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Published: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 06:50:44 +0100

Last Build Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 06:50:44 +0100

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PLAYING FOR PRIDE: SARACENS v BATH

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 07:45:49 +0100

Fresh from disappointment in the Twickenham Clash, Bath must return to London to face resurgent Saracens. The Barnet based club were in ruthless form against Saints last weekend, notching nine tries to expunge the bitter taste of their European exit. Six league positions and sixteen points separate the two clubs. The home side are in potent form, the visitors struggling, so what is there for Bath to play for? There are mathematical if slim hopes for a Top six finish and, above all, pride.  



CRITICAL CLASH: BATH V LEICESTER

Tue, 03 Apr 2018 18:45:10 +0100

Bath face a critical “Clash” against Leicester Tigers at Twickenham this weekend. The big cats from Welford Road have clawed their way up the table from a disappointing start and are braced for a cataclysmic collision. Bath, beset by injury, seemingly low on confidence and short of attacking invention look like easy prey. Tigers have won their last 4 Premiership matches while Bath have stuttered in two competitions. Will Bath find celebration, crisis or catastrophe?



SECOND TIME LUCKY? ANGLO WELSH FINAL

Mon, 26 Mar 2018 12:43:22 +0100

Bath Rugby will be hoping for “second time lucky” in Friday’s Anglo Welsh Cup Final. The rearranged contest gives them the chance of a longed for piece of silverware and an opportunity to correct the result of last Friday’s frustrating “oh so nearly” defeat by the same opponents. Injuries look likely to restrict Bath’s choice of squad (a view seemingly confirmed by Monday’s United selection), while Exeter will have a chance to refresh theirs. Will it be continuity or fresh legs that triumph?



Best in the West? Bath v Exeter

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 18:06:01 +0000

Will the “Beast from the East” abate in time to permit a contest for “best of the West”?  Exeter Chiefs, Bath’s Premiership visitors on Friday evening, used the tagline last season “The West Country’s Premier Rugby Club” much to the annoyance of longer established Premiership rivals. This season though, their claim is indisputable as Champions and current leaders of the table by 7 points.  They will arrive hopeful and confident: can Bath’s depleted squad summon up a shock result and reclaim bragging rights?



Travel in Hope: Anglo Welsh Final

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 10:43:35 +0000

Bath squad and fans will travel in hope but perhaps not expectation to Sunday’s Anglo Welsh Cup Final. Premiership Table topping opponents Exeter have notched up 25 tries in the Cup so far.  With a settled squad and enviable depth, they seem to be in form just at the right time. Meanwhile Bath, six Premiership places behind, are enduring a frustratingly inconsistent season. The odds must favour Chiefs but in Cup Finals anything is possible. Is such a truism enough grounds for hope?    



Sinners v Saints: Bath v Northampton

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 11:46:52 +0000

It will be a case of “sinners” hosts Saints in Bath’s Anglo Welsh Cup Semi Final on Friday. Todd Blackadder attributed Bath’s poor showing against Quins last Sunday to ill discipline, 15 penalties handing free “get outs” to the home team. He added sins of omission to those of commission – players not listening, failure to do the simple things well and to grasp opportunities. The team now face a short turnaround to try to turn fortunes around.  Will that be enough time to atone?



PATCHED UP? HARLEQUINS v BATH

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 12:27:07 +0000

Both teams will have a “patched up” look about them when Harlequins host Bath on Friday evening.  Injuries have hit both squads hard this season, as have international calls. Unsurprisingly both clubs have found their performance and results impacted. Quins season has been as chequered as their traditional shirts while Bath have struggled to build consistent form and style.  Bath’s patchwork backline did snatch a win last weekend, while Quins lost, but is that a reliable omen?  



SAINTS RESURRECTED? BATH v NORTHAMPTON

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 20:53:25 +0000

Bath face a revitalised Northampton Saints when Premiership action resumes at the Rec on Friday. It may be too early to claim they are resurrected, but Saints have certainly come alive since Alan Gaffney took over at the turn of the year. In that short time they have shrugged off their mid –season lethargy and won four of five fixtures in all competitions, including a surprise victory over European giants Clermont. Should we therefore expect them to descend on Bath in a blaze of glory?



RARE BIRDS: OSPREYS v BATH

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 08:24:51 +0000

Rare birds will be the theme for Bath at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea on Friday evening. Their hosts are symbolised by the Osprey, close to extinction in Britain not long ago. Bath seek the silverware that has eluded the club for ten years. Bath’s two most recent items of silverware in captivity were gained a decade apart, the last ten years ago. Sadly those did not prove a breeding pair, but the Anglo Welsh Cup still offers, perhaps, Bath’s best chance of a trophy in ten years.



A CHANCE TO REFRESH: BATH v FALCONS

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 10:29:31 +0000

After frustration and disappointment in Europe, Bath get a chance to refresh against Newcastle on Saturday. Clubs often use the Anglo Welsh Cup to rest key players, experiment with new combinations and develop academy talent. Bath, with a lengthy injury list, plus international absences, must be tempted to wrap fit key men in cotton wool to save them for Premiership games in the 6 Nations period. All those injuries restrict selection though and this cup could also be the best chance of silverware for Bath this season. It will be fascinating to see how the coaches balance those factors in their lineup to be announced on Friday    



BUBBLE OR QUITS? BENETTON V BATH

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 08:13:46 +0000

Bath’s European hopes hang by a slender thread as they prepare to play Benetton on Saturday. Last week’s shock defeat by Scarlets has handed Bath the steepest of challenges. Knockout qualification is mathematically possible but will require one of their pool rivals to hammer the other and a number of improbable results in other pools to go their way. Whether they make the knockout rounds or not, the squads response will set the tone for the rest of the season.  



RAGS TO RICHES? BATH V SCARLETS

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 20:11:45 +0000

The Rag Doll will be up for grabs in Bath’s European Cup encounter with Scarlets on Friday.  The iconic mascot has been the trophy in Bath: Llanelli matches for over a century, but this week Bath will have a bigger prize in mind- a passport to the knock out rounds. Bath lead a close pool, with Scarlets third. Either side can qualify, but defeat would almost certainly end their hopes before the final pool round.  The two clubs scored 13 tries between them last weekend: a great clash is promised -in a pivotal match.



SEVERN BELLS? WORCESTER v BATH

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 08:41:09 +0000

Neither coach will need to wind their team up much when Worcester host Bath on Friday evening. Both sides have frustrations to work out –for different reasons- and will want to knock seven bells out of each other. Warriors climb off the bottom of the table has stuttered with defeat in 3 of their last 4 matches, while Bath could suffer their 4th premiership defeat in succession. The prospect of celebration bells for Worcester ringing out over the Severn sounds alarm bells for Bath.    



Ring in the New: Bath v Wasps

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 13:15:33 +0000

The euphoria of beating Toulon proved short-lived due to Bath’s humbling defeat at Sale. The players’ and coaches Christmas may well have been somewhat muted as a result. Next the squad must summon up early New Year’s Resolution when they host third placed Wasps on Friday evening. Whatever resolution they choose, fans will hope for instant and robust response to any future setbacks. Hopefully that begins this week – high flying opposition requires a most gutsy response.



CHRISTMAS SALE

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 15:46:34 +0000

The Christmas Market closed last week but Bath travel north on Saturday in search of a festive bargain.  Two stirring performances against Toulon have sharpened their edge and buoyed their confidence, so they will be hoping for an early Christmas gift. Bath have snapped up several pedigree presents in away matches this season, but Sale are a notoriously tough nut to crack at home. So-what sort of Bath performance can we expect, absolute cracker or total turkey?



Fourth Time Lucky? Bath v Toulon

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:55:08 +0000

Bath will be hoping for better luck in their fourth meeting with Toulon in three seasons this weekend. Toulon have prevailed by a single score margin in each of those previous Champions Cup encounters and Bath can argue that they were ill served by fortune in Toulon last week. Despite home advantage and the heroics of that close defeat, they will need more than luck to get their revenge on Saturday evening.



Siege Mentality: Toulon v Bath

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 08:40:47 +0000

Having delivered too little, too late at Exeter, Bath must now avoid playing too loose against Toulon. With enviable quality strength in depth and a refined counter attack game, Fabien Galthie’s side seem likely to punish any sloppiness as sternly as Chiefs did. Toulon lie a modest 7th in the Top 14, but it would be foolish to write off their cup pedigree. They will expect to snatch the leadership of Pool 5 from Bath and drive for the knockout stage in the New Year rounds    



Challenge of the Chiefs: Exeter v Bath

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 15:01:10 +0000

Bath face their toughest challenge of the season yet against Exeter Chiefs on Saturday. Chiefs, now leading the table by a clear 5 points have hit form in time for a demanding run of European and Christmas domestic fixtures. Bath, facing a tough December themselves, enjoyed their best 20 minute spell of this campaign against Quins before fading. They will need to play the full 80, at greater tempo and intensity, to get any change from the Chiefs.



Autumn Colours: Bath v Quins

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:00:49 +0000

Multi coloured Quins visit the Rec this week depleted by the chill winds of Autumn Internationals. Their November results have been chequered in the past few seasons, deprived of their key decision makers and most colourful characters. Bath, having already lost twice at home this season and having scraped a pallid victory at strugglers London Irish could also be missing 6 star players. Despite these absences, Saturday’s game promises to be a close encounter. But will it bring colour to the grey weather?  



A Touch of The Blarney? London Irish v Bath

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:30:56 +0000

Both teams may need a touch of the blarney when their Premiership campaigns resume on Sunday. London Irish, in 11th place and two games adrift of the league’s main body will want to talk themselves out of trouble. Bath, with a habit this season of losing to teams they are expected to beat, will be seeking some flair to enhance the grit of their last two victories. This is the Autumn International period and the hosts, less disrupted by call-ups will hope to spring a surprise. Bath must be both bold and wary.