingers Banahan and Rokoduguni that will be the likely cause of a few headaches. Bath were pretty much at full strength last week, so unless they give the likes of Faletau, Joseph and Watson a rest, I can’t see too many changes being made.

In terms of previous meetings it’s a mixed bag – on the one hand we’ve won eight of the last ten in the league, including the eight-try thumping at the end of March this year. However, the last encounter at the Rec, at the back end of last Autumn’s internationals, was notable for a poor first half and late penalty misses from Goode and Lozowski as we lost a tight game 14-11. It should be a close contest, but one I would expect us to win with Bath picking up a bonus point.

Regarding the line-up, another injury setback for George Kruis is a blow, but a solid performance by new recruit Dominic Day (aka Gavin & Stacey’s Dave Coaches?) and the latest academy gem Nick Isiekwe will lessen that worry somewhat. We know Billy V’s return is some way off yet and the jury is out on whether those sleeping Lions will be woken up. Plenty of talk about Maro needing a rest, but I’d expect that to happen later on once there are more forwards fit for service, so like Bath I wouldn’t expect too many changes from last week’s line-up other than a Kruis-enforced reshuffle with Itoje at lock and Rhodes at six, and Tolofua & Conlon shifting onto the bench.

Possible Sarries team:
Goode, Maitland, D Taylor, Barritt, Earle, Lozowski, Wigglesworth; Barrington, Brits, Koch, Day, Itoje, Rhodes, Burger, Wray

Tolofua, Thompson-Stringer, Figallo, Isiekwe, Conlon, Spencer, Bosch, Wyles