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Clash of the Codes
Discussion started by Earlsbris , 07 May, 2020 17:39
Clash of the Codes
Earlsbris 07 May, 2020 17:39
Interesting to see that Bath v Wigan is being replayed by Sky tomorrow.

Would be interesting to see last years Sarries team play a super league side at league - would back them to get much closer as Union defences now largely copy a league model.

Would have loved Tuigamala in his prime

Re: Clash of the Codes
Brisman 07 May, 2020 17:43
Quote:
Earlsbris
Interesting to see that Bath v Wigan is being replayed by Sky tomorrow.
Would be interesting to see last years Sarries team play a super league side at league - would back them to get much closer as Union defences now largely copy a league model.

Would have loved Tuigamala in his prime
Agreed, you also have to factor in that this was at the dawn of union going professional, the fitness levels now would be on a par, back in 1996 Wigan had a big advantage.

Re: Clash of the Codes
Rich. 07 May, 2020 19:37
Oh that League-rules game was so embarrassing - the best ever British League side against what was still effectively an amateur Bath side who had only one or two short League training sessions before the League match and just had no idea whatsoever on defending once Wigan realised they needed to play quick and find gaps among the big Bath forwards (not containing any of the the speedy and highly fit front and second row you get these days - apart, I think, from Mears). Then in the Union match which Bath won, Wigan effectively had 8 back row forwards in their pack (Bath for some reason still picked their usual front and 2nd row people - even though they had agreed they wouldn't really push in the scrums for understandable safety reasons!!) and with their greater professional fitness Wigan were able to cause some real problems for Bath. Some great back play by the Wigan lot in that match.

But I think it had a big impact on professional Union as clubs realised that just paying players to play play did not make them professionals!

Top Union side would comfortably beat the top league side these days over a similar cross-code 2 match event. Sale just beat St Helens over a two half match a few years ago (Union rules first half legal second) but things in Union have moved on since then.

Re: Clash of the Codes
hooter 07 May, 2020 19:47
Everybody keeps going on about bath being amateurs then, people seem to forget that all there players other jobs were mostly covers and the were pro in all but name

Re: Clash of the Codes
Rich. 07 May, 2020 19:58
Quote:
hooter
Everybody keeps going on about bath being amateurs then, people seem to forget that all there players other jobs were mostly covers and the were pro in all but name

That game showed they weren't top professional athletes or with top professional approach

Re: Clash of the Codes
Hercules Spoons 07 May, 2020 20:45
Agreed Rich
Just because you’re paid doesn’t make you professional, we’ve all worked with people like that
It’s massively different these days in Union
I hope the players are able to train together soon, even if it involves distancing (unsocial) because that restarts teamwork

Re: Clash of the Codes
hooter 08 May, 2020 10:10
I meant compared to union clubs.

Re: Clash of the Codes
Singapore Sam 08 May, 2020 10:28
Quote:
hooter
Everybody keeps going on about bath being amateurs then, people seem to forget that all there players other jobs were mostly covers and the were pro in all but name

My girlfriend of the time worked at South West Gas, they had a few employees who they only ever saw if they went to the Rec on a Saturday!

Re: Clash of the Codes
Rich. 08 May, 2020 11:09
Quote:
hooter
I meant compared to union clubs.

Oh yeah absolutely Hooter!

Re: Clash of the Codes
Graham_U 08 May, 2020 14:17
Some how posted on wrong thread



Graham

C'mon Bris,

http://www.rugbynetwork.net/boards/file/s100.htm?102,file=399.jpg

Stand out in a crowd, wear the Hoops!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/05/2020 15:38 by Graham_U.

Re: Clash of the Codes
Brizzle 08 May, 2020 19:41
What a Wigan side it was, Jason Robinson, Dean Edwards, Chariots Ofia, Gary Connelly, Scott Quinell, etc.

Completely outclassed in league match.

Re: Clash of the Codes
Brisman 10 May, 2020 12:11
Just watching the union match, if you transported that Bath team into the present day premiership, it would get absolutely battered every week. The fitness and skill set of present day players is a world away from that era. Bath were knocking the ball on for a past time. It would be great to see how a present day version of this would pan out, I’d fully expect the League game to be much, much closer.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/2020 12:13 by Brisman.

Re: Clash of the Codes
JL904 10 May, 2020 17:10
As a Wigan pie-eater I don't think it would be possible to play that challenge today - the RL match maybe, but not the Union fixture due to the danger of scrummaging. Considering that RU clubs must have a full specialist front row on the bench neither the RFU or RFL would entertain the idea.

In the '96 matches Wigan had an easier week to prepare due to Bath playing the Pilkington Cup final the week before, so the Union boys were on a hiding to nothing before even travelling to Maine Road. Overall fitness - as pointed out by others - the pace and intensity of the game (which the Bath players only experienced in 7's) and a pair of the finest wingers ever to grace a rugby pitch in Charriots & Billy Whizz scoring 8 tries (out of 16) made for a spectacular mismatch.

The return at Twickenham could have been a similar scoreline in Bath's favour. Many Wigan players were committing technical offences against Union laws they didn't even know existed - and referee Mr Campsall gave them rather more leeway than would have been the case in a regular match. To Bath's credit, they did not simply tie Wigan up in technical forward play - but as a result of that, superior fitness allowed Wigan to post scores after half time. The final result didn't (I feel) reflect the dominance of Bath in the same way the first match did of Wigan.

In short - two fine sides, two interesting matches. Was it really almost 25 years ago? Rugby Union is almost unrecognisable today - better in some ways, less so in others IMHO.

It's interesting to see that four players from that challenge (Andy Farrell, Shaun Edwards, Mike Catt and Andy Robinson) have had varying degrees of success with involvement in coaching at international level.



Wars begin when you will, but they do not end when you please - Niccolo Machiavelli

Re: Clash of the Codes
Graham_U 10 May, 2020 17:56
Interesting point about the props, and safety expectations. Back in those days props were far more Scrum specialist, and less of the all round players they are today. Many props are great with the ball but can be shown up in the scrum. So whilst players are bigger and fitter today, are the scrums more dangerous? Or does it illustrate the difference in safety standards today.



Graham

C'mon Bris,

http://www.rugbynetwork.net/boards/file/s100.htm?102,file=399.jpg

Stand out in a crowd, wear the Hoops!

Re: Clash of the Codes
Peter D 10 May, 2020 21:14
As I recall there was a good deal of concern about the RL "props" at the time. As a result Bath scrummaged very gently which made the union game much closer than it might otherwise have been.

Re: Clash of the Codes
Earlsbris 12 May, 2020 10:26
Bath’s defence in the league game was shown up badly as well, so many doglegs. Modern union defences are much more like league defence so wouldn’t be as likely to get cut to pieces. Sarries could probably play league

Re: Clash of the Codes
Rich. 12 May, 2020 15:17
Quote:
Earlsbris
Bath’s defence in the league game was shown up badly as well, so many doglegs. Modern union defences are much more like league defence so wouldn’t be as likely to get cut to pieces. Sarries could probably play league

Yes not only understanding the defensive line but (and this is what really killed Bath) begin used to (and able to fitness-wise) get back on your feet ASAP to join a new defensive line. I played League 'oop North' for a season and that was the biggest challenge at the start. Now, however, top Union players are back on their feet instantly in order to try to steal the ball from the tackled player or re-align themselves for defensive duties. It's knackering and only a few of the Bath players were up to it and the bigger front and 2nd rowers were not up to it at all for more than 1 or 2 phases and that led to those doglegs you mention. It really showed how many of the Bath players were not fit enough to cope with a pacy game without stops for scrums and line-outs (and a breather).

Funnily enough I've just been listening to Joe Marchant on the BBC Rugby podcast saying how he struggled big time to get used to the non-stop nature of Super Rugby. As fit as he was for Union over here he wasn't used to the constant ball in play and attacking he was having to get used to with the Blues. Consequently his defensive stats actually went down, whereas he was hoping he'd come over from the more defence-orientated Prem and show then what good defence was!


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