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Bargain Hunting? Sale v Bath


Watson: return?

By P G Tips
April 23 2019

After flattering to deceive at Gloucester, Bath next travel to a Sale side nursing a grievance. Following a humbling home defeat to Worcester, Sale pulled themselves together and dominated much of a feisty Challenge Cup Semi Final, only to fall to La Rochelle in a match littered with controversial moments. Frustration at such narrow failure should fire them up, as will the knowledge that, like Bath, they now depend on final Premiership position for entry to Champions Cup rugby next season.  

Sale’s grievance comes from two of the Semi Final’s controversial incidents: a penalty try against Solomona for a high tackle that prevented a try and referee Nigel Owen’s failure to show red to La Rochelle forward Jules Favre for lashing out with his boot at Solomona’s face in the dying seconds. Yellow was deemed sufficient and anyway, Sale could not make the man advantage tell to snatch back the match.

 

Sale this season have been almost as much an enigma as Bath. They are not blessed with as many internationals in their squad, but still possess potent strike threats in Ashton and Solomona, a feisty pack fashioned in DOR Steve Diamond’s own image and the livewire tactical direction of Faf De Klerk at scrum half. Why then are their performances so inconsistent and do they languish in 8th place in the table? It seems that they actually punch above their weight, but with limited strength in depth injuries hit them harder than most and the absence of the Du Preez brothers (now back with South Africa’s Sharks after loan periods) has removed two thirds of the trio that directed play in their better wins earlier this season.

 

Sale remain a tough proposition at home though, especially on a Friday night and Bath, reminded of their poor away form by Gloucester in the second half two weeks ago, last won away in December. With the Curry brothers and Beaumont keen to press claims for World Cup places and both Ashton and Solomona in sharp try scoring form, they will be confident of exposing Bath’s vulnerabilities to win.

 

For Bath, the urgent need for three victories meets the distraction of last week’s news of Blackadder’s departure. He has been a popular figure with the squad, despite disappointing runs of results. Senior figures and star players have obviously bought into the club’s vision for the future as contract renewals over the past six months have shown. It remains to be seen, however, if supporters’ reservations about the elevation of Stuart Hooper as DOR are shared by the players, or will influence performances in the run in. A few names rejoin the selection mix as Bath chase a bargain. Max Lahiff is recovered and likely to start but injury continues to sideline Charteris and Batty, while there is an outside chance that Watson or Rokodoguni may feature in the 23.

 

Bath opened their last away match like title contenders, producing 20 minutes of almost total dominance for a 17-0 lead. That suggests that the green shoots of Girvan Dempsey’s influence on attack are close to flowering, but the fragility and lack of control in the last quarter that has bedevilled so many games remains. Bath need to back the philosophy of that opening twenty at Kingsholm, involve their wingers early and more often. They also need to find a “surge” in the final ten minutes to close out a game, rather than hanging on in hope.

 

Win and Bath can entertain hopes of Top 4. Lose and they must kiss goodbye to Champions Cup rugby next season.

 

Possible Teams:
Bath:
Obano, Dunn, Lahiff, Attwood, Stooke, Ellis, Underhill, Mercer. Chudley (Capt.), Burns, Cokanasiga, Roberts, Joseph, McConnochie. Homer.

Replacements:  Catt, Walker, Perenise, Ewels, Reid, Fotuali’i, Priestland,Watson.

 

Sale Sharks:

Harrison, Webber, John, Beaumont, Phillips, Ross (Capt.), B Curry, T Curry, Ross. De Klerk, McGinty. McGuigan, Ashton, O’Connor,S James, Solomona. L James.

Replacements: Langdon, Bristow, Jones, Postlethwaite, Moore. Evans, J-L Du Preez. Cliff, Redpath, Reed.

 

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TEAMS UP! Bargain Hunting? Sale v Bath
Discussion started by Comeonmylovers.co.uk (IP Logged), 23/04/2019 18:05
Comeonmylovers.co.uk
Comeonmylovers.co.uk
23/04/2019 18:05
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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2019:04:30:20:11:35 by P G Tips.

opti
Optimist
23/04/2019 18:42
I guess the fact that Chudley was fielded at the presser today means heís starting. I was quite liking Kahnís return to form.

Bath Hammer
Bath Hammer
24/04/2019 06:49
Itís a pleasure to read such a well reasoned & unemotional assessment which I pretty well agree with. It is true that Sale havenít been too consistent recently so this is not the stone cold certainty of a home win that it would have been a few months ago but they do have home advantage & will be fired up after the anguish at La Rochelle. That will probably be too much for a talented though flimsy Bath side.

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
24/04/2019 08:20
Officials:

(AJ Bell Stadium, 7.45pm) Live on BT Sport


Referee: Thomas Foley (65th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Jack Makepeace & Simon McConnell.
TMO: Stuart Terheege.
Citing Officer: Shaun Gallagher.

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

MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked
24/04/2019 09:33
PGT, do you ever run out of puns based on the clubs we are playing or is my memory so bad I forget when they are re-used?

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!

P G Tips
P G Tips
24/04/2019 11:45
SW

I sniff them out like a shark scenting blood!

PG

MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked
24/04/2019 12:59
https://media.giphy.com/media/xT0GqtpF1NWd9VbstO/giphy.gif

He's done it again!

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!

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
25/04/2019 10:59
15. Anthony Watson
14. Joe Cokanasiga
13. Jonathan Joseph
12. Jamie Roberts
11. Ruaridh McConnochie

10. Freddie Burns
9. Kahn Fotualiíi

1. Beno Obano
2. Tom Dunn
3. Max Lahiff
4. Dave Attwood
5. Charlie Ewels (c)
6. Tom Ellis
7. Sam Underhill
8. Zach Mercer


Replacements

16. Jack Walker
17. Jacques van Rooyen
18. Anthony Perenise
19. Levi Douglas
20. Elliott Stooke

21. Will Chudley
22. Rhys Priestland
23. Semesa Rokoduguni

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



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:04:25:11:11:56 by BathMatt53.

BathBurger
BathBurger
25/04/2019 11:01
Watson straight back in!

Looks great on paper, which makes me far more optimistic than I was.

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
25/04/2019 11:11
Sale Sharks STARTING XV:

15. Luke James,
14. Denny Solomona,
13. Sam James,
12. James OíConnor,
11. Chris Ashton,

10. AJ MacGinty,
9. Faf De Klerk;

1. Ross Harrison,
2. Rob Webber,
3. Will-Griff John,
4. Josh Beaumont,
5. James Phillips,
6. Ben Curry,
7. Tom Curry,
8. Jono Ross.

REPLACMENTS: 16. Curtis Langdon, 17. Valery Moroz, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Matt Postlethwaite, 20. Josh Strauss, 21. Will Cliff, 22. Cameron Redpath, 23. Arron Reed

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



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:04:25:11:12:47 by BathMatt53.

rainbow
rainbow
25/04/2019 11:14
Unfortunately the game, BB, will not be played on paper i suspect Bath will revert to their season long failings.

by
by
25/04/2019 11:19
Strongest team we've put out all season.

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
25/04/2019 11:37
Their back row (and FaF) will be everywhere - our 6 to 9 positions will need to be right on their game or it will be a long night. The rain won't help those 2 very exciting back lines.

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

ShortyinBurnham
ShortyinBurnham
25/04/2019 11:39
Great to see Ant and Roko back! Strong looking team, hopefully they can put in a consistent 80 minutes!

MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked
25/04/2019 11:52
If your Sale you wouldn't want to kick to and get Anthony Watson, Joe Cokanasiga, Jonathan Joseph or Ruaridh McConnochie running back at you!

Plus the bench looks strong as well, could be interesting!

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!

opti
Optimist
25/04/2019 12:12
The thing that bugs me is that there would be no shame in losing to that Sale team, away. But because of earlier ridiculous results in the season, it is a must-win game, a Ďcup semi-finalí. Normally iíd be happy to look forward to a really good match-up between two fantastic looking teams on paper - but now I have to watch it through my fingers.

Purns
Purns
25/04/2019 12:44
Genuinely excited. The Curry boys worry me but believe we more than match up with our BR. Bath by 5.

Bath Hammer
Bath Hammer
25/04/2019 13:11
Quote:
rainbow
Unfortunately the game, BB, will not be played on paper i suspect Bath will revert to their season long failings.

Had the game been played on paper we would now be in the top 6 or even the top 4. Both teams are good on paper but they have home advantage which will give them the edge especially on a wet Friday night.

MESSAGES->author
Rawce
25/04/2019 15:13
Our bench to clinch the win for me.

miller8
miller8
25/04/2019 15:41
Home advantage?? All 4000 of them? I expect Bath fans will boost the number by a 1/3rd

Bath Hammer
Bath Hammer
25/04/2019 15:45
Quote:
miller8
Home advantage?? All 4000 of them? I expect Bath fans will boost the number by a 1/3rd

That may be so but it is always a difficult place to go to & as far as I know our record there is pretty poor.

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
25/04/2019 15:57
Nothing pretty about it - its just poor!

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

B4thB4ck
B4thB4ck
25/04/2019 16:15
If Freddie gets good service that's a great back line to play with. The alignment with Roberts will be key, keeping him as a runner but not slowing it down if a decoy.

Can our forwards play for 80 mins? I know there has been much talk of mental fragility but recently I put down some of that to our legs going after starting the game at 100mph and then visibly running out of steam. You can't have confidence when you know you are knackered.

I thought at Glos all the tempo went out of the window and it came down to individual effort. We need to fizz passes from 9 with quick possession for the whole game, not just the first half. To achieve that play smart, take your breaks.

MESSAGES->author
Clarkey3k
25/04/2019 18:08
Quote:
Bath Hammer
Quote:
miller8
Home advantage?? All 4000 of them? I expect Bath fans will boost the number by a 1/3rd

That may be so but it is always a difficult place to go to & as far as I know our record there is pretty poor.

I am in Lancashire and will be there tomorrow night for £100 x 4 terrace places and on site parking. I have been coming to this match on and off during the last 20yr and yet to see us win so travel in hope once again rather than expectation. I am looking forward to it...

Adopted players: 2019/20 T Faletau; [19] M V Vuuren; [18] T Faletau; [17] D Denton; [16] H. Agulla; [15] L Houston; [14] W Spencer; [13] F. Louw

Change a life with a loan [www.deki.org.uk]

Awp24975
Awp24975
25/04/2019 18:38
Not looked back to see if we have won since, but last time I went was 2011. We won (from what I remember a poor game), but what a night out afterwards, and then trying to find a pub the following day to entertain a group of guys trying to watch England in six nations when it was Manchester football derby was almost impossible!
Fingers crossed for same result tomorrow!

ilovebathtime
ilovebathtime
25/04/2019 19:18
This is the strongest side we've had all season and I am confident we can win, but at the same time I just know that a game away at an unfashionable team has defeat written all over it, and really it doesn't seem to matter what team we put out

Bath Hammer
Bath Hammer
25/04/2019 21:10
Quote:
ilovebathtime
This is the strongest side we've had all season and I am confident we can win, but at the same time I just know that a game away at an unfashionable team has defeat written all over it, and really it doesn't seem to matter what team we put out

I donít know whether they would be considered unfashionable but if you look at their lineup itís impressive despite the players they have missing. Their backs & half-backs are certainly as good or better than ours as is their back row. A win against such a lineup wonít be easy whether home or away.

HugoBoss
HugoBoss
26/04/2019 07:13
Kahn starting makes sense-good over the ball when its there to be won and contested, won numerous turnovers last year(?) with him doing so. We'll need that against their back row and Underhill is our only natural jackaler in ours one could argue. He'll also need to up his game from last time out, especially with Ross and the Curry twins against him.

Really great seeing Watson back, and likewise Roko. Finally some more options out on the wing, and I think we needed them. Big Joe, a hell of a talent, hasn't looked to be at the races recently. Granted he's been deprived of ball, and when he has had it on a few occasions hasn't been put in a position to utilise his strengths, but he needs to look for work a little more. Could easily have seen him dropped and Watson come in at 14....either way, lovely to have these options. Also pleasing to see some continuity developing in terms of team selection.

Why is van Rooyen still being named though.....maybe I'm being harsh but I've not seen anything close to how well he performed in Super Rugby last year which got us excited at the announcement he was joining us. He seems to drop the ball on far too many occasions, and prone to errors at scrum time too. I'd like to see Vaughan being given some more opportunities at this stage.

Can't call this one. Away we can start well and tail off dismally. Sale have quality in many areas, but if something does finally click for us we could certainly win. A win by 5 for either team.

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
26/04/2019 08:06
Catt wasn't mentioned as injured but no idea why JVR would be on the bench if Catt was fit.

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

B4thB4ck
B4thB4ck
26/04/2019 08:09
I would like to think that we learned something from playing Glos about the way the backs lined up. Cipriani nearly always had options with his passing, yes he made good use of the ball but at least he could choose to pass flat or go back and around and it worked for the full 80. We played this way for a while with George F at 10 but haven't really looked dangerous since that time IMO.

HugoBoss
HugoBoss
26/04/2019 08:21
Agree very much BB. In addition, it felt like he had willing runners offering themsleves running angular lines as opposed to hard and straight. I could be wrong, but I'd like to see more of it from us as we have the straight and hard bit, we have the speed of attack in our wingers, but variety in running lines during open play (as opposed to a set move from scrum) is something I don't often see. This fits into your point as GF was superb at identifying these.

gaz59
gaz59
26/04/2019 15:27
Well apart from 3, 8 and 9 I would have most others of our team over theirs with a couple too close to call

If we get parity of possession and reasonably quick ball at times then we can hope that Freddie will engineer some exciting stuff with that backline

But we know just how strong Sale are with an oppressive defence and very quick on counter attack through Faf, Denny and Ashton

If it stays dry and little wind it should be a very good match but as some have said it may come down to focus and keeping errors out especially in last quarter

Will be watching nervously from sanctuary of behind sofa

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