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The pack is still an issue
Posted by: Tomato Soup (IP Logged)
Date: 07 June, 2018 16:21

Having not renewed my ST I got a promotional e-mail today highlighting the new signings that I should be excited about.

The only new signing in the front row is Delmas while we have now lost Obano for a long period.

With players such as Catt, Batty, Lahiff and Thomas being injured so much of the time and Auterac and KPN leaving I would have thought that the front row would be a huge priority.

I can see us being dominated up front as things stand and really struggling next year.

Our pack has been so weak for so long.

You can't win a game without the ball and a solid set piece.

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: gaz59 (IP Logged)
Date: 07 June, 2018 16:24

There should be quite a few back from injury for start of season - think club has already said they are looking for a temp replacement for Obano and given the new French coach has recruitment part of his brief then give him chance to get in the job

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: Tomato Soup (IP Logged)
Date: 07 June, 2018 16:35

Quote:
the new French coach has recruitment part of his brief then give him chance to get in the job

That may be the case but we knew that Auterac and KPN have been leaving for some time. Catts fitness issues are there for all to see as are Ross Batty's in the last 2 seasons.

The premiership along with England training has a high probability of injury so where is the strategic planning in all of this. To say its down to a new coach in my view is unreasonable. It down to the management surely.

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: DanWiley (IP Logged)
Date: 07 June, 2018 16:56

I think it is the front row rather than the pack. Our back row is potentially world class. Our second row isn't that bad either, yes it would be good to know if Dave will be around, but if he is great, if not serve a pile of money for a replacement. Two very talented younger players. And Luke, who hasn't done what we'd hoped perhaps, but he is a good player and we're paying him a date but so that probably means we can't afford to replace him.

An injury Joker for Beno is probably better not rushed, I like la hiff as a squad player and hopefully we'll see Catt soon. I'm not worried at 2 either, Dunn, batty, walker. So if what you mean by pack is tight head, then I'd agree.

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: Which Tyler (IP Logged)
Date: 07 June, 2018 17:01

Quote:
Tomato Soup
Quote:
the new French coach has recruitment part of his brief then give him chance to get in the job

That may be the case but we knew that Auterac and KPN have been leaving for some time. Catts fitness issues are there for all to see as are Ross Batty's in the last 2 seasons.

The premiership along with England training has a high probability of injury so where is the strategic planning in all of this. To say its down to a new coach in my view is unreasonable. It down to the management surely.
Auterac's already been replaced; whilst KPN and Knight were surplus to requirements (excepting duringhte injury crisis at THP which needso to be ignored when it comes to future balance of the team).
Obano needs to be replaced, but the scouts need time to actually find someone.



A man who cannot change his mind, cannot change anything
http://www.rugbyrebels.co/board/download/file.php?id=377
RAEBURN SHIELD

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: quanco (IP Logged)
Date: 07 June, 2018 17:04

I think we might be one, at most two players light but no more. Had youngens like Dunn and Obano not stepped up so much then we'd be on a very different road. As things stand, I look forward to the old heads returning, staying fit and getting some game time under their belt.



Anthony Perenise [Bath Rugby] - Adopted Player 2017/18

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 07 June, 2018 17:18

I would (and I'm sure we all would) Vaughan or Nixon to come through this year like Beno did last. Both will be 22 years old so obviously very young, but not kids any more.

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: cb2 (IP Logged)
Date: 08 June, 2018 11:25

Our front row was a real problem in some key games last year. The starting guys are not going to mix it in Europe or play-off level, and the back-ups are a big concern. It depends on our ambition. I believe we need a totally new starting front row, with the current one on the bench.

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: DanWiley (IP Logged)
Date: 08 June, 2018 12:04

I don't think its about ambition, its not as easy as that. We can't just bring in a new front row without elements of the old one going, moreover to improve on the outgoing player we need to direct spending from other areas of the team. So to strengthen our front row we need to weaken elsewhere.

As I've said, loose head and hooker I think we're ok. I worry that I'm writing Noguera off too early as well. With AP and Thomas in theory we're not in a bad place there.

But I don't think we really need to re-balance much. Hats showed us that a scrum with basically the same personnel can go from at best average, to top quality and back to at best average just through the arrival and departure of a good scrum coach. About the field I've no problem with our front row, so get a great set piece coach and I think that would solve most of our problems.

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: cb2 (IP Logged)
Date: 08 June, 2018 13:29

Exactly - we should have tried to off-load RP and used the money to strengthen the front row. Dare I say it, we might also have been able to do a Haskell type thing with Louw and asked if he would have been interested in a move elsewhere. That might have freed up enough cash for an impressive 3 new starters who could make all the difference to us. Keep FB at 10 and we still have a back-row of Faletau, Mercer and Underhill et al.

You have to make harsh decisions with the cap, as we saw with the Banahan situation.

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: Optimist (IP Logged)
Date: 08 June, 2018 13:33

Last season refs were much more inclined to see the ball away from the scrum than whistle for penalties. Hopefully that trend will continue next year. Coaches might decide that, as long as the ball can be hooked away quickly and used, it's not quite so important to invest in rock-solid scrummaging props, as it is in breakaways and backs who can do something with the ball?

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 08 June, 2018 13:51

Quote:
cb2
Exactly - we should have tried to off-load RP and used the money to strengthen the front row. Dare I say it, we might also have been able to do a Haskell type thing with Louw and asked if he would have been interested in a move elsewhere. That might have freed up enough cash for an impressive 3 new starters who could make all the difference to us. Keep FB at 10 and we still have a back-row of Faletau, Mercer and Underhill et al.
You have to make harsh decisions with the cap, as we saw with the Banahan situation.

Banahan (as was Haskell) was out of contract and had a very attractive counter offer. We did let Shields, Auterac and KPN leave as they were out of contract so have already done a lot to free up front row cap space.

RP and Louw are in contract and both will be very useful this year - especially assuming that neither are now in the international picture. Would you genuinely be happy with just FB and Alex Davies covering all of the games at 10 this season? (Unless we could get a THP / 10 utility of course).

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: shipwrecked (IP Logged)
Date: 08 June, 2018 13:56

cb2...does the 'exactly' refer to Dan's post? If so he isn't advocating a change so much as better coaching.

I can't see how swapping a fly half for a front row will do us any good when Freddie gets injured, but more to the point is RP even worth as much as a decent front row?

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: DanWiley (IP Logged)
Date: 08 June, 2018 14:57

I think the "exactly" was reference to we can get someone new in without letting someone go.

I can see the point that have BOTH Freddie and Rhys is a bad idea. I can't say which I'd let go (if it were possible) based on their performances for us so far. What would be better at 10? Someone like Freddie or Rhys, an up and coming but already Ap standard 24 year old, and a 10 ion the academy. That would free up 100k (stupid wild guess) to make one of our decent 3s, a great 3.

But yes, my main point is we'd be better off spending uncapped money on the best scrum coach we can get. As you say, we can't go from having both to the situation I describe overnight.


"but more to the point is RP even worth as much as a decent front row?"

His original contract certainly was. I think a decent 10 is a reasonable swap value wise for a decent 3.




"Last season refs were much more inclined to see the ball away from the scrum than whistle for penalties. "

To start with certainly, and generally better over the year, but it felt like they were going back to old ways to me. That was a real shame, because I liked it when the pack were saying "but, but, but the penalty." and the ref was replying "You've got the platform, that was the point of the scrum, now use it."

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 08 June, 2018 15:12

I thought that this was interesting in relation to salaries (think I put it on before).

[www.walesonline.co.uk]

The figure 1/2 way down shows the comparison between positions in the 3 different leagues.

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: OutsideBath (IP Logged)
Date: 08 June, 2018 16:46

The pack is an issue, we have too many injury prone players to really be competitive all season.

For me though it's more of a concern that the coaches responsible for the pack and set piece haven't been replaced.



Jack Wilson - Adopted player 2017/18

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: Old Bath Tub (IP Logged)
Date: 08 June, 2018 17:13

Quote:
OutsideBath
The pack is an issue, we have too many injury prone players to really be competitive all season.
For me though it's more of a concern that the coaches responsible for the pack and set piece haven't been replaced.

I think they are probably in the 'Last chance saloon' this coming season (Sm63)

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 08 June, 2018 17:52

N. Catt has been really unlucky - he had a clear season the year before and was fantastic. We need him to have another clear year with Beno out. Not that it matters to this thread, but lovely bloke too.

H.Thomas seems to never have fulfilled his potential due to lots of ailments of various types unfortunately...can AP keep that old body going on a regular basis in such an attritional position?

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: OBinFiji (IP Logged)
Date: 08 June, 2018 22:47

Two schools of thought
"The pack would be better with better scrum coaching."
"the pack would be better with Dave Attwood - in the powerhouse."

So, what was overlap between Neil Hatley and Dave Attwood. can you split the performances into Neither, both and one not the other? (would it mean anything?)

I'm of the view that Attwood went to France as his strengths better suit the way they play there - that way he could get match fitness more comfortably. I don't know that he has quite the dynamism of the top rated 2nd rows in English rugby - or whether he'd provide a different set of skills to the current frontrunners.

Be intrigued to see what he'd bring to the team if he does come back.

OBinFiji

(formerly OBinExile - but got exiled from my old email account!)

Re: The pack is still an issue
Posted by: Barnetsarrie12 (IP Logged)
Date: 09 June, 2018 00:08

I agree with you Obin, I think there is an overlap between Hatley and Attwood and you make a great point which I have not seen mentioned here much, Attwood went to France as that is a game based purely on power and size and is a ridiculously slow game.

I still say that in 2018 in english rugby, Ewels is a better player, there is an obsession with Attwood at Bath that I do not get at all, good player, huge man, that does not make him a great second row. Ewels on the other hand is super talented and is way more dynamic than Attwood. I say a great scrum coach and more weight on Ewels who still looks smallish would transform your front 5. I really like Stooke and I think he will continue to get better.

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