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Bath 2018/2019 or How I learned to stop worrying and love the injuries

Which Tyler

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The thing about home grown talent is we have to retain it... Mercer was one of our star academy players and he's gone. Can be highly certain when he returns to England, it will not be at Bath. If the only academy players we can retain are the poor ones nobody else wants then we are investing lots of effort into players who aren't benefitting the club, denying more skilled "guns for hire" due our desperation to use home grown talent and perpetuating the cycle further.
Was he ever actually in our academy? I thought we nabbed him from Glasgow straight into our seniors?
 

Scotty

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It’s a tricky one though because the squad players are often critical.

For a long while Exeter’s trump card was having a squad of players who were good but not outstanding and who could play all season. They still have that to some extent, but I’m thinking a couple of years back when the likes of Steenson, Whitten, Yeandle, Moon etc. were a bit younger/still playing.

The hard part is finding the squad players like that who also have the right attitude.
Thing is once we had that core Squad of solid players there all year round and playing well we were bringing squad players for a good price like Woodburn, Devoto and Waldrom who were not getting as much gametime for their clubs and who would eventually strengthen us further because we didnt need to make loads of big signings because we had a solid base, homegrown players coming through and squad players at other squad coming in and stepping up. All working around systems that worked for us.
 

BPM

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I’m hoping that’s where Quins are getting to with our squad.

With the reduced cap, the fact that our academy is reliably producing players for the first team is massive.

We’re often have circa 10 academy products in our 23 and that’s likely to rise with another really strong crop coming through (I expect to see more of Tizard, Riley, Beard, Benson, Baxter and Hammond this season) and another group following that (Cassius Cleaves etc.).

We’ve also got a lot better at signing players that are relatively inexpensive but improve the squad - Steele, Lawday and David spring to mind for example.
 

Ragey Erasmus

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As I was feeling grumpy, I decided to do a bit of spreadsheet work. At present Bath are trailing 2nd last by 12 point, which translates to us having 25% of the points of 2nd last. To put that in perspective, since 1997 (the range available on the prem rugby website) there have only been 4 others times this has happened:

2019 when Sarries has their points removed and finished on a negative (doesn't really count and doesn't apply to anything that follows)
2014 with London Welsh
2003 with Rotheram ***ans
1999 with Bedford Blues

Excluding Saracens, all of these clubs were recent promotions from the league below and they neve made it back to the premiership after those seasons. By all accounts it showed that the clubs were not fit to be in the premiership. THIS is the level Bath are currently operating at and the level they will finish the season at if nothing changes. TBH seeing this has made me angry at how unconcerned Bath management seem to have been with the season and how reluctant they have been to admit just how badly it is. We aren't talking the worst season Bath have had, we are talking a season on the level of clubs that were relegated and never returned. Close mention for Bristol who DID return many years later and performed only marginally better. By all accounts teams that performed as poorly as Bath have dropped out of the premiership and didn't return.

Bath management have got to ******* recognise just how badly this season is going. If it wasn't for the bonus points, we would only have London Welsh worse on points haul...
 

Stus7

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Based on Munsters performance last week not sure Van Graan’s going to make much of a difference. Feels a bit like Blackadder’s appointment.
 

TRF_Olyy

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2 new signing already done, just need the other clubs to ok the announcements.
JVG involved in all of these.
Wonder if they're guys he's coached before?
(i.e. Springboks)

sweating key and peele GIF
 

Which Tyler

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More detailed summary here: https://swww.rugbynetwork.net/boards/read/s105.htm?1469,17109291,17109291,page=1#msg-17109291

1. Performance
a. CEO & Coaching team acknowledge performance has been way below expectation and know how hard and frustrating it is for fans.
b. Coaches have NOT given up on this season and the aim/desire is continuous and significant improvement.
c. 6 month lead time to new coaching team is unusual and gives opportunity to plan ahead
d. J v Graan game style – solid set piece, high press defence, attack/score from transition. Plan is to do this with combination of players we have now & will recruit.

2. Coaching
a. new attack coach to be confirmed soon
b. DOR role is everything rugby related off the pitch, outside the match day preparation and game.
c. Defence – some significant improvement seen already in strength/dominance of defence, maul, lineout drive.. Need more at set piece, in ball winback and transition.

3. Recruiting
a. A challenge – Covid & salary Cap reduction.
b. Contracts mean not massive turnover- adding to current squad rather than complete re-invent.
c. 4-5 re-signings to be announced soon, next few weeks
2 new signing already done, just need the other clubs to ok the announcements.
Several more new signings in the works.
JVG involved in all of these. (see dcsh on rumours thread).
d. Looking for a ball carrier – could be lock, centre or back row.
e. “Lots of great things to talk of” (SH)
f. Weeksie (see rumours thread) asked what character club seeks in new recruits:
A: Hunger - how much do they want to get better
Humility - are they able to put their teammates before themselves
“Humanness” - how well will they connect and care for their peers.

4. Women’s Game Development
a. Maria Crowfoot -Head of Women’s Rugby – formerly HC Loughborough Ladies & Nottingham Trent U Men’s team
b. Currently 2nd in South Region table
c. Programme to reach 1,000 female players
d. Schools partnership programme Somerset, Dorset & Wilts
e. Official Partner programme 45 schools plus relationships with 30 others through Dyson and other education/outreach programmes

5. Rest of Season
a. Desire to improve and produce best possible outcome – as well as prepare for next
b. Asked about opportunities for young players- NH said many have already stepped up out of necessity- Richards, Fox, Bailey,Ojomoh, H-Webb -several now established first teamers
c. Jordan Venter -looking great. Hopefully will play this season.
d. Availability. (So far never more than 50% of best 30 players available at one time.) Update: Dunn, Coetzee, Joseph, Muir in line for Quins game. Hughes also in frame. Cipriani not far away. Morozov minor injury – 1 week away. Cokanasiga traiinng -few weeks away.
e. Arthur Cordwell & Max Ojomoh spoke briefly. Both v positive about club and future- “loving every minute” (AC), “Morale? All frustrated, but genuinely excited for second half season-still enjoying work every day.” (MO).

6. General
a. Question re Academy. SH stated “In Top 2 in Prem. In 2-3 years will be the standout. NH – “must be doing something right. E Jones has chosen 19 Bath players- more than from any other club.
b. Support at Rec is “mind blowing.” (NH)
 

LeinsterMan (NotTigsMan)

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On that last bit
No way is Bath academy top 2 by any metric.
Who are the 19 players Eddie jones has played?
I got
Dunn
Obano
Stuart
McNally
Joesph
Watson
Ewels
Stuart
McConnochie
Mercer
Cokanasiga

Of those like 4 have been from the Bath academy.
 

Ragey Erasmus

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On that last bit
No way is Bath academy top 2 by any metric.
Who are the 19 players Eddie jones has played?
I got
Dunn
Obano
Stuart
McNally
Joesph
Watson
Ewels
Stuart
McConnochie
Mercer
Cokanasiga

Of those like 4 have been from the Bath academy.

I was going to say our academy has got better and we now has players coming from our academy into the 1st team. Then I remembered we are full of injuries and shite, which kinda torpedoed that argument...
 

Reiser99

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That's a very positive set of answers for a team that has only won one game. A lot of excuses or or caveats.

"Yeah we've lost almost every single game, but EJ is picking our players so we must be doing something right."
"Never more than 50% of top 30 players available at one time,," yet other clubs have also had to weather injuries.

Also amused by coaches have not given up on this season. They may not have, but the board seems to have.
Laughed out loud when I read "there has already been a significant improvement in defence"
 

Which Tyler

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On that last bit
No way is Bath academy top 2 by any metric.
Who are the 19 players Eddie jones has played?
Of those like 4 have been from the Bath academy.
Bath academy - can't be far off the top 2 currently; U18s are doing well, and U20s have done well for 2-3 years now.
The 19 players is "chosen" by Eddie - so attending training camps, and not the same as "capped". I'm not spotting the claim that it's 19 academy graduates. I have no idea if it's more than any other club, but I'd be instinctively surprised if it was.
Top of my head
Obano, Dunn, Stuart, Ewells, Stooke, McNally, Reid, Underhill, Ellis, Mercer
Bailey, Ford, Ojomoh, Devoto, Joseph, McConnochie, Rokoduguni, Cokanasiga, Watson, DeGlanville
There's 20 for you; and I'm not sure if Redpath made an Eddie squad after joining bath and before choosing Scotland.

That's a very positive set of answers for a team that has only won one game. A lot of excuses or or caveats.

"Yeah we've lost almost every single game, but EJ is picking our players so we must be doing something right."
"Never more than 50% of top 30 players available at one time,," yet other clubs have also had to weather injuries.

Also amused by coaches have not given up on this season. They may not have, but the board seems to have.
Laughed out loud when I read "there has already been a significant improvement in defence"
Of course it is, it's a fans forum - they're hardly going to be spinning everything in the most negative way possible and just giving up.

AFAICR it's the first "bitch" about injuries I've seen from Bath this season - compared to Wasps' perpetual bitching about injuries earlier in the season, even whilst putting out a team that was much closer to first choice than Bath's, against Bath; all the noise was about how injury affected Wasps were.
Even now it's a private bitch, and factually accurate.
I'd also be surprised if many clubs have had the same level of injuries as Bath have this year.

Again, positive spin, it's kinda the point of these things.
Low bar. Very low bar.
 
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Which Tyler

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There's 20 for you; and I'm not sure if Redpath made an Eddie squad after joining bath and before choosing Scotland.
Incidentally, someone else has a different recollection of what was said then "he said 19 players in recent times had played for their country not having done so before joining Bath."
 

LeinsterMan (NotTigsMan)

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Bath academy - can't be far off the top 2 currently; U18s are doing well, and U20s have done well for 2-3 years now.
The 19 players is "chosen" by Eddie - so attending training camps, and not the same as "capped". I'm not spotting the claim that it's 19 academy graduates. I have no idea if it's more than any other club, but I'd be instinctively surprised if it was.

I mean with how it's written
Question re Academy. SH stated “In Top 2 in Prem. In 2-3 years will be the standout. NH – “must be doing something right. E Jones has chosen 19 Bath players- more than from any other club.
It to me reads at least academy in mind.
 

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