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BATH RUGBY - 2013/14

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Post by Scrumpy Thu May 23, 2013 10:42 am



Last edited by Scrumpy on Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Bathite Thu May 23, 2013 11:54 am

So the squad for next year is looking like this. With just the 'experienced 10/12' left to sign

LH - James, Catt, Beech
HK - Webber, Guinaza, Batty, Dunn
TH - Wilson, Perenise, P-Newport

LK - Attwood, Caldwell, Spencer
LK - Day, Hooper, (Garvey)

OS - Louw, Gilbert, Mercer
BS - Garvey, Fearns, Ovens
N8 - Houston, Koster, Sisi

SH - Stringer, Roberts, Young, Cook
FH - Ford, Heathcote, (TBC)

IC - Eastmond, Williams
OC - Banahan, Joseph (Agulla) (Roko)

WG - Agulla, Biggs, Rokodunguni, Woodburn
FB - Abendanon, Watson, Devoto

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Post by Scrumpy Thu May 23, 2013 12:09 pm

Doesn't look bad to me although we really need a WC 12/13 who wants to play for the club for the right reasons.


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Post by Bathman_in_London Thu May 23, 2013 2:18 pm

Good idea Vic, lets put yet another average season behind us.

The squad is certainly looking stronger for next season, I suppose the question is, have the teams above us strengthen as much? To be honest, I dont think any of them are looking much weaker.

But the policy of bringing in predominately young English players is a good one (sorry London Irish!) and I think it will hold us in good stead over the coming years.

For me, the target for next season should be top 6 (although will that still be relevant next season?), possibly winning the LV and generally improving our play, both in terms of being harder to beat and having a bit more flair.

It must be because the sun is shining, but I am feeling fairly optimistic!

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Post by Scrumpy Thu May 23, 2013 2:20 pm

The Rec has to become a fortress again, it wasn't that long ago teams would fear us at home.

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Post by Guest Thu May 23, 2013 6:00 pm

Some poor results away from home really scuppered this season, we need to be far more agressive in the pack next season and replicate the game against Leicester, otherwise we will never make top four. It will be interesting to see the performance of the new back row and midfield combinations as they have been pretty variable thus far under Gold.

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Post by HongKongCherry Fri May 24, 2013 11:08 am

I have to say that squad certainly looks far stronger than previous years and your front 5 is a volte face from a few years ago. I would certainly be less brash about winning streaks now!

If I had to nit pick for weaknesses I'd say the half backs don't strike the fear of god into me. Stringer is a wily customer, but he can't play a whole season at his age surely? The other SHs are decent but not great. Heathcote and Ford have real potential, but I do wonder about having 2 youngsters fighting for a place and whether that would be counter productive for you?

The only other area of potential weakness would be your backrow. Louw is outstanding and I really rate Fearns and Garvey, but with the exception of Louw I do wonder if it lacks a bit of pace to get to the breakdown? You'd be able to bully teams into submission, but the faster teams could cause problems here.

As above, it is only nit picking as that squad looks far better and the derbies will certainly be some tasty affairs next season! Enjoy the off-season and here's hoping the next few months fly by! OK
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Post by Scrumpy Fri May 24, 2013 11:28 am

Rob Webber will captain England in Sunday's game against the Barbarians at Twickers.

Well Done Rob.

Thanks HKC thumbsup
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Post by Bathite Fri May 24, 2013 11:31 am

Half back is a big concern, we've got Stringer who's been great, but fitness must be a concern and then two blokes who are 2/3rd choice for their teams.

Fly half will be really interesting, i'm not convinced by Ford at all to be honest.

We do have one more 10/12 to sign with experience to help coach these two youngsters, so I wait to see who that is. Money's on Henson apparently. Gawp.

Not too concerned with the break down to be honest, with Garvey and Fearns available as proper 6s, it allows Louw to play 7 properly. Failing that, we've got Gilbert and Mercer as genuine pace options.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri May 24, 2013 2:33 pm

Looks a much improved squad for next season. Only area I look at and think you may be a bit light is in the front row. The first choice options are the combo you've needed for a while now. The back up options are not in the same class though, particularly at scrum time. Round the park it won't matter but if I was a Bath fan and they were in a final minus one James and Wilson then I'd expect a few penalties and if in the wrong area of the field a yc at scrum time.

Then again if front backup is the only obvious weakness It's got to be a pretty good squad. Obviously the young 10s will have off days but that's why you're after an experienced 10/12 and young guys making mistakes is par for the course. Hope you have an alternative kicker off the tee for Ford though as his points kicking is Poopie. Rest of his game is pretty damn good for someone of 19 though.

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Post by Bathite Fri May 24, 2013 2:42 pm

Yeah front row back up isn't ideal, but it's not shabby and not that much different to the rest of the league. Not many sides have quality props on the bench, apart from Tigers and Sarries I guess. If Quins lost JJ (time will tell!), Glos lost Wood/Harden, Exeter Mitchell, they'd all be in similar positions I think

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri May 24, 2013 5:36 pm

Yeah pretty much Bathite. I think Quins loss will be tempered by the removal of the hit. JJ's binding is highly dodgey and he relies a lot on the hit to get him out of jail. Quins may have lost him at the right time as it were.

I suspect Bath might prosper from the new rules as well with James being a very technical scrummager.

Be interesting to see if Bath can keep all their backline talent happy, there's a few young guys there that moved in order to get more game time and others that will get good offers from elsewhere if they don't keep playing. Nice position to be in and success always helps gloss over those issues. An emphasis on winning next season then. What's the Bath targets? LV and Amlin cup runs plus top 6 finish?

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Post by Scrumpy Tue May 28, 2013 2:29 pm

I'm a bit worried about George Ford, he can't kick, and the opposition seem to run over him.

Is this really the signing we want?
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Post by HongKongCherry Tue May 28, 2013 3:25 pm

VictorU3 wrote:I'm a bit worried about George Ford, he can't kick, and the opposition seem to run over him.

Is this really the signing we want?

Yes, he's the kind of signing that makes the rest of the rugby world stand up and take notice. Now where have I heard that before?... Whistle Wink
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Post by Bathite Tue May 28, 2013 3:26 pm

Saracens?

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Post by Geordie Tue May 28, 2013 3:38 pm

Well the other way to look at Ford....twelvetrees is flourishing after his move...no reason why Ford cant.

Leicester are a great club, but i notice its an intense training environment....some people just arent comfy in it...but thrive in others....

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue May 28, 2013 3:58 pm

Ford made his tackles in the final including a try saver on I think Foden in the second half. He is brave and always puts his shoulder in so the opposition are at least slowed on the way through. He's not a Cipriani tackle dodger he's just a bit diminutive.

His points kicking is Poopie but the rest of his game is very good especially when you consider he's only 19. Shove a decent defensive organiser in the midfield and field an additional points kicker (e.g. Henson at 12) and Ford will do some good stuff. I think moving is still an error as he is only 19 but he wants to work with his dad and thinks he'll get more game time at Bath so fair does.

I keep hearing Billy is flourishing but everytime I see him play he shows the same weaknesses he did at Tigers. He drifts in and out of games and his defensive positioning is still poor, see him getting done twice on the outside in limited space by Daly vs the Baabaas. Billy is certainly better suited to the Glaws manner of play which emphasises his strengths of playing off the cuff which has helped him get into the EPS. Hopefully Tindall will sort him out in preseason.

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Post by yappysnap Tue May 28, 2013 5:21 pm

To be fair for most of the season Billy was one of the league's top hecklers, had the most turnovers and lead the Glos D. Not too shabby for his first season in a totally new environment.

That Bath squad looks great, its impressive what you can do when the salary cap is abolished...

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Post by Bathite Tue May 28, 2013 5:32 pm

yappysnap wrote:That Bath squad looks great, its impressive what you can do when the salary cap is abolished...

huh? it has? we need to start recruiting then

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Post by The Saint Tue May 28, 2013 6:36 pm

Might be old news for you but Bath approached Toby Faletau and offered what I was told was a silly amount of money to secure his services; and they were offering to buy him out of his Dragons contract. However he refused and is very likely to be going to the south of France next year.
So are Bath now looking for another No.8?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue May 28, 2013 6:45 pm

To be fair for most of the season Billy was one of the league's top hecklers, had the most turnovers and lead the Glos D.

Yappy he still tackles like a blindside and gets stuck in but It's when he turns his shoulders in and focusses on the breakdown, he needs to keep his shoulders square so he doesn't expose himself to a pacey step on the outside. He often leaves a gap between himself and the outside centre which drags the backs across. Small things but they can be exposed by classy opposition.

If Bath were breaking the salary cap I'd expect a) more internationals in the squad and B) more strength in depth, they have a good first 15 and a decent second 15. Compare that to say Sarries...

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Post by Scrumpy Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:55 am

One small step for Bath...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/22863571

http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/Watchdog-clears-way-Bath-Rugby-develop-new-Rec/story-19258776-detail/story.html
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Post by HongKongCherry Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:20 am

...one giant leap for Swindon!

I can't tease you about your squad anymore, so it'll just have to be your stadium and your Barbour jackets! Wink
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Post by Scrumpy Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:14 pm

To be fair I've seen a number of counterfeit Barbour Jackets at Glaws!


 


BTW when can Burns come home?
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Post by HongKongCherry Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:20 pm

To be fair Glaws in known for being a working class club, but the cars in the car park would suggest otherwise! So we do have our share of Barbour jackets.

Burns' contract is up for renewal this season, so you never know...
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Post by LondonTiger Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:26 pm

VictorU3 wrote:I'm a bit worried about George Ford, he can't kick, and the opposition seem to run over him.

Is this really the signing we want?
Ford made 78 tackles in the Premiership last season, missing just 5. Ever since Falcons kept sending their second rows at him in the 2011/12 season (when he made every tackle) I have not seen opposition run over him. Not a destructive tackler, but he never runs away from the tackle and always slows them down.

His goal kicking is poor and needs working on.

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Post by Guest Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:31 pm

At last !  The beginning of the end of the saga of the Rec and we can get a 20k + seater stadium. A ground share with Brizzle would be the preference- who with a slice of luck will get promoted next season. That would make three SW sides plus the midlanders Glaws.......Rolling Eyes

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:03 pm

Agree with LT on Ford. He sticks his head in, in defence and doesn't back down. He's diminutive so don't expect Wilkinson style tackling but the guy is certainly not a liability.

Kicking at goal is as LT says woefully inconsistent and generally poor. Kicks from hand brilliantly and has a very neat passing game. Has performed well in three finals (winning two) so has a good head on his shoulders. Potentially a big international star. Sort his place kicking (that's what held him back at Tigers) and it's only fine tuning and experience.

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Post by Bathman_in_London Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:13 pm

I have to say, I won't be cheering on the rec story just yet, I bet it will drag out for years to come.
Reading the story, a temporary stand would still be needed, although I'd hope they can come up with something better than the current one. Frankly some schools have better facilities.

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Post by Guest Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:06 pm

Henson has signed - not sure I am very happy about it.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:38 pm

You will be happy if it means you get Ford minus his goal kicking.

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Post by Bathite Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:44 pm

Ford won't start anyways

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Post by sirtidychris Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:55 pm

Good signing, going on past season he seemed to be well behaved but still carries his injury curse. If he can remain fit then can still be one of the best 12's about. Bath have one hell of a squad now going into next season

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Post by maestegmafia Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:54 pm

VictorU3 wrote:Doesn't look bad to me although we really need a WC 12/13 who wants to play for the club for the right reasons.


Looks like you just got your wish...

http://www.thisisbath.co.uk/Ieuan-Evans-fit-Gavin-Henson-huge-asset-Bath/story-18790937-detail/story.html#axzz2W8ityy00

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Post by LondonTiger Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:12 am

sirtidychris wrote:Good signing, going on past season he seemed to be well behaved but still carries his injury curse. If he can remain fit then can still be one of the best 12's about. Bath have one hell of a squad now going into next season
Well behaved?

He had two months out (December and January) with a niggling injury, in which time he hit the tabloids a few times for drunk and rowdy. Refused entry to a Girls Aloud party, where he was snapped waving a wad shouting he was famous. Caught sneaking out of Katie Price's hotel suite. not sure how professional repeated, excessive alcohol consumption is when you have a niggling injury.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:26 am

Depends on his form Bathite, an inform George Ford is a brilliant player at everything other than place kicking. You've signed a very good 10. His O'Gara impersonation when kicking from hand is something you'll appreciate at the Rec as he'll put you into the right areas then play flat in attack.

You'll just have to hope Ford's professionalism rubs off on Henson. Keep Gav away from Ford's advisors though.

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Post by Scrumpy Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:38 am

Didn't think it would happen!


Bath have signed a WC Centre on his day, which lets face it was a few years ago.

I have a bad feeling about this.
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Post by lostinwales Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:21 am

I was amused by the article on the BBC about Henson

Gary Gold ...

He added: "We know Gavin's qualities and have seen him work extremely hard for his team and perform at a consistently high level last season."
When he wasnt injured - or should that be 'just ask Ms Price'...


Capped 33 times by Wales, Henson came to prominence at the Ospreys before having briefer, less successful stints at Saracens, Toulon and Blues.
That is one way of putting it I suppose...

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Post by Bathman_in_London Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:40 am

In theory Henson should be a good signing, a playmaking 12, older head etc. But... I guess we will wait and see what happens. I hope his contract has plenty of get out clauses in case of his bad behaviour (which is pathetic that I even think that, the bloke is over 30 and has kids for goodness sake).

Still, I guess I'd better go to boots to pick up some fake bake.

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Post by Guest Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:11 pm

Ultimately the sudden retirement of Hipkiss had left Bath a little light, experience wise in midfield and this late in the off season had reduced the options. 

Presumably no other AP side was interested and only Dragons which would have helped the pay negotiations, so if he does make a good contribution, then good on him. Hopefully his frame will hold up.

It does create some interest, as I renew my season ticket, which has been held at the same price three seasons running !

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Post by sirtidychris Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:11 pm

Given the recent signings what is everyones best starting team for next season ?  heres mine, there are going to be real problems during international periods when we might lose about 10 players, but at least some of our younger players might get more of a playing chance.

1)James
2)Webber
3)Wilson
4)Attwood
5)Day
6)Garvey
7)Louw
8) Fearns
9) Young
10) Heathcote
11) Biggs
12) Eastmond
13) Joseph
14) Agulla
15) Abendanon

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Post by Guest Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:10 pm

I wouldn't argue with that team STC, but the balance of the squad will be key
A replacement front row of Catt, Guinaza and Perinese and back row of Koster, Gilbert and Houston will need to operate at full tilt. Fully expect Ford, Banahan and Henson to make a contribution. I also hope Spencer, Mercer, Ovens, Sisi, Cook and Woodburn get opportunities too.

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Post by Hood83 Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:03 am

I have a horrible feeling there's going to be a fair bit of wasted talent at Bath next year. Will the likes of Sisi get a game? And Eastmond really needs games at 12 ahead of GH.

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Post by Hood83 Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:04 am

I have a horrible feeling there's going to be a fair bit of wasted talent at Bath next year. Will the likes of Sisi get a game? And Eastmond really needs games at 12 ahead of GH.

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Post by Bathman_in_London Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:57 am

In a way I can't help but agree Hood, there are a lot of players in the squad who will want the starting shirts. But on the other hand, as Leicester and Sarries show, the key to success is a strong squad which can be rotated without any loss of quality. Having a very good first team but little below that can cause problems, arguably with Quins this season and Northampton in the past.

Personally I'm glad Bath have brought in msotly young talent, but it will be hard to ensure everybody gets game time.


Chris- while I like the look of that team, I think GG might fancy having one larger centre in the team, either Banahan, Williams or Henson. The real key for me will be can the forwards step up from last season and really dominate other teams? If so, the backline is in for a treat.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:11 pm

Bath should not need to worry over wasted talent. Their number one objective must be a top 6 finish and their first team used solely for that. Fringe and reserve players should be good enough to make a decent fist of the Amlin and LV Cup group stages. Everyone gets game time that way and Bath prioritise their squad useage efficiently.

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Post by Hood83 Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:10 pm

I think it's perfectly within Bath's rights to not care less about wasting talent (except if it costs them in the long run) but that doesn't mean others can't and shouldn't be concerned. For the club, they're doing the right thing, they need a stronger squad and they seem to be building a really top bunch of players.

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Post by Bathite Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:11 pm

Needs to be top 4, not top 6

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Post by beshocked Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:52 am

I agree with Bathite you need to target the top 4 with the investment being pumped in by your millionaire,Bruce Craig.

The 1st XV looks very good on paper but I still need to be convinced that their back up players are good enough. Also if the likes of Joseph,Henson,Ford etc will deliver the goods for Bath.

Bathite you don't see Devoto as a full back do you? I remember him being absolutely humiliated by Tigers in Bath's last home game. It was if Bath beat Tigers with 14 men.

Saints,Quins,Sarries and Tigers all have a distinct style. Not sure the same can be said of Bath just yet in my opinion.

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Post by Bathite Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:41 am

Devoto was stood up twice in defence by Youngs, 1 on 1 in open space (and one other). It was a high profile error, but Barnes got gassed by North on Saturday in a similar position, doesn't mean he's a poor player! 

Devoto was in his 2nd start at Prem level, you have to expect youngsters willl make mistakes, but it's how he will learn from them that will be interesting. He's played very well in the U20s WC by all accounts.

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