NEWS: Teams UP: AW Cup Semi Final Bath v Saints


By Happywifehappylife
March 8 2018

It's a chance to redeem our loss a couple of weeks ago, but more importantly one game away from a final & a chance for a bit of redemption in the gloom. COYS!!

Northampton Saints have made five changes to their starting line-up to take on Bath Rugby in the semi-finals of the Anglo-Welsh Cup, with Teimana Harrison set to make his 100th appearance in Black, Green and Gold.

Travelling to the Rec on Friday evening, Saints will be looking to reach the final of the tournament for the fourth time in eight seasons. The visitors have already locked horns with Todd Blackadder’s Bath twice this season, with one home victory apiece for either side in the Aviva Premiership. Saints will start with a new-look half-back partnership at the Rec, with Cobus Reinach brought back into the side at scrum-half and Stephen Myler – who impressed off the bench last weekend – outside him. That leaves Piers Francis to shift to inside centre in place of the injured Luther Burrell, with the rest of Northampton’s back-line unchanged from last week.

Ben Foden skippers Saints on the wing, with Nafi Tuitavake and Ahsee Tuala once again making up the rest of the back three. There is one change to Saints’ front row with Reece Marshall making his fourth start of the season at hooker as Mike Haywood is rested, but props Campese Ma’afu and Kieran Brookes are unchanged. David Ribbans has recovered from a shoulder knock to return alongside Api Ratuniyarawa in the second row, while Jamie Gibson starts at flanker in place of the injured Tom Wood alongside centurion Harrison. Charlie Clare, Ben Nutley, and Tom Stephenson also all come into the 23 to take their place amongst the replacements and Nic Groom is poised to make his 50th Northampton appearance off the bench, with Saints hoping to book their spot in next weekend’s final at Kingsholm.

“We want to perform in every game, but winning silverware this season is a huge aim for us now and this week is a big opportunity,” said interim head coach Alan Dickens. “We’re under no illusions that this will be a tough game this Friday – it’s a semi-final away from home – but we’ve got to go there and put in a performance.”

BATH: 15 Tom Homer 14 Darren Atkins 13 Will Hurrell 12 James Wilson 11 Cooper Vuna 10 Josh Lewis 9 Chris Cook 1 Beno Obano 2 Nathan Charles 3 Max Lahiff 4 Levi Douglas 5 Charlie Ewels (c) 6 Tom Ellis 7 Josh Bayliss 8 James Phillips Replacements: 16 Michael van Vuuren 17 Nathan Catt 18 Henry Thomas 19 Elliott Stooke 20 Paul Grant 21 Kahn Fotuali’i 22 Aled Brew 23 Matt Banahan

SAINTS: 15 Ahsee Tuala 14 Nafi Tuitavake 13 Rob Horne 12 Piers Francis 11 Ben Foden (capt) 10 Stephen Myler 9 Cobus Reinach 1 Campese Ma’afu 2 Reece Marshall 3 Kieran Brookes 4 Api Ratuniyarawa 5 David Ribbans 6 Jamie Gibson 7 Heinrich Brüssow 8 Teimana Harrison Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare 17 Francois van Wyk 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson 19 Michael Paterson 20 Ben Nutley 21 Nic Groom 22 Tom Stephenson 23 Ken Pisi

Alex Waller, James Craig, Tom Wood, Christian Day, Harry Mallinder and Luther Burrell are all unavailable for selection

(Taken from t'Offy)

pqs: qs:
NEWS: Teams UP: AW Cup Semi Final Bath v Saints
Posted by: Marching On (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 20:31

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Team's Up
Posted by: tedge (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 11:56

Injury update:
Alex Waller, James Craig, Tom Wood, Christian Day and Luther Burrell are all unavailable for selection.



Tuala
Tuitavake
Horne
Francis
Foden
Myler
Reinach

Ma'afu
Marshall
Brookes
Ratuniyarawa
Ribbans
Gibson
Brussow
Harrison

Clare, Van Wyk, Ford-Robinson, Paterson, Nutley, Groom, Stephenson, Pisi



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:03:08:11:57:52 by tedge.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Chris Hoddle (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 12:01

Well not too many changes from what I thought last Sunday. Harry not about so Tuitavake in, also no Mikey so Reeece in it.
Like the looks of the backs could be good?
Pack looks OK as well if we can keep moving theirs?

http://chrishoddle.smugmug.com/photos/i-TsCHdzK/0/M/i-TsCHdzK-M.gif

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Chris Hoddle (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 12:02

Bath team,

15. Tom Homer

14. Darren Atkins

13. Will Hurrell

12. James Wilson

11. Cooper Vuna

10. Josh Lewis

9. Chris Cook

1. Beno Obano

2. Nathan Charles

3. Max Lahiff

4. Levi Douglas

5. Charlie Ewels (c)

6. Tom Ellis

7. Josh Bayliss

8. James Phillips

Replacements

16. Michael van Vuuren

17. Nathan Catt

18. Henry Thomas

19. Elliott Stooke

20. Paul Grant

21. Kahn Fotualiíi

22. Aled Brew

23. Matt Banahan

http://chrishoddle.smugmug.com/photos/i-TsCHdzK/0/M/i-TsCHdzK-M.gif

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: ballsout (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 12:02

Must be nice to only have 5 players missing through injury

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: tedge (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 12:07

Slightly surprised there's no Mallinder, who isn't listed as injured, but perhaps his and Haywood's absences are a token nod to "development" or they are just rested for unknown reasons.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Nath-coys (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 12:10

Looking forward too seeing Francis in his better position!

With Myler directing the game I hope too see Francis playing heads up rugby.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: andysaint (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 12:16

I despair. After all the comments on Saturday about the performance, especially the first half, some of those players still get another go.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Hantsaintsrus4 (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 12:16

Not to start Stephenson is madness, we need 'dog' and defence he brings. Our open door policy has to stop.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: SaintsMan87 (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 12:17

The constant non selection of mallinder makes me wonder if thereís a deeper issue! Picked by eddie jones but not us

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Nath-coys (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 12:20

Francis is actually a pretty tenacious defender so don't see a problem there.

Not sure who else we could of selected to be honest??
We don't have a lot of options.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: ballsout (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 12:23

Obano the only first choice player for Bath, everyone else 2nd, 3rd, 4th choice...

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: SaintsMan87 (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 12:27

Quote:
ballsout
Obano the only first choice player for Bath, everyone else 2nd, 3rd, 4th choice...

No one is biting on any of your comments! Please feel free to return to your own forum where they donít bite or approve of your comments either

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: riverlodge (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 12:35

Quote:
Nath-coys
Francis is actually a pretty tenacious defender so don't see a problem there.

look at the footage of the kick through and Yarde's try last weekend, and the non chasing back

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Nath-coys (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 12:40

Pretty much all of our players have been guilty of poor poor play this year.
I could list instances pretty much all day.

People are calling for Stephenson too play, I like him and think he is a good player. But could point to plenty of poor play from him also.

However I try to think and focus on what I think they can bring to the game.
And I think Francis had a very good second half last week and his passing and decision making was something we haven't seen from a 12 at saints this year smiling smiley

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: SaintMaul (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 12:51

The Bath bench is very strong. Being in the lead come 60 mins would be advisable.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Saintsman94 (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 13:17

Pleased to see Marshall starting, I think he's looked good this season and if we can bring him on a bit, it takes the pressure off of Mikey playing 80 (or 79) minutes every week when Dylan's away.

I think it's a real shame not to see the likes of Ludlam, Collins, Moon, Hill and Mitchell playing in games like this, even if it is just a bench spot. They may be young but they have, for the most part, looked better than their older, more experienced counterparts at times this season. Not to mention that some of them can't have played in weeks, Dicken's spoke about squad players not getting enough game time, well this was an opportunity to give them some.

I'd have liked to have seen Stephenson start too, although I can understand wanting to test out the Myler 10, Francis 12 axis a little more.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Former Hollywood Saint (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 13:28

Wot no North? *

Incidentally, I know someone says it every week, but what do Collins, Elliot, and Hill have to do to make the squad. Also what is Ludlam up to at the moment?




FHS

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Saint 16 (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 14:02

I understand peoples misgivings for not playing some less experienced players, but surely the club have to go all out to win this cup to put a gloss on the season?! Something positive is urgently required and I fully support the notion of playing the best squad we can right now.

I do think the side never looks as good when Harry's not in it though. For all the mistakes he can make, he still adds some spark and commitment that many others lack. Assume he is not playing due to being with England again?

Still a big ask for tomorrow I fear.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Deesaint (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 14:04

Couple of things that will make the difference.
Mental attitude when they step out on the pitch - need a bloody good team talk.
SM giving PF room to play not standing deep and just shipping ball to him.
The front five need to play out of their skin really aggressive and confrontational
The back row have to win the breakdown (That includes you Mr G )

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: SuffolkSaint (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 14:09

Just shows that 'Talk's cheap'

When are the coaches going to be held accountable - it's no good keep saying that players need to pull up their socks or face being dropped and then continue to pick them regardless of performance.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:03:08:14:31:34 by SuffolkSaint.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Walks11 (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 14:30

Quote:
SaintsMan87
The constant non selection of mallinder makes me wonder if thereís a deeper issue! Picked by eddie jones but not us

Constant? He was ill last week, no explanation this week but donít see a trend of him not being selected

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Dragonboy (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 15:02

I do agree that it's a shame Lewis isn't getting more of a chance, particularly as he had such a strong start to the season, however we don't know how his illness has impacted on him. He may not be featuring on the injured list but is he yet recovered enough for first class rugby but then we must of course respect his privacy.

Tom Collins is a mystery to me as to why he doesn't feature. We were stuffed for pace last week by Yarde and Solomona, hey arguably our quickest available and wanting to play wing doesn't get a look in.

I've been an admirer of Tom Stephenson since he first started to appear in the Wandies at probably about 17, however for me he just doesn't cut it by virtue of the fact that he doesn't often pass and seems to try and beat everyone every time so it doesn't matter if we have Usain Bolt or Garry Pearce on the wing the result is always the same. The ball doesn't get that far. And with respect to Tom he isn't Alan Bateman.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: SuffolkSaint (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 15:04

Lewis is 100% fit and desperate for game time.


Quote:
Dragonboy
I do agree that it's a shame Lewis isn't getting more of a chance, particularly as he had such a strong start to the season, however we don't know how his illness has impacted on him. He may not be featuring on the injured list but is he yet recovered enough for first class rugby but then we must of course respect his privacy.
Tom Collins is a mystery to me as to why he doesn't feature. We were stuffed for pace last week by Yarde and Solomona, hey arguably our quickest available and wanting to play wing doesn't get a look in.

I've been an admirer of Tom Stephenson since he first started to appear in the Wandies at probably about 17, however for me he just doesn't cut it by virtue of the fact that he doesn't often pass and seems to try and beat everyone every time so it doesn't matter if we have Usain Bolt or Garry Pearce on the wing the result is always the same. The ball doesn't get that far. And with respect to Tom he isn't Alan Bateman.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: tedge (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 15:06

I am fairly sure Chris Boyd will want to encourage a fast off-loading game and off-loading is Stephenson's prime weakness (he is not alone). Gaffney inferred that it's too late to change his style so whether that's a challenge for Boyd or a non-starter is unknown.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Themanwho (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 17:10

Big fan of the young guys but I think we wil haemorrhage them this summer. Have heard Hutchinson to Glasgow and Stephenson to Ealing Trailfinders.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Hakuna Tuala (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 17:15

Would be a real shame to lose Hutchinson in particular... I bet he'd really kick on at Glasgow if the rumour is true!

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Chris Hoddle (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 17:21

When we played Glasgow in the friendly I was up there in the press box. Rory had played in the friendlies and had scored a few tries. Glasgow were very keen on him as he was obviously Scotland qualified.

http://chrishoddle.smugmug.com/photos/i-TsCHdzK/0/M/i-TsCHdzK-M.gif

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: OlneySaint2 (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 17:25

That side, assuming Mikey is unable to play, is the strongest side we have available in the eyes of the coaches. Exactly as expected. Wrong on so many levels. Persistent failure is rewarded. First choice players are not rested. Development/squad players are discouraged just when they would be raring to go.

What must the likes of Paul Hill, Lewis Ludlam, Tom Collins and Mitch Eadie be thinking? Or the younger prospects who have seen their counterparts in other clubs getting game time? Why remain at Saints if you want to play rugby and be developed? Will we play Lawes and Hartley in the A league latter stages so we can claim some silverware?

I do still hope we win the match and I do accept the obvious point that we are trying to salvage something from our season, but just can't suppress a feeling of embarrassment when I look at the Bath team. I'm going to the Rec, so will put up with none of my own arguments from the locals!

All that said, I agree with SaintMaul, the Bath bench is very strong. I expect James Wilson will have a point to prove and Hurrell is a strong runner. Their front row, bench and starting, could pose us problems and I'm not confident about Reece Marshall in the set piece. The Bath youngsters in their pack, Ellis, Bayliss and Douglas are eye-catching players and may combine well with the experience of Phillips and Ewels. Our Myler/Francis pairing is overdue and may be crucial, but I wonder whether our experience and class in the back row battle will be the deciding difference. Could be close.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Wilson Pickett (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 17:31

Think we will win. Scrum improved since last played them, we will be keen to start well.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Chris Hoddle (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 17:53

For those travelling the forecast looks now to be rather wet, make sure you take some waterproofs especially if you are on their east stand!

http://chrishoddle.smugmug.com/photos/i-TsCHdzK/0/M/i-TsCHdzK-M.gif

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: twsaint (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 18:29

Nothing new there then, Chris.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:03:08:18:29:57 by twsaint.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: SaintsMan87 (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 18:56

Quote:
Walks11
Quote:
SaintsMan87
The constant non selection of mallinder makes me wonder if thereís a deeper issue! Picked by eddie jones but not us

Constant? He was ill last week, no explanation this week but donít see a trend of him not being selected

More a reference to him being picked once during 6 nations period

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: SuffolkSaint (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 19:25

Spot on!

Quote:
OlneySaint2
That side, assuming Mikey is unable to play, is the strongest side we have available in the eyes of the coaches. Exactly as expected. Wrong on so many levels. Persistent failure is rewarded. First choice players are not rested. Development/squad players are discouraged just when they would be raring to go.
What must the likes of Paul Hill, Lewis Ludlam, Tom Collins and Mitch Eadie be thinking? Or the younger prospects who have seen their counterparts in other clubs getting game time? Why remain at Saints if you want to play rugby and be developed? Will we play Lawes and Hartley in the A league latter stages so we can claim some silverware?

I do still hope we win the match and I do accept the obvious point that we are trying to salvage something from our season, but just can't suppress a feeling of embarrassment when I look at the Bath team. I'm going to the Rec, so will put up with none of my own arguments from the locals!

All that said, I agree with SaintMaul, the Bath bench is very strong. I expect James Wilson will have a point to prove and Hurrell is a strong runner. Their front row, bench and starting, could pose us problems and I'm not confident about Reece Marshall in the set piece. The Bath youngsters in their pack, Ellis, Bayliss and Douglas are eye-catching players and may combine well with the experience of Phillips and Ewels. Our Myler/Francis pairing is overdue and may be crucial, but I wonder whether our experience and class in the back row battle will be the deciding difference. Could be close.

Re: Team's Up
Posted by: Nath-coys (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 20:10

What younger prospects could we of choose?

Hill gets pasted at scrum time, I actually think he looks more like a loose head than a tighthead.

Do agree about TC and Eadie and Ludlam though.

Re: NEWS: Teams UP: AW Cup Semi Final Bath v Saints
Posted by: twsaint (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 20:50

I'd love to see one or two more youngsters but , more than anything, I want a win.

I've got a drive from Kent to Bath via Hayling Island and then a meet up with a mate from distant student days prior to the game . But, as I said, more than anything I want a win.

Re: NEWS: Teams UP: AW Cup Semi Final Bath v Saints
Posted by: Stockers (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 21:19

Ooooh, you donít want to go via Hayling Island, itís a huge cul de sac!

Unless youíre checking a boat.

Re: NEWS: Teams UP: AW Cup Semi Final Bath v Saints
Posted by: Scrummy (IP Logged)
Date: 08/03/2018 22:03

Wot no Collins.


No *

Re: NEWS: Teams UP: AW Cup Semi Final Bath v Saints
Posted by: Eif Jones (IP Logged)
Date: 09/03/2018 01:17

Even a win would be Pyrrhic against a very weakened Bath.

Re: NEWS: Teams UP: AW Cup Semi Final Bath v Saints
Posted by: Saint James (IP Logged)
Date: 09/03/2018 02:01

Completely agree with above ref younger players getting a shot in a meaningful game.

Unfortunately sums up the desperation of the coaches and state of the season to make safe selectIons. I fear it might work the other way, fresh, motivated lads with a point to prove would have been nice to see.

Re: NEWS: Teams UP: AW Cup Semi Final Bath v Saints
Posted by: Nath-coys (IP Logged)
Date: 09/03/2018 06:59

Quote:
Saint James
Completely agree with above ref younger players getting a shot in a meaningful game.
Unfortunately sums up the desperation of the coaches and state of the season to make safe selectIons. I fear it might work the other way, fresh, motivated lads with a point to prove would have been nice to see.

There is no younger players available.

Again, harsh on a few squad players Ludlam and TC in particular for me.

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