THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: Comeonmylovers.co.uk (IP Logged)
Date: 21 July, 2020 13:36

What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 21 July, 2020 13:58

Thanks PG.

(btw Steenson extended to the end of the extended season and will retire after that).



[Actively seeking a new adoptee: until I'm assigned one I'm going for Joshua Matavesi]

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: OldMarovian (IP Logged)
Date: 21 July, 2020 15:03

Very interesting post and a great summary of the current situation.

It would be a good return for Bath to finish top 6 and I think the mid-table will be less conjested after the break (in comparrison to last season) as I think half the clubs are basically trying to manage their resources till next season as they have little or nothing to play for so gaps may open up meaning the odd off-day or two won't result in a dropping points that would have made the difference between 4th and 7th.

Chiefs are surely favourites but there are three big issues for them. in terms of playing style if the NH referees follow the SH referees in clearing up the breakdown then Chiefs will have to find a new way to play. As importantly two of their closest rivals; Bristol and Sale have both strengthened their packs and arguably have greater flair and better backs than Chiefs. Sale had to work very hard to throw away two likely wins against them before the virus break, butchering a quite spectacular number of opportunities. Bristol have won at Sandy Park.
Second issue is how far they progress in the European Cup. Of the current top four Northampton struggled against Chiefs last season and have done little to bolster their forwards so I see an easy progression to the European SFs for Chiefs. Beyond that though they will have to pick their best team which will almost certainly mean compromising the team they field in teh Premiership.
Third is whether International call-ups conflict with Premiership games as seems likely. Will Rowe force a club vs Country decision on his Internationals if the top 2 seeding in the Premiership is in doubt?

I'm hugely excited about both Bristol and Sale. As above I beleive both have the packs to get parity or close to with Chiefs at set-piece and arguably superior in the loose. Manu is wasted at Tigers he is exactly they sort of player who if fit and available could make the difference in a final. Sale have choked a few to many times against Chiefs whereas Bristol beat them at Sandy Park this past season. I feel these two will end up playing each other in one SF with Bristol progressing.

Lots to like about Saints team including the numerous Academy players and the open style of rugby they play but Boyd still hasn't quite worked out that this isn't SR and if you pack don't at least front up the best teams will beat you quite easily. I think they're good enough to get 4th but will be steam-rollered in both their European QF and the Premierhsip SF against Chiefs.

I'd love to see Bristol beat Chiefs in the final but feel it may be a season too soon for them.

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: Bathovalballer (IP Logged)
Date: 21 July, 2020 23:41

Excellent revue PGT and one I concur with mostly. However, I have a sneaking feeling that Sale's power across the park both upfront and behind, could prove to be the winner of the tight, physical games and prevail against Exeter who have their ambitions on two fronts which is likely to take a toll on their stars. If Sale make the playoff final, they will win, just.



Adopted player 2019/20 Jonathan 'JJ' Joseph.

The Jink Joseph.

Adopted player 2018/19 Adopted player 2018/19 Semesa 'The Rock' Rokoduguni

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: woodpecker (IP Logged)
Date: 22 July, 2020 10:03

This has probably been discussed at length somewhere else, so please just point me there, but I checked the Gallagher website and it only goes up to round 17 before the semi, on 9th/10th October, how does that work?

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: warrenball (IP Logged)
Date: 22 July, 2020 10:36

Bath don't seem to be mentioned very much, the discussions seems to revolve around the prospects of other teams, are we really that negative about a sudden upsurge in Bath's performances? The coaches have been lucky to have an extended break to refine the coaching set up after their experiences in the first half of the season, so we should now see the full power of a revitalised Bath.

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: hasta (IP Logged)
Date: 22 July, 2020 11:24

I'm quietly optimistic. We haven't had too much turnover turmoil (although saying goodbye to Francois is a blow). We've got JoCo back plus Watson/JJ not with England, additional distribution options in Matavesi/Redpath, plus a significant improvement at 9. Our pack was good all season and Stuart/Ewels/Underhill/Faletau won't be away. We have three very winnable games in the first set of four. Should really be targeting 14/15 points in August.

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: TomReagan (IP Logged)
Date: 22 July, 2020 23:36

Quote:
warrenball
Bath don't seem to be mentioned very much, the discussions seems to revolve around the prospects of other teams, are we really that negative about a sudden upsurge in Bath's performances? The coaches have been lucky to have an extended break to refine the coaching set up after their experiences in the first half of the season, so we should now see the full power of a revitalised Bath.
I like the optimism, but of course every club can say the same thing of its coaches. Looking at the Prem football some sides came back from lockdown revitalised, others were, to use that cliche loved of sports commentators about now, 'Mentally on the beach'. Fitness, commitment and desire were very different depending on the club. It's a unique situation and the football teams weren't dealing with changes of personnel, unlike with rugby. I don't know what to expect, but dare I say it, I'm not that interested. I know they have to play behind closed doors, but sport without fans struggles to excite me, and judging by the football I've watched on Pick (A rare chance to watch live football for me) many of the players seem to be feeling the same, as many games were like training sessions (tonight's Liverpool v Chelsea game a welcome exception). Hopefully the rugby will excite and my pessimism will be unwarranted...

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: Satchmo (IP Logged)
Date: 23 July, 2020 17:16

I am quietly optimistic about the restart of the season. Personally I like the focus on youth and give the youngsters a go. The onus is now on SH, Hatley, Dempsey and co to prove themselves. I think they will given time and on paper (at least) it is an exciting opportunity for all. Clean slate,drop the ego's and be bold and play positive rugby. Lets hold thumbs for the start of a new era.

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: warrenball (IP Logged)
Date: 23 July, 2020 18:07

Tom, I think I said the we 'should' see a revitalised Bath, not that we 'would' see that happening - it is part of how we judge the success of our coaching team now they have had plenty of time to put their master plan into action and with a full squad. As for the rugby I have a very low expectation, so should be pleasantly surprised.

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: Boldangrey (IP Logged)
Date: 03 August, 2020 20:45

Excellent review, PG, but one important point you donít seem to have mentioned is the strength of the squad.
Two matches in a week will put huge pressure on the players. A high attrition rate will make things very difficult to predict.

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: Rich. (IP Logged)
Date: 04 August, 2020 10:14

Interesting read and comments. Another two factors IMO to add will be the pitch and weather conditions and 'natural' skill-set. So Bath, for example, have recently upped a level in the final games of the season when pitches are firmer and there are no players missing due to internationals. I'd also expect to see at least Bristol, Northampton and Wasps benefiting from what will hopefully be dry and firm conditions.

As for natural skill level, it was interesting to see that even in New Zealand it took about 3-weeks for the players in super rugby Aotearoa to click regularly with passing, catching at speed while under pressure. So there are some Prem players and teams who will struggle for longer than that. The Bristol v Bath match at the start of the season was very impressive in terms of skill level execution by the Bristol players so very early in the season (and with only one practice match that many of them like Piutau and Morahan did not even play in). So teams with players who can achieve that without weeks of practice will have a big advantage. There will, for e.g, be a fair few passes by some forwards going to ground etc at the start and that could be crucial.

That fact it seems top 8 will go into Champions Cup 20/21 means all bar Sarries have a chance and have all to play for and, at least till they are out of the 19/20 Champions Cup Sarries will be using the Prem matches to get themselves ready for the Cup matches so won't be lying down.

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: shipwrecked (IP Logged)
Date: 04 August, 2020 10:30

I agree with BnG, that the workload on the players is intense. I also think though that the recent pitch replacement is going to have an effect as well.
The original surface almost required kicking for territory the current one just begs the backs to pass and run doesn't it?

Its going to be like two separate seasons, I wonder if our players will have adapted to the new pitch or will we get exposed on our own ground by fast flowing rugby from the opposition?



https://i.ibb.co/gjWyP09/Unknown-1-2.jpg


Beno Obano Age 25 years, Loosehead prop, 5ft 8ins 18st 12lbs 'Mauls are like Transformers' they change form to become more powerful!

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: Bath Supporter Jack (IP Logged)
Date: 04 August, 2020 10:57

BATH every time!!!

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: P G Tips (IP Logged)
Date: 04 August, 2020 14:05

Quote:
Boldangrey
Excellent review, PG, but one important point you donít seem to have mentioned is the strength of the squad.

Yes & no BNG. I did not spell it out but made reference:

"With the inevitable fixture congestion caused by a 5 month delay, clubs will have to trust their strength in depth. Bath claim a lot of faith in the young players coming through from the academy. They may get their chance to shine, against the oppositionís youngsters. Now would be a good time to show their mettle."

I am quietly optimistic that our youngsters will come good- but have little knowledge of the rising academy prospects of other clubs. Hopefully our strength in depth will be up to the task.

A curve ball though has been thrown in since I wrote the piece - the 8 Nation Tournament. Will that involve full strength England & Wales teams? If so Bath loses star players.

Or "experimental" teams? In which case Bath stand to lose rising stars like Obano, Dunn, Stuart, Mercer (possibly Stooke), Redpath, McConnochie.

Either way, strength in depth its double tested!

PG

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: P G Tips (IP Logged)
Date: 04 August, 2020 14:10

Quote:
Rich.

That fact it seems top 8 will go into Champions Cup 20/21 means all bar Sarries have a chance and have all to play for and, .

I must have missed that Rich!

What is the source?

PG

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: woodpecker (IP Logged)
Date: 04 August, 2020 14:34

Its ten days until it starts but prem site still not showing any times?

[www.google.com];;

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: Rich. (IP Logged)
Date: 04 August, 2020 15:15

PG - There was this on the official EPCR site back in June.
'As previously communicated, new Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournament formats for the 2020/21 season are being considered as a consequence of widespread fixture disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A 24-club Heineken Champions Cup with eight representatives from each of Europeís leading league competitions is one of the options under discussion'
The link to that is [www.epcrugby.com]

There's no update on that site but I've read a number of things of late which imply it is happening - e.g. in the Wales On Line article on Jamie Roberts this week he talks about playing in the Champions Cup for Dragons in the 20/21 season - and that would only happen if they go the 24 team route (8 teams each from Prem, Proi 14 and Top 14)

As for the 8 Nation Tournament I suspect Jones will want the whole big squad for the whole period of time so Bath will lose the main squad players and the others - though: (a) I guess some may be released back to their clubs at the start of weeks and (b) I don't think that tournament clashes with the Prem other than perhaps 1 week at the start of the 20/21 Prem season (??)

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: P G Tips (IP Logged)
Date: 04 August, 2020 17:51

Thanks Rich.

I guess your last para partly explains why we have seen no confirmation on Premiership matches beyond the initial 4 rounds.

Let's see how things develop!

PG

Re: THE SEASON RESUMES: WHO WILL TRIUMPH?
Posted by: hasta (IP Logged)
Date: 04 August, 2020 23:37

I also suspect that the the Prem are seeing what happens with multiple games in a week, whether Covid cases increase, if they're allowed to start doing test games with fans...

The semis are scheduled for 9/10 Oct. The final would clash on the weekend with England vs BaaBaas 24/25th October. So basically every England player not in the final would have plenty of time to prep.

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing abuse@sportnetwork.net