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Into The Lions’ Den: Gloucester v Bath


Joseph: sharp.

By P G Tips
April 9 2019

Fresh from beating Bristol at Twickenham, Bath’s third successive derby takes them to the Kingsholm Lions’ den. Gloucester claim their rebadging is not a rebrand, like Bristol’s but their Head Coach is a former Golden Lion player and coach, their squad contains four former Lions and they have adopted much of the Transvaalers’ directness and ferocity. They have certainly proven Lion- hearted this season and the Shed will be ready to roar. Will Bath be lambs to the slaughter or Lion tamers?

This is the time of year when coaches rue the Premiership’s attrition rate. Gloucester came away from their victory at Northampton with injuries to Cipriani, Sharples and Hudson. Losing the fly half would dampen the sharpness of their attack, with Williams and Thorley already out for the season. Bath themselves did not escape Twickenham unscathed – a blow to Cokanasiga’s AC joint and a broken nose for Batty. These against a background of Thomas, Faletau, Garvey and now Louw out for the rest of the season, and neither Watson nor Rokodoguni yet ready to return. Both sides will watch the week’s fitness reports anxiously.

 

Gloucester are free scorers but can also be generous in defence as they were in Sunday’s match at Franklin’s gardens, the lead in an 11 try tussle see -sawing several times before the Cherry and Whites pulled away. Their hard -nosed forwards win plenty of set piece ball and are strong in the carry. If they can gain the edge, the distribution of Twelvetrees and strong direct running of Atkinson in the centre give further go forward for pacey wings to exploit. Who those wings will be depends on medical reports. Purdy appears to have recovered from concussion and may start ahead of Sharples, while former Bath favourite Matt Banahan should be the other – a juicy matchup with Joe Cokanasiga if big Joe recovers.

 

Champions Cup qualification seems all but assured for Gloucester and a playoff place beckons. “Fortress Kingsholm” ought to be a daunting venue for Bath, but has been a happy hunting ground in recent years, racking up 6 tries in the equivalent fixture last year and last lost a premiership tie there in 2012. Neither fact should be seen as a reliable omen however. Too often this season Bath have taken a lead only to be seduced by the scoreboard, lose concentration or discipline, or all three. Indeed, a case could be made that Gloucester’s current third place is due them closing out winnable games while Bath, in sixth, have let five slip away.

 

Derby dates often turn season form upside down, so who will be the big beast in Saturday’s den? Both sides have ample league position motivation beyond bragging rights. For Bath to be the predator they must reprise the form of the Clash’s opening quarter. With Joseph sharp, Roberts direct and the back row quick to pounce their performance was both aggressive and clinical. If they can find that intensity again, avoid careless penalties and concentrate for the full 80 minutes they could reduce the Shed’s voice to roars of frustration.

 

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

Replacements:  Obano, Batty, Perenise, Ewels, Reid, Fotuali’i, Burns, Clark.

 

Gloucester:

Hohneck, Marais, Balmain, Slater, Mostert, Ackermann, Kriel, Morgan. Heinz (Capt.), Cipriani. Purdy, Twelvetrees, Atkinson, Banahan. Marshall.

Replacements: Sherry, Rapava Ruskin, Dreyer, Savage, Clarke, Polledri, Braley, Seabrook.

 

 

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Team Up. Into The Lions’ Den: Gloucester v Bath
Discussion started by Comeonmylovers.co.uk (IP Logged), 09/04/2019 20:27
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09/04/2019 20:27
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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2019:04:23:19:06:37 by P G Tips.

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
10/04/2019 15:49
Telegraph states that Ackerman is 'optimistic' that Hudson, Cips and Sharples will be OK for the weekend.

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

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
10/04/2019 22:53
For those who don’t always get to watch the matches, I understand that this weekends game will be on Channel 5 as well as BT sport.

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

Bath Hammer
Bath Hammer
11/04/2019 08:12
Quote:
BathMatt53
Telegraph states that Ackerman is 'optimistic' that Hudson, Cips and Sharples will be OK for the weekend.

That is good news for them but definitely NOT for us. With Cips pulling the strings this will put them in the driving seat.

OBinFiji
OBinFiji
11/04/2019 11:44
Looked like Cips' groin was injured at the weekend. You can't fix that in a week - so he'll be nursing it. I wouldn't want to nurse a dodgy groin if I was at 10 and Underhill was opposite me at 7 (as if I know what playing 10 in a professional game is like!).

OBinFiji

MESSAGES->author
Rawce
12/04/2019 12:01
Bath Rugby team to face Gloucester Rugby

15. Tom Homer

14. Joe Cokanasiga

13. Jonathan Joseph

12. Jamie Roberts

11. Ruaridh McConnochie

10. Freddie Burns

9. Kahn Fotuali’i

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. Elliott Stooke

20. Miles Reid

21. Will Chudley

22. Rhys Priestland

23. Max Clark

by
by
12/04/2019 12:03
Freddie starting, interesting to see how he goes.

MESSAGES->author
Rawce
12/04/2019 12:04
Gloucester Rugby:

15. Matt Banahan; 14. Tom Seabrook, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Henry Purdy; 10. Danny Cipriani, Willi Heinz (capt); 1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Franco Marais, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Ed Slater, 5. Franco Mostert; 6. Ruan Ackermann, 7. Jaco Kriel, 8. Ben Morgan


Replacements:

16. Mike Sherry, 17. Val Rapava Ruskin, 18. Gareth Denman, 19. Freddie Clarke, 20. Lewis Ludlow, 21. Jake Polledri, 22. Callum Braley, 23. Louis Rees-Zammit

Banners at 15. Shame Cips is starting.

SJS
SJS
12/04/2019 12:05
Quote:
by
Freddie starting, interesting to see how he goes.

Pleased to see Freddie starting - hopefully with a start he'll curb that need to make things happen and play his usual game.

SJS
SJS
12/04/2019 12:05
Ooh, Banas at 15 for Glos!

Shadders
Shadders
12/04/2019 12:07
Fancy their full-back will be targeted - at least I hope he is!

by
by
12/04/2019 12:09
Got to target Banahan at the back.

MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked
12/04/2019 12:11
I'd be a bit worried about that if I were Glos, lost a bit of pace, not the quickest to turn. I just hope were are not tempted to kick into the backfield when we should be running it.

Can you imagine Banners facing Big Joe C at pace....get the seismometers out!

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


Beno Obano Age 24 years, Loosehead prop, 5ft 8ins 18st 12lbs 'Mauls are like Transformers' they change form to become more powerful!

SJS
SJS
12/04/2019 12:12
Their second and back row looks dangerous. I seem to remember Heinz is always tricky too, much like De Klerk at Sale.

opti
Optimist
12/04/2019 12:15
Happy with those half-backs! Hope Kahn can keep that form of last week and not revert to death-by-box-kick. What a back-line that is. Very nice balance all round, and Beno should bring some pent-up enthusiasm and a relish for the physical challenge to the team if his interviews up at Walcot are anything to go by.

I appreciate why the team announcement goes on this post, but I do miss logging on and seeing 'Team's up'.!

guernseyfan
guernseyfan
12/04/2019 12:19
Looks like Gloucs are 6:2 split on the bench - they must be really short of backs.

MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked
12/04/2019 12:20
Our back row is just as dangerous, you are right Heinz is tricky, not as good as Faf de Clerc though. I do wonder if they are taking a chance with Cipriani though, groin issues don't usually recover that fast.

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


Beno Obano Age 24 years, Loosehead prop, 5ft 8ins 18st 12lbs 'Mauls are like Transformers' they change form to become more powerful!

opti
Optimist
12/04/2019 12:25
They have a 2-week break after this, so they may well be taking a chance with Cips. Plus if they get a win tomorrow they are pretty much home and hosed for the play-offs.

With Banahan already a potential liability at full-back for them, and a 6/2 split, I think Underhill will be screaming '10's mine' from the get-go!

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
12/04/2019 12:28
Quote:
guernseyfan
Looks like Gloucs are 6:2 split on the bench - they must be really short of backs.

Same as last week - that's why Polledri ended up on the wing.

RM and JC will be licking their lips if they get the ball against their winger who has just come back, a 20 year old centre on the other wing and Banners at the back. The question is, will the forwards have any sort of parity?

Freddie, this is your chance to shine...

COYB!

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

opti
Optimist
12/04/2019 12:31
I know their forwards are the form guys, but our back 5 is a very decent, balanced combination. Morgan vs Zach is a nice contrast in physique, but Zach is bubbling up pretty nicely at the moment.

by
by
12/04/2019 12:33
I just hope that Bath have been working on their tackling all week, because it was dire against Bristol.

opti
Optimist
12/04/2019 12:40
Quote:
by
I just hope that Bath have been working on their tackling all week, because it was dire against Bristol.

We conceded one try against Bris, and a couple of our tries were as a direct result of our aggressive line-speed/defence. They made quite a lot of mini-breaks but you'd expect that from Bris with their offloading/running game. Defence isn't just 1-1 tackle stats.

by
by
12/04/2019 12:55
We were gifted those tries by Bristol trying to play out. You can't say that missing tackles doesn't matter, it clearly does and the penalty count reflected that.

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
12/04/2019 12:56
My bookies has Glos by 5 which seems close enough to be interesting...I don't mind us being the underdog. Now let's please start better than we did against them at the Rec or last season when Heinz got a brace of tries.

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

MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked
12/04/2019 13:00
I'm more concerned with the penalty count TBH, against Bristol we went for speed to get any sort of contact relying on the follow up to complete the tackle.

I agree with Opti about Underhill v Cipriani looking forward to it as a contest.

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


Beno Obano Age 24 years, Loosehead prop, 5ft 8ins 18st 12lbs 'Mauls are like Transformers' they change form to become more powerful!

opti
Optimist
12/04/2019 13:16
"We were gifted those tries by Bristol trying to play out."

It's called a game-plan - Bristol were pretty naïve to keep playing into our hands, but who are we to complain.

B4thB4ck
B4thB4ck
12/04/2019 13:49
The key to giving Banners the run around is variety. Pass wide to commit him, then kick behind and make him turn. Drill the kicks low, make him bend and fumble. Should be an advantage but don't overdo it.

gaz59
gaz59
12/04/2019 13:53
Yup Opti, one of those few games where we won the coaching contest!

Really hope Freddie does well, whatever the score

MESSAGES->author
OutsideBath
12/04/2019 14:10
Cips playing pretty much seals the result for Glos, huge difference in quality between the two 10's.

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
12/04/2019 14:15
Quote:
OutsideBath
Cips playing pretty much seals the result for Glos, huge difference in quality between the two 10's.

In the words of Good Charlotte:

Something isn't right
I can feel it again, feel it again
This isn't the first time
That you left me waiting

Sad excuses and false hopes high
I saw this coming still
I don't know why I let you in

I knew it all along
You're so predictable
I knew something would go wrong
(something's always wrong)

etc.

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

BathBurger
BathBurger
12/04/2019 14:23
Quote:
BathMatt53
Quote:
OutsideBath
Cips playing pretty much seals the result for Glos, huge difference in quality between the two 10's.

In the words of Good Charlotte:

Something isn't right
I can feel it again, feel it again
This isn't the first time
That you left me waiting

Sad excuses and false hopes high
I saw this coming still
I don't know why I let you in

I knew it all along
You're so predictable
I knew something would go wrong
(something's always wrong)

etc.

+1
What. A. Reference.

MESSAGES->author
OutsideBath
12/04/2019 14:30
Quote:
BathMatt53
Quote:
OutsideBath
Cips playing pretty much seals the result for Glos, huge difference in quality between the two 10's.

In the words of Good Charlotte:

Something isn't right
I can feel it again, feel it again
This isn't the first time
That you left me waiting

Sad excuses and false hopes high
I saw this coming still
I don't know why I let you in

I knew it all along
You're so predictable
I knew something would go wrong
(something's always wrong)

etc.

You'll have to help me out here, I know what you're saying but know idea who you're quoting.

B4thB4ck
B4thB4ck
12/04/2019 14:36
I agree with Shipwrecked, groin injuries need rest and 1 week isn't enough. Either Glos are taking a big chance or it wasn't a groin strain in the first place.

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
12/04/2019 14:50
You just need to keep the faith OB. A semi-fit Cips in no way 'seals the deal' for this match and whilst Glos will rightly start as favorites given their home advantage I think that you should keep the faith until at least the match has started...IMO of course.

Good Charlotte is the name of the (rock) band.

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

MESSAGES->author
OutsideBath
12/04/2019 15:03
Quote:
BathMatt53
You just need to keep the faith OB. A semi-fit Cips in no way 'seals the deal' for this match and whilst Glos will rightly start as favorites given their home advantage I think that you should keep the faith until at least the match has started...IMO of course.
Good Charlotte is the name of the (rock) band.

Yes I knew you were disagreeing with my thoughts on Bath's chances, just never heard of Good Charlotte which isn't surprising as I'm not into rock. Thanks for the clarification.

dannyf2
dannyf2
12/04/2019 15:06
They will want a forward battle. We must seek to keep the ball out in the loose and kick behind them. Banners is not very mobile back there.

gaz59
gaz59
12/04/2019 16:59
Well you'd have to think our bench is stronger and better balanced

If Cips doesn't last the full match then they could struggle so long as we get near parity up front and in possession

BathMatt53
BathMatt53
12/04/2019 18:20
Shedweb are saying that Cips has been named but they aren't sure if he is actually fit enough to make it...down to the wire. If that's true it strikes me as a very dangerous thing to do just for one match when you have the playoffs to come.

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

John Tee
John Tee
14/04/2019 07:45
It turned out that they took him off early last week as a precaution, and with a short turn round he wasn't 100% so managing him for the full 80 was great work by the team and medics.
In the end, the points difference wasnt enough where they could take liberties and take him off.
As a game, another very good spectacle for the league.
I hope more teams adopt this attacking intent and style and Burns is key to that, imo.
Maybe pair him with RP as first receiver for control and flair pairing?

Bath Hammer
Bath Hammer
14/04/2019 07:55
Quote:
John Tee
Maybe pair him with RP as first receiver for control and flair pairing?

Too imaginative for Blackadder (Sm100)

John Tee
John Tee
14/04/2019 08:37
Quote:
Bath Hammer
Quote:
John Tee
Maybe pair him with RP as first receiver for control and flair pairing?

Too imaginative for Blackadder (Sm100)

Hardly ground breaking thinking though. Watching the game yesterday Cips had playmakers either running shields or another set of hands which allowed him to pick his moment to get outside. I think that tactic needs great hands at 1st receiver...so a 10 at 12 that can do that makes the difference. It is all about fast releases. Imo.
Atkinson and BT are on point at that. No doubt Cips has drilled that in too.

Can't see Fazz and Jones subscribing to it though.

opti
Optimist
14/04/2019 11:48
The thing with Cips is not just how good a player he is, but he is, essentially, the backs coach too. That's a credit to Ackermann. Too many coaches talk about letting the players own the game, but don't actually have the nerve to let a player take on that role.

I think the contrast with Blackadder's insistence on picking a fly-half who sticks to 'the plan' is stark.

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