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Injuries and Style of Play
Discussion started by ken_jnr (IP Logged), 01 December, 2019 07:46
ken_jnr
ken_jnr
01 December, 2019 07:46
Watching Bath play over the last five or so years as our style of play has soured (the final Ford year, The Blackadder ones and now the Hooper Era) it feels like we have had an injury crisis every year.

They are an inevitable part of the game, every team has them and some players are just not as robust for any number of physiological reasons. There are a number of players across the world who have had to retire too early across all clubs so it is not just a Bath phenomena.

However, with the number of knee injuries alone this season (Reid, Ewels, Watson, etc.) already I canít help but wonder if there is something else. The medical staff have changed if I recall, as have the coaches. The players are not all the same either. I remember Denton tearing his hamstring off the bone, Lahiff was constantly broken, etc.

So is it just because I am looking at Bath more that I notice it? Is there something systematic at play? Is the training pitch at Farleigh stressing the players body?

The thing nobody has linked (that I have noticed) is our style/standard of play and our injuries. We often soak up endless pressure in defence, then regularly kick it back to them to do the same again. When we do get possession we have no creativity or speed at all so end up running headlong into well set defences rather than arms or spaces. If injuries are an inevitable consequence of a collision game, do our players experience significantly more collisions in a season?

Morning musings over but personally it does feel like these things are related.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2019 07:51 by ken_jnr.

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
01 December, 2019 09:12
I think that they probably were a season or two ago. Bath possession is now much improved and tackles are fewer. Take the example of the saints game:

[www.espn.co.uk]

We always used to be 30%, now frequently above 50% possession.

I think that you have to look at the injury lists of other teams and also the injury type for each of the Bath players. Lots of knee injuries across the game seems to be the same for every team. It just seems worse for us IMO because itís our team.



[Adoptee 19 / 20: The High ball and counter attack meister, Tom Homer]

ken_jnr
ken_jnr
01 December, 2019 09:38
Good stats!

Iím quite prepared to believe it is all perception as my awareness of Bath is greater, I just canít help but equate the lack of space we create with the number of injuries we seem to get as I watch us run into bodies endlessly.

Digging into the stats a bit more that you posted it seems we beat 26 defenders from 83 runs with only 7 clean breaks. We appear to have kicked the door down for our metres rather than Saints who had 13 clean breaks from 90 runs. Those stats point to Saints looking for and creating space and perhaps experiencing fewer large collisions?

And again, this may well be confirmation bias on my part but the possession is only part of it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2019 09:42 by ken_jnr.

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
01 December, 2019 09:48
Totally agree with the lack of breaks etc KenJ. These and drives and forward dominated play must also mean that the big guys are in the firing line more. Seems to be similar to an Exeter (or even Leinster) style forward game with 20+ pack phases - not sure what their injuries are like?

Wasps are really suffering with injuries from what I saw on line - sounds like they have 3 or 4 locks out?



[Adoptee 19 / 20: The High ball and counter attack meister, Tom Homer]

MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked
01 December, 2019 10:57
Line breaks are usually made from second phase plus ball. The key to that is fast ball and its delivery. I fear we will struggle to to this with our current half backs. RP is off the pace, he can see breaks but isn't quick enough to capitalise. He also struggles to cope with a rush defence always looking to kick for position rather than kick for attack.
Watching the Barbarians game yesterday it was noticeable hoe Marcello Bosch coped with the Wales rush defence. On two occasions he allowed the defence to cope up then ran through the 10/12 channel behind the Welsh backs. Scoring on one occasion.
We need a 9/10 combination that can threaten that channel otherwise our attack is to predictable.
The current crop of 10's all do this. Manu Vunipola, Symmonds at Ex, James Grayson even George Ford. I'd also include TDG in that list though he is moving away from 10.



https://i.ibb.co/Fz0bC3q/Unknown-1.jpg


Beno Obano Age 25 years, Loosehead prop, 5ft 8ins 18st 12lbs 'Mauls are like Transformers' they change form to become more powerful!

B4thB4ck
B4thB4ck
02 December, 2019 10:08
There is half a 3G pitch at Farleigh, how much it is used for training and whether it contributes to injuries is anyones guess.

Regarding possession, I would have thought an attacking team would benefit from choosing the type of clear out contact, better to hit than be hit, however the trend for the chop tackle, sometimes with arms, doubled up with a 2nd higher wrap is bound to skew the bad knee stats.

My reading in the past says there is nothing that can be done to strengthen joints, you can build up muscle but ligaments and tendons remain as nature intended.

I can't think that style of play contributes directly but agree that you dont want be earning hard yards, every game, all season. That is bound to catch up with you.

dr.bath1865
dr.bath1865
02 December, 2019 10:19
For me, this year the number of injuries is less than previous seasons but it's the quality of the players injured that is hurting/going to hurt us. Captain Ewels plus starters Thomas, Catt, Mercer/Faletau, JJ, JCok, Watson... So it's not volume but it's who is missing.

On line breaks, we've had 6 players playing in the intensity of a WC final campaign and Faletau on the physio's table... all 7 are key attacking men for us, so I'm not that surprised that the number of line busts is down. Sure, Roko and Homer can break, but a team with Louw/Underhill quickening up ball and Mercer/Faletau, JCok, AW and JJ carrying and shaping attacks is a completely different proposition.

So IMHO the two are linked...but it's for no more sinister reason than the bad luck that our best attacking forwards and backs are the 5 or 6 out injured/in need of a rest.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2019 10:25 by dr.bath1865.

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
04 December, 2019 22:20
Does anyone think that our injuries have any relation to the swamp that is the Rec at the moment?

Also, our league position is partly down to a lack of bonus points - does the swamp hinder any chance that we could have of getting try bonus, compared with a track in better condition (or hybrid, synthetic)? Or is that just an excuse for a toothless attack?



[Adoptee 19 / 20: The High ball and counter attack meister, Tom Homer]

MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked
04 December, 2019 22:56
Only in that injuries are often associated with fatigue and a heavy pitch is a killer for that. Mercer's injury was from a semi late hit but he was stuck in the mud, he couldn't have seen it coming.

The bonus point thing would be highlighted by more tries away on better pitches if it was a factor I would have thought. But lets be fair, Stuart Hooper never promised fast elusive running from the backs he always said his priority was getting the pack sorted. Only partially achieved at the moment, you never know though a few rolling maul tries against Clermont might confirm progress on that front.



https://i.ibb.co/Fz0bC3q/Unknown-1.jpg


Beno Obano Age 25 years, Loosehead prop, 5ft 8ins 18st 12lbs 'Mauls are like Transformers' they change form to become more powerful!

TG Kesmo
TG Kesmo
05 December, 2019 00:20
Quote:
BathMatt53
Does anyone think that our injuries have any relation to the swamp that is the Rec at the moment?
Also, our league position is partly down to a lack of bonus points - does the swamp hinder any chance that we could have of getting try bonus, compared with a track in better condition (or hybrid, synthetic)? Or is that just an excuse for a toothless attack?


I donít think you. can put collision injuries down to a soft pitch. Believe me artificial pitches have their own set of drawbacks when it comes to injuries especially knees. Ideally if you wish to run, stop and turn without too much risk on fully artificial pitches you need short pimple style soled boots.as all hockey players wear but you cannot scrummage or maul in those you would just fall flat.. so players go for longer studs and the risk of injury especially to knees rises. Personally I donít think fully artificial surfaces are suitable for rugby. Desso is a sensible compromise does have some sideways give but no tennis ball bounce and less friction burns, Neither surface comes close to good grass but that is weather dependent. It has been the wettest November for a very long time but to call the pitch a quagmire is being a bit economical with the truth. The drainage is pretty good and the pitch has been much improved over the last few seasons.
The new stadium will probably not be grass ( economics: less chance of cancellation and less upkeep) . I hope it will be desso but some non player will probably insist that there is no difference between that and fully artificial which is cheaper again. I would love the RFU to go the same way as football and ban fully artificial pitches, but given the Sarries situation I canít see it happening.

ExiledChameleon
ExiledChameleon
05 December, 2019 02:45
Quote:
B4thB4ck
There is half a 3G pitch at Farleigh, how much it is used for training and whether it contributes to injuries is anyones guess.

Given the sheer quantity of knee injuries you do have to wonder. When we (LIrish) first installed our 4G pitch at Hazlewood we had our worst ever year for injuries by quite some distance (for well over half the games we had at least 8 of our best 15 players injured). Coventry, the NZ coach almost exclusively used it the pitch as well, which only made things worse.

Bath Hammer
Bath Hammer
05 December, 2019 06:25
Quote:
ken_jnr
The thing nobody has linked (that I have noticed) is our style/standard of play and our injuries. We often soak up endless pressure in defence, then regularly kick it back to them to do the same again. When we do get possession we have no creativity or speed at all so end up running headlong into well set defences rather than arms or spaces. If injuries are an inevitable consequence of a collision game, do our players experience significantly more collisions in a season?

This is exactly as I see it. These quality attacking players continually pick up injuries playing for Bath but far less so playing internationally, though too often under Eddies training regime. We seem to constantly play a more attritional game, endlessly running into contact & failing to make enough clean breaks. There are certain players whose job it is to play that way & are destined to do so i.e. Jamie Roberts, but I want to see less of that from the likes of JJ, Faletau, Mercer, AW, JC, Roko etc. How you achieve that with our halfbacks, particularly, RP is the conundrum.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/12/2019 06:27 by Bath Hammer.

warrenball
warrenball
05 December, 2019 07:17
How depressing (especially for someone sitting in the East Stand) to know that the coaches are praying for rain to give them the best chance of playing the dull, boring, attritional game they have set out as their vision for this year. Striving for mediocrity and not achieving it.

We are not alone, this Premiership season must go down as the most tedious in the professional era, the only points of interest is how far up the table Saracens can go and if Northampton can win any silverware with their style of joyful, confident play - I am sure Brian Ashton is wishing them well and so do I.


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