Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath


Charteris: big shift
By P G Tips
February 20 2019

Bath could go marching on with victory over Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday. Equally likely, given Saints’ recent form, they could be sent tumbling down. The tie pairs two form sides of the last five Premiership rounds but the hosts boast the more impressive record. They earned 19 points from that Premiership spell, are on a 5 match winning home streak, averaging 8 tries a match in the last three. So will they- as form suggest – prove too strong for Bath?

To the causal observer this fixture might be dismissed as distraction from, or sideshow to, a potential Six Nations decider later in Cardiff. For the teams though this could be a pivotal moment –Bath in 6th and their hosts in 7th looking to press claims for top European competition next season. The Millennium clash is likely to hurt Bath more than Saints as Joe Cokanasiga is required, either to play or as match day reserve - a hard blow as Semesa Rokodoguni will be absent through injury.

 

Saints recent form reflects their DOR’s rugby philosophy- speed and guile over brute force. Not that they lack the players for physical confrontation, even with Lawes lost to England and Hartley to injury. Any club blessed with Franks, Ratuniyarawa, Ribbans, Brussouw and Wood should be happy to mix it- and that is just the forwards. Behind the scrum there is beef and power too in Biggar, Naiyaravoro and Tuala. For Chris Boyd though, power and force are a means to an end. Aided by attack coach Sam Vesty (rumoured to have been a Bath target last season) he has fashioned an all action attacking style that promises the sort of form Saints last enjoyed under Jim Mallinder in 2013-14.

 

Bath took 16 points from their last 5 Premiership matches, but really should have had more. Lack of concentration and poor finishing cost them a home win against Sale and they conspired to waste a healthy half time lead at Worcester, poor discipline allowing their hosts to snatch victory away in the 100th minute after a catalogue of cards reduced Bath to 11 men. Even last week’s bonus point win against Newcastle was marred by a nervous 20 minutes in the second half.

 

To win at Franklin’s gardens therefore Bath must make a big leap in accuracy, discipline, focus and finishing. In particular, they will want to cut out the forward passes which blunted several wide attacks last week, contest the opposition lineout, counter ruck with more venom and make better use of overlaps. Their first 3 tries against Falcons were earned going wide but other scoring chances were squandered through obsession with close quarter pick and drive while wings looked on, unmarked and frustrated spectators.

 

The good news is that Bath’s defence has grown stronger in recent matches, Bath conceding the fewest points in the past 5 Premiership rounds. The sharpness of Jonathon Joseph and Ruaridh McConnochie has added potency to the attack and coaches can point to 2 heartening away wins this season against higher placed clubs- 3rd place Harlequins and Wasps (5th).

 

Disruption of Saints’ set piece could be key as will the defence. Big shifts will be required from Luke Charteris at the lineout and both centres in defence and distribution. Rhys Priestland will need to be hyper accurate with his tactical kicking and take all points on offer through penalties. If Bath bring their developing “A” game they could consign the Saints to purgatory for a while longer. It will take a huge performance though to prevent the home side from marching on.

 

Possible Teams:
Bath:
Catt,Dunn, Thomas, Attwood, Charteris (C Capt.) Stooke, Louw, Mercer.Chudley (C Capt.), Priestland.Vuna, Roberts, Joseph, McConnochie, Homer

Replacements: V Rooyen, Walker, Lahiff, Ewels, Grant. Green,

Burns, Atkins

 

Northampton:

Van Wyk, Fish, Painter, Ratuniyarawa, Moon, Gibson, Ludlam, Wood. Reinach, Biggar. Naiyaravoro, Francis, Hutchinson, Tuala. Furbank.

Replacements:
Waller, Marshall, Hill, Ribbans, Brussouw, Mitchell, Burrell, Collins.

.

 

pqs: qs:
TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Comeonmylovers.co.uk (IP Logged)
Date: 20/02/2019 09:57

What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2019:02:27:08:00:08 by P G Tips.

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 20/02/2019 11:01

Ian Tempest is the ref (the same Ian Tempest as for the Worcester vs Bath 90+ min, 11 player fest).

[Adoptee 18/19: Man Mountain Dave Attwood, back in the BB&W and ready to smash]

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: OutsideBath (IP Logged)
Date: 20/02/2019 11:12

Quote:
BathMatt53
Ian Tempest is the ref (the same Ian Tempest as for the Worcester vs Bath 90+ min, 11 player fest).

Maybe worth putting a bet on how many yellow cards Bath will get then?

Tom Dunn - Adopted player 2018/19

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Dorset Boy (IP Logged)
Date: 20/02/2019 12:37

We have a shocking record at the Gardens and Tempest is reffing.
A comfortable Home win guaranteed.

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Duckonstilts (IP Logged)
Date: 20/02/2019 14:34

Do not underestimate Saints ability to drive me to despair... everything points to us winning. Thats why i am worried:-)

I hope its a good game though. If your boys come to play we can at least guarantee you will be entertained. Bonus points all round :-)

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: ballsout (IP Logged)
Date: 20/02/2019 17:46

"Everything points to us winning"

how?

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 20/02/2019 17:51

Quote:
ballsout
"Everything points to us winning"
how?

Because they are at home and Bath are away.
Because Saints have been on fire last few games.
Because we have a ref who we had problems with last time.

I am happy to go with the Saints supporters view that they are favorites and Bath are plucky underdogs - Bath play better that way.

[Adoptee 18/19: Man Mountain Dave Attwood, back in the BB&W and ready to smash]

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: B4thB4ck (IP Logged)
Date: 20/02/2019 18:05

This will be a challenge for Tempest too, he will know it is unprofessional to go into any match with preconceptions as to what will happen based on previous matches. He may over correct, particularly if the post match assessment of all those cards raised doubts in his own mind.

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: ballsout (IP Logged)
Date: 20/02/2019 19:16

Northampton is easily my least enjoyable away trip and comments like "Everything points to us winning" by one of their supporters doesn't do much to change that, especially since Saints are below us in the table.

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: TomReagan (IP Logged)
Date: 20/02/2019 20:36

But you keep on writing how rubbish we are...

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 20/02/2019 22:47

Quote:
ballsout
Northampton is easily my least enjoyable away trip and comments like "Everything points to us winning" by one of their supporters doesn't do much to change that, especially since Saints are below us in the table.

Itís fine BO. Just look forward to some new trolling of another board if Bath win!!

[Adoptee 18/19: Man Mountain Dave Attwood, back in the BB&W and ready to smash]

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: ballsout (IP Logged)
Date: 20/02/2019 23:52

Quote:
BathMatt53
Quote:
ballsout
Northampton is easily my least enjoyable away trip and comments like "Everything points to us winning" by one of their supporters doesn't do much to change that, especially since Saints are below us in the table.

Itís fine BO. Just look forward to some new trolling of another board if Bath win!!

No need, Saints supporters haven't come on here to rub our noses in a loss in the past. Unlike the Exeter lot.

Though coming onto an opposition board and telling us that everything points to them beating us, isn't great.

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: joethefanatic (IP Logged)
Date: 21/02/2019 02:54

Dan Biggar will be with Wales. That might even things up a little.

... IMHO, of course.

Now in Honolulu

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: TomReagan (IP Logged)
Date: 21/02/2019 08:05

They say you never see bookies on buses, and they've all got Saints as clear favourites, so the Saints poster was just reflecting this, said it made him nervous and the one thing he was sure about was that it should be entertaining with tries for both sides- hardly an arrogant or provocative post.

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Long Term (IP Logged)
Date: 21/02/2019 10:06

[quote ballsout][quote BathMatt53][quote ballsout]Northampton is easily my least enjoyable away trip and comments like "Everything points to us winning" by one of their supporters doesn't do much to change that, especially since Saints are below us in the table.[/quote]

Itís fine BO. Just look forward to some new trolling of another board if Bath win!![/quote]

No need, Saints supporters haven't come on here to rub our noses in a loss in the past. Unlike the Exeter lot.

Though coming onto an opposition board and telling us that everything points to them beating us, isn't great.[/


Isn't the comment from the Northampton supporter a natural conclusion to be drawn from your many despairing comments concerning how poor Bath are! You saying he has no right to come on this board to make it is hypocritical in the extreme when you delight in trolling on other boards! (Sm111)

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Duckonstilts (IP Logged)
Date: 21/02/2019 11:23

Sorry if i upset anyone, I am personally not all that confident :-) As above, its home/away statistics and Odds that point to a Saints win and because I know Saints well I know we are terrible at being favorites :-)

Hopefully a good number of you can come at the weekend and help build a good atmosphere.

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Bath Supporter Jack (IP Logged)
Date: 21/02/2019 15:03

Please be assured "Duckonstilts" (there must be a good story!) you have upset nobody on 'ere!

BO could take offence in an empty telephone kiosk.......and would unwittingly/wittingly cause offence in places he has never visited or even heard of.

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: ballsout (IP Logged)
Date: 21/02/2019 16:36

The week leading up to the Quins game I might randomly go on their board and tell them that everything points to a Bath win, just because we're the home side.

Anyway, never mind.

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Bathonian (IP Logged)
Date: 21/02/2019 18:43

Quote:
ballsout
The week leading up to the Quins game I might randomly go on their board and tell them that everything points to a Bath win, just because we're the home side.
Anyway, never mind.

That will be a first, being optimistic of our chances.

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: hemington (IP Logged)
Date: 21/02/2019 19:06

Must be a good crop of thistles around.

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Houghton Saint (IP Logged)
Date: 21/02/2019 20:58

Sure, we have had a bit of fun in our last few games but I doubt that anyone at the Gardens is under-estimating the task on saturday. Our youngsters have grasped their opportunities but we still have a number of players either away or injured.

I'm sorry if some of you guys don't enjoy the Gardens but those that travel will be very welcome. I used to really enjoy my trips to The Rec and will do so again as soon as you lose that chap on the PA !

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 21/02/2019 22:26

Based on the 42-19, 42-12 etc predictions on the Saints site I would say that they are pretty confident tbh.

[Adoptee 18/19: Man Mountain Dave Attwood, back in the BB&W and ready to smash]

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: ballsout (IP Logged)
Date: 21/02/2019 23:25

After all the humiliations theyíve suffered scoreline wise over the years, let them enjoy a couple of big wins. 60 points to them this weekend? Must be.

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 11:35

Its a sign of the craziness of the league this year that, due to a quirk of the fixtures this weekend I think that we could find ourselves anywhere between 3rd and 9th in the Premiership by Sunday eve!

[Adoptee 18/19: Man Mountain Dave Attwood, back in the BB&W and ready to smash]

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Bath Supporter Jack (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 11:41

So therefore on average BathMatt53 (Great Name) 6th.....where we are today!

Re: Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: P G Tips (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 11:58

Team.Looks like Homer may be injured.

Bath Rugby team to face Northampton Saints

15. Darren Atkins

14. Ruaridh McConnochie

13. Jonathan Joseph

12. Jackson Willison

11. Cooper Vuna

10. Rhys Priestland

9. Will Chudley (co-capt)

1. Nathan Catt

2. Tom Dunn

3. Henry Thomas

4. Dave Attwood

5. Luke Charteris (co-capt)

6. Elliott Stooke

7. Francois Louw

8. Zach Mercer

Replacements

16. Jack Walker

17. Jacques van Rooyen

18. Max Lahiff

19. Charlie Ewels

20. Paul Grant

21. Max Green

22. Freddie Burns

23. Max Clark


PG

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Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 12:02

Wow, suddenly that back line is looking pretty makeshift.

The Saints team:

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS v BATH RUGBY
Gallagher Premiership Rugby, round 14
Saturday 23 February 2019
Franklinís Gardens
Kick-off: 2.45pm

15 George Furbank
14 Ahsee Tuala
13 Rory Hutchinson
12 Piers Francis
11 Taqele Naiyaravoro
10 James Grayson
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Alex Waller (c)
2 Reece Marshall
3 Paul Hill
4 Api Ratuniyarawa
5 David Ribbans
6 James Haskell
7 Lewis Ludlam
8 Tom Wood

Replacements:
16 James Fish
17 Francois Van Wyk
18 Ben Franks
19 Alex Moon
20 Jamie Gibson
21 Cobus Reinach
22 Luther Burrell
23 Ken Pisi

[Adoptee 18/19: Man Mountain Dave Attwood, back in the BB&W and ready to smash]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:02:22:12:03:30 by BathMatt53.

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: hasta (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 12:03

I would be a lot happier with Burns in that team, Priestland at 15 and Atkins on the bench.

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Hamptonite (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 12:04

I thinking that injuries have played a part in the backs selection with the Doc out because of his turned ankle, but disappointed that Tom Homer is out after his display last weekend.

Iím sorry to say that I havenít got the same confidence in Darren Atkins that Todd seems to have!

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: dr.bath1865 (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 12:04

The pack of forwards and reserves are excellent. Looking forward to seeing Willison partner with JJ. But the back 3 is SO much weaker than last week - we've lost the full back of the round and two international wingers. Frustrating in the extreme.

Ah well. Will be an interesting match and I see that Saints have changed 7 following their demolition of Sharks.

I was going to make a prediction but I have no idea what will happen. Allez Bath!

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Optimist (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 12:05

Great pack - loads of potential in the backs. I'd rather see Ruaridh under a high ball than Darren, but it's time for young Atkins to turn in a contract-winning performance. I'm sure he's got it in him.

As ever, i'd rather have seen Burns at 10, but continuity also has a lot going for it in that position, so no major argument this week. And I actually prefer to see Willison alongside JJ - if Jackson can get those offloads going, then JJ might see a bit of space in front of him, and we'll find out if he still has that pace.

I thought Chudley was guilty of slowing things down last week, but for an away game against a newly-attacking Saints, slowing things down occasionally may not be the worst of ideas.

I reckon we'll see a great performance and a narrow loss - either way should be a really good game of rugby.

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: by (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 12:07

Injuries have still not been sorted out

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Optimist (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 12:09

Quote:
hasta
I would be a lot happier with Burns in that team, Priestland at 15 and Atkins on the bench.

Blackadder might as well walk round with a big badge saying, 'If you'd dotted that ball down Freddie, our entire season would be different and everyone would be bracketing me with Jack Rowell and Brian Ashton'.

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: CoochieCoo (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 12:19

Where is James Wilson?

http://zdgzqa.bay.livefilestore.com/y1p7Mwi7pLXeM89TY2KFdDQ-UUDGSv1FKNdhYdrW-koAuRN3tsqCPfE3onFxuO-3cZ0057Tom1uJai3vjkz3dvY_Q/1998%20Euro%20Champs.jpg http://zdgzqa.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pFul9UAV5zEXOzeRc1kmmlgDKXTYTIlTnGoQzYelH6KzdCeU-exN0IGo74QN2OGvlSoEiVjzAESvHx9BFlBsNFA/Bath%202008.jpg

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: OutsideBath (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 12:22

FB hasn't done anything to earn the trust of TB so unsurprisingly he's on the bench again.

Tom Dunn - Adopted player 2018/19

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Optimist (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 12:22

Quote:
CoochieCoo
Where is James Wilson?

Good question that. I'd be interested to know if Dempsey and Blackadder are in full agreement on the selection of the backs. Wouldn't Dempsey be more likely to want 2 out of Wilson/Burns/Priestland in the starting line-up?

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 12:29

I would also have been more enthusiatic with RM at 15 and either Jack Wilson or Super Cooper V on the wing. The thought of Atkins trying to bring down Taqele Naiyaravoro isn't pretty.

Their 9 and 10 are very young - presumably played with ZM and Atkins in the U20s? Surprised (and pleased) that Cobus Reinach is only on the bench.

[Adoptee 18/19: Man Mountain Dave Attwood, back in the BB&W and ready to smash]

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Beergoggles (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 12:59

What other options do we have in the back 3 if we don't play Atkins ? We've got Roko, JCx, Ant, Homer, and Aled all out.

Surprised that Atkins is listed at 15 ahead of RC though ? Always assumed that defending at FB is more difficult than defending on the wing.

BTW Still don't like sifting through the Sticky to find the team. Can we not go back to the excitement of seeing who could post a correctly formatted Teams Up message first ? (Sm55)

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: dr.bath1865 (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 13:07

Not wanting to single him out... but Atkins hasn't impressed me at senior level, a take and give v Sarries aside. And he's the same age as Underhill and older than Mercer and Cokanasiga, so he's not a 'youth' player anymore.

I assume Todd and Girv see the good stuff in training so they are keeping the faith. Looks like it'll be a dry day and so playing outside Willison and JJ should give him a chance going forward. Let's see what he's got. Feels like a big game for him.

The Saints backline is pretty youthful. Interesting match ups all over the pitch. Get set-piece dominance and we're in with a chance.

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: bardofavon (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 13:20

good team given the injuries, but where is james wilson? he was hired for these kinds of injury-fests. atkins isnt up to it for me.he has a line break and a side step but he is defensively weak and he has no real speed, as could be seen when he was overhauled for that certain try he butchered the other week. i don't think he is worth a senior contract tbh.
vuna, RM and james wilson should be the back three, with RM at full back (like TH, he runs the ball back)and JW on the wing.

saints team is weaker than i thought. if our pack gets stuck into them we could come away with some points.

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: andysaint (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 13:22

Our problem is consistency. We've had good wins against Wasps and Exeter but followed those up with some poor play. I thought last week's game would be tighter and struggle for us especially in the pack but clearly that was wrong. It wouldn't surprise me if we were in the mood tomorrow for a good win, it wouldnt surprise me either if we lost collisions and couldnt hang on to the ball. Safe drive up to those who are coming and hope it is a good game.

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: sirtidychris (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 13:39

Well at least our backline should be fresh as most of them haven't played alot, hopefully they will be able to catch and pass which has been a major problem for our backs this season, to be fair catching and passing is pretty advanced rugby skills, hopefully Allison will get them there one day.

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: by (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 13:41

Quote:
dr.bath1865
Not wanting to single him out... but Atkins hasn't impressed me at senior level, a take and give v Sarries aside. And he's the same age as Underhill and older than Mercer and Cokanasiga, so he's not a 'youth' player anymore.

Have to agree unfortunately.

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Optimist (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 13:43

Ďhe has no real speed, as could be seen when he was overhauled for that certain try he butcheredí - thatís possibly the most facile bit of Ďanalysisí iíve seen on here since BoB hung up his poison pen. DA is quick. He wasnít overhauled (he was tackled - other teams are permitted to field quick runners too), it wasnít a certain try, and he didnít butcher it.

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Duckonstilts (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 14:01

I have to say I'm worried about Saints chances having seen our forwards. We had just started getting parity with FVW, Fish and Painter hopefully we dont go back to being stuffed. Api will help a bit but its a big ask. We will have to try and not knock the ball on.... :-(

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Beergoggles (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 14:06

Quote:
dr.bath1865
Not wanting to single him out... but Atkins hasn't impressed me at senior level, a take and give v Sarries aside. And he's the same age as Underhill and older than Mercer and Cokanasiga, so he's not a 'youth' player anymore.
I assume Todd and Girv see the good stuff in training so they are keeping the faith. Looks like it'll be a dry day and so playing outside Willison and JJ should give him a chance going forward. Let's see what he's got. Feels like a big game for him.
.

For goodness sake. He's 11 days past his 22nd birthday, still at university, and has had 4 starts. Bit early to write him off don't you think ?

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Bath Hammer (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 14:37

Not too confident after (a) last weekís performance despite the win (b) no chance to at least build on that with so many players out (c) playing at a ground where we struggle against a team who have gone to the next level. Predicted score 10-30.

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: dr.bath1865 (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 15:16

Beergogs, I'm not writing him off, I'm giving him every chance and commenting that it's a big game for him as he hasn't filled me with confidence when I've seen him play.

Nothing personal - it's just my view and I, like a few posters, would've preferred a more experienced 15 for a big game like this. If they're unavailable, fine, give the lad a go and I hope Darren shows the quality that the coaches must see on the training field.

Funny how some youngsters just look ready from their first few starts. Sure, some are superstars, but most take a time to adapt. It's interesting trying to make out who will make it and who won't on first assessment, especially 15s as it's quite an exposed position. I remember seeing a young Bendy play his first few games on The Rec (must've been 2006?). He made the game look so easy. And Balshaw, who made everyone else play in slow motion. We've had some top young 15s over the years. I hope Darren becomes another one.

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Kidney Stone (IP Logged)
Date: 22/02/2019 20:33

Seem to remember that Ribbans was super destructive against us last time. Needs Atters to keep him quiet.

I think it will be no more than one score difference.

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Rokoholic (IP Logged)
Date: 23/02/2019 07:47

Saintsí points for in previous 5 games: 67, 59, 47, 111, 40

Granted against varying levels of opposition, but safe to say we can expect an open game today!

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Beergoggles (IP Logged)
Date: 23/02/2019 08:40

Quote:
dr.bath1865
Beergogs, I'm not writing him off, I'm giving him every chance and commenting that it's a big game for him as he hasn't filled me with confidence when I've seen him play.
Nothing personal - it's just my view and I, like a few posters, would've preferred a more experienced 15 for a big game like this. If they're unavailable, fine, give the lad a go and I hope Darren shows the quality that the coaches must see on the training field.

Funny how some youngsters just look ready from their first few starts. Sure, some are superstars, but most take a time to adapt. It's interesting trying to make out who will make it and who won't on first assessment, especially 15s as it's quite an exposed position. I remember seeing a young Bendy play his first few games on The Rec (must've been 2006?). He made the game look so easy. And Balshaw, who made everyone else play in slow motion. We've had some top young 15s over the years. I hope Darren becomes another one.

Very glad itís not personal and youíre giving him every chance. Iíd hate to hear you put the boot in ! Bendy and Balshaw are two of the best full backs ever to have played the game. Why not compare him to JPR Williams as well and really crush him into the ground.

I just wish him the very best of luck in his 5th prem start and hope he builds on his talent and confidence to become that experienced full back.

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 23/02/2019 09:15

He is a 22 year old professional rugby player in the Bath 1st team BG. IMO people are allowed to express their opinion that they would like to see more from him in these matches. He is obviously a talented young guy or he wouldnít be on the pitch - we havenít seen it yet outside A league games though. Today is a good day to start.

[Adoptee 18/19: Man Mountain Dave Attwood, back in the BB&W and ready to smash]

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: shipwrecked (IP Logged)
Date: 23/02/2019 10:02

Find it hard to believe that Darren Atkins can be dismissed so readily given the limited time he has had in the squad.
It's not as though he is being introduced into a winning back line so why have a go at him when even full internationals are making schoolboy errors.
Backs simply don't convert all their opportunities.

Darren Atkins Age 21 years, Fullback, 6 ft 1 in, 13 st 4 lbs. Sadly injured for the rest of the season!

https://i.ibb.co/sbQsmcr/darren-atkins-5.jpg

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: miller8 (IP Logged)
Date: 23/02/2019 10:16

If he has a positive mental attitude and believes in his own ability and our badge and our coaches have faith in him he gets my support..

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: OutsideBath (IP Logged)
Date: 23/02/2019 11:24

5 games is a little too early to entirely judge Atkins, he just seems too small to me.

Tom Dunn - Adopted player 2018/19

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: Rawce (IP Logged)
Date: 23/02/2019 11:32

From what Iíve seen Atkins is great in the air, quick on the counter (just needs to back his pace a bit more often), positionally sound, flexible across the back three and is mostly successful at last man tackling.

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: oldtoastersaint (IP Logged)
Date: 23/02/2019 11:56

Rokoholic, agree you shouldn't worry too much about those scores, they were against varying levels of opposition as you say. The one that seems to have most gone under the radar though was the defeat away against Top 14 leaders Clermont (whom unluckily we're drawn to play away again!) in the Challenge Cup. Forty points wasn't quite enough, but we had a chance to win until the last minute.

What's different now is the amount of expectation, which is naturally high. I think making 7 changes to a team that played almost to perfection (A forward pass cost us try number ten) last time out is Chris Boyd's way of managing that expectation.

We are missing our player of the season again in our no 8 Teimana Harrison by the way although his stand-in Tom Wood is back to his England pomp after finally sorting out a long-term nagging groin injury.

Looking forward to a great afternoon of exciting running rugby, may the best team win!

Re: TEAM UP! Marching on or Sliding Back? Northampton v Bath
Posted by: dr.bath1865 (IP Logged)
Date: 23/02/2019 13:12

As BathMatt says, just my opinion and it's based on what I've personally seen. I hope he proves a lot of us wrong, starting this afternoon, and becomes the second coming of JPR Williams.

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