Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins


Priestland: open defence
By P G Tips
February 27 2019

Having produced a chequered performance in defeat at Northampton, Bath must next withstand Harlequins’ colourful challenge at the Rec. The London club seem secure in 3rd place, have won 4 Premiership ties in a row and are in rich try scoring form. Bath by contrast have  been prone to off colour moments in 2 of their last 3 Premiership games, purple patches giving way to pallid errors, letting victory slip at the last. This time, can they be bold and vivid enough to win?

Quins are barely affected by 6 Nations call-ups – Kyle Sinckler being their only international absentee, while Bath should be without Joe Cokanasiga, whose World Cup potential Eddie Jones must want to test further with an outing against Italy. Charlie Ewels may be missing too- to cover the gap caused by Lawes’ tournament ending injury. “Eddie discards” Robshaw, Care and Brown have been in outstanding form for the visitors of late, as has Joe Marler who has opted to exorcise his demons purely in club rugby from now on. With “old hands’ like Ward and Horwill in support, Quins do not lack experience. They can also call on youthful zest: the fast maturing Marcus Smith, plus Joe Marchant and Nathan Earle scorers of some spectacular tries.

 

Against such a strong line-up, good news for Bath on the injury front is sparse. Homer and Roberts are fit to start but Darren Atkins is out for the season with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. Aled Brew is another out for the season with a broken arm and Luke Charteris has failed an HIA leaving Bath’s lock resources very stretched. The team sheet must therefore see reshuffles in the back 5 of the pack and back three. With Stooke returning to the second row Paul Grant or Levi Douglas may be needed at flank to counter the physical threat of Dombrandt and Clifford.

 

There is some good news for Bath. They have already beaten Quins, at the Stoop, this season. That day they regularly punctured their opponents’ defence and at one stage looked like taking a more comfortable victory. Lately, the last 2 visitors to the Stoop, Worcester and Bristol, snatched try bonuses in defeat, proving Harlequins still vulnerable to defensive lapses.

 

To win Bath must reprise the levels of intensity they showed at Northampton, forwards driving with vigour to allow Chudley and Priestland to open the defence and serve the strength and determination of McConnochie, the elusiveness of Joseph or the dash and pace of Mercer.  If they can pressure Quins’ lineout as they did Saints’ and win the breakdown battle they can maintain this season’s edge over the visitors.

 

It is vital that Bath dominate possession and territory to pressurise Quins into error and defensive lapses. As England discovered last weekend, it is hard to attack with limited possession, or from deep in your own half. The late lapses mentioned above have been in away matches so home advantage has an important role to play. Whatever the game plan, it must be delivered with conviction to put Quins on the back foot and stir the crowd into passionate support. Bath may be unbeaten at home in the Premiership since October but Quins are their toughest domestic visitors since Exeter. To intensity must be added concentration and accuracy. Bath must square up to and dominate their multi-coloured opponents before chasing any rainbows. If they can seize the initiative and gain an edge they must also take any chance to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Early chances of easy penalty points should be grabbed eagerly. Once a lead is built, Bath can then attempt kaleidoscopic moves. A match of dazzling colour is in prospect, but  given Bath’s depleted resources, fans will settle for monochrome if their team can sneak a win.

 

 

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

Replacements:  V Rooyen, Walker, Perenise, Douglas, Bayliss, Cook, Burns, Wilson

 

Harlequins: Marler, Elia, Collier, Horwill, Glynn, Cliffod, Robshaw, Dombrandt. Care, Smith. Chisholm, Tapuai, Marchant, Earle. Brown.

Replacements: Ward, Boyce, Swainston, Merrick, Chisholm. Lewis, Lang, Saili.

 

 

pqs: qs:
Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: TEAM's Up! Comeonmylovers.co.uk (IP Logged)
Date: 27/02/2019 07:59

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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2019:03:07:08:43:25 by P G Tips.

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: P G Tips (IP Logged)
Date: 01/03/2019 12:00

Bath Rugby team to face Harlequins

15. Freddie Burns

14. Ruaridh McConnochie

13. Jonathan Joseph

12. Jamie Roberts

11. Cooper Vuna

10. Rhys Priestland

9. Will Chudley (c)

1. Nathan Catt

2. Tom Dunn

3. Henry Thomas

4. Dave Attwood

5. Elliott Stooke

6. Paul Grant

7. Francois Louw

8. Zach Mercer

Replacements

16. Ross Batty

17. Beno Obano

18. Anthony Perenise

19. Levi Douglas

20. Miles Reid

21. Kahn Fotualiíi

22. Jackson Willison

23. Tom Homer


Good to see Obano & Perenise back! Strongest we can currently put out IMHO.

P G Tips



Alex Davies: my adopted Player, 2018-19.

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: Griff (IP Logged)
Date: 01/03/2019 12:03

Great to see Beno back on the bench. Decent XXIII too!

"You're going to need a bigger boat"

Sam Underhill Adopted Player 2018/19

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: Awp24975 (IP Logged)
Date: 01/03/2019 12:04

Would rather Homer at fullback... seriously short of backrow / lock cover on the bench considering was our strongest positions earlier in season..... fingers crossed to scraping a win!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:03:01:12:06:21 by Awp24975.

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: dr.bath1865 (IP Logged)
Date: 01/03/2019 12:06

Welcome back, Beno. Good looking team and pleased to see Grant starting. No Care for Quins is handy, too.

Seems as if our bench has been almost entirely rotated... Blackadder was pretty vocal about the poor impact they had last week at Saints. Walker and Lahiff turned their back on Ribbans? Green's failure to exit? Interesting man management. Seems as if Todd isn't such a nice guy after all.

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: ballsout (IP Logged)
Date: 01/03/2019 12:10

It's about time Bath put in a performance to be proud of. Switched on from minute 1, intensity and execution. No dumb penalties every two minutes or coughing up posession every two phases.

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 01/03/2019 12:22

Bath team looks good IMO. Great to see a couple of faces return.

Harlequins XV to play Bath (Quins appearances in brackets. Kick-off: 15:00)

15. Mike Brown (312)
14. Ross Chisholm (97)
13. Joe Marchant (75)
12. Ben Tapuai (14)
11. Nathan Earle (18)
10. James Lang (41)
9. Charlie Mulchrone (36)

1. Lewis Boyce (31)
2. Elia Elia (29)
3. Will Collier (146)
4. Matt Symons (17)
5. James Horwill (Co-Captain, 60)
6. Ben Glynn (36)
7. Chris Robshaw (Co-Captain, 266)
8. Alex Dombrandt (15)

Game Changers
16. Dave Ward (162)
17. Joe Marler (186)
18. Josh Ibuanokpe (7)
19. George Merrick (95)
20. Jack Clifford (88)
21. Dave Lewis (26)
22. Marcus Smith (49)
23. Francis Saili (17)

Not considered for selection
Nick Auterac
Rob Buchanan
Renaldo Bothma
Danny Care
James Chisholm
Max Crumpton
Henry Cheeseman
Gabriel Ibitoye
Mark Lambert
Paul Lasike
Josh McNulty
Aaron Morris
Cadan Murley
Niall Saunders
Kyle Sinckler

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

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: Beergoggles (IP Logged)
Date: 01/03/2019 12:38

Is there any logic to playing Burns at FB when Homer is available ?Must say I'm struggling to see it.

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: Rawce (IP Logged)
Date: 01/03/2019 12:42

Dempseyís plan for a second play maker to come into the line. We had a couple of games where it seemed to be building then injuries happened.

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: abendanon-anon-anon (IP Logged)
Date: 01/03/2019 12:57

If itís a tight game with 20 to go, then it might come down to benches and I think Quinns is stronger than Bathís

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: sid the seagull (IP Logged)
Date: 01/03/2019 13:07

Guess Fred needs game time whereas TH may not quite be oven ready post injury. Agree Quins bench looks good, this could be a tough one. Also see that Quins are 3rd in table - how did that happen?

PECK

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: Optimist (IP Logged)
Date: 01/03/2019 14:01

Homer makes some eye-catching breaks, but a link-player he really isnít. With Roberts to bosh, and a play-maker either side of the breakdown thereís a good opportunity to keep the defence guessing. Massive congratulations to Ben Obano - he must have put some serious work into rehab to come back ahead of schedule. I hope he gets all the luck going from here on.

I think thatís a fantastic bench - but can we have 2016/17 Kahn please.

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: Bath Hammer (IP Logged)
Date: 01/03/2019 14:08

Quins are 9 points ahead of us & here won 2 games more. We cannot hold onto a lead & seem psychologically weak. Other than home advantage there isnít much in our favour so Iím in no way optimistic.

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 01/03/2019 14:40

Bookies have us by 8 BH - you can get 2/1 on Quins. Stick £10k on and you can clear up!

In all seriousness in the league their last 4 games were:

H v Wasps - 20:13
A v Newcastle - 17:38
H v Worcester - 47:33
H v Bristol - 36:26

The reason that they are in the heady heights of 3rd is because they have played well, but against the bottom teams in the league (and Wasps who were in crisis).

It should be a good game, but I think that Bath are rightly going in as favourites.

[All this talk of Bath folding in games, well its 10-1 for Bath to be leading at 1/2 time and Quins to win the game...has to be a tempter!]

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



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019:03:01:15:03:49 by BathMatt53.

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: Bath Hammer (IP Logged)
Date: 01/03/2019 15:43

Quote:
BathMatt53
[All this talk of Bath folding in games, well its 10-1 for Bath to be leading at 1/2 time and Quins to win the game...has to be a tempter!]

Yes - if I was a betting man & not reluctant to bet against my own team I might go for that - a likely outcome. Remind me BM - how did we get on away against Bristol, Newcastle & Worcester?

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 01/03/2019 15:56

In the equivalent fixtures:

H v Wasps - still to come (May)
A v Newcastle - 16:8 (lost)
H v Worcester - 28:13 (won)
H v Bristol - still to come (Clash)

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

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: shipwrecked (IP Logged)
Date: 01/03/2019 17:16

Quote:
Rawce
Dempseyís plan for a second play maker to come into the line. We had a couple of games where it seemed to be building then injuries happened.

Yes I agree Rawce, nice to see that plan back on the agenda!

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


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

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: Old Bath Tub (IP Logged)
Date: 02/03/2019 09:37

Quote:
Bath Hammer
Quins are 9 points ahead of us & here won 2 games more. We cannot hold onto a lead & seem psychologically weak. Other than home advantage there isnít much in our favour so Iím in no way optimistic.

Agree, Quins on fire - Bath not, losing bonus point ? (Sm128)

Adopted Player 2018/19 Ross Batty

"AN OUNCE OF ACTION IS WORTH A TON OF THEORY"
FRIEDRICH ENGELS

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: Victor Ludorum (IP Logged)
Date: 02/03/2019 09:50

I hope we pop the cork on a bottle of something vintage this afternoon. Bath by 12...

Re: Colourful Challenge: Bath v Harlequins
Posted by: Beergoggles (IP Logged)
Date: 02/03/2019 11:11

Quote:
Victor Ludorum
I hope we pop the cork on a bottle of something vintage this afternoon. Bath by 12...

Fabulous positive post Victor. I'll share in your optimism and raise a glass in hope and expectation.Also Met Office has the rain not coming in until 6, hurrah.

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