Discussion in 'European Champions & Challenge Cup' started by TRF_Olyy, Dec 15, 2011.
AVIVA Stadium (17/12/2011, 18:00)
Live on Sky Sports
Are the teams named today or tomorrow?
Bath played well last weekend until the final couple of minutes when Louw allowed ill discipline to get the better of him, costing Bath the game...
Tis true Bath played well, but I would be very worried if I were a bath fan, I see the same thing that happened to Sarries last year happening to Bath on saturday.
Bath take on defending Heineken Cup champions Leinster for the second time in two weeks at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
Bath, who last qualified for the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup in 2009, need to return home to the West country with a victory from their trip to Dublin if they are to keep their hopes of qualification alive.
The Irish province have an impressive home record and have won their last eight games in Dublin in the tournament, while Bath have lost their last three away games in Europe.
The Dubliners, who were crowned European champions last season, came home with a 18-13 away win from the Recreation Ground in the first clash of the double-header between the sides.
Bath have named a virtually unchanged side to travel to Dublin as they prepare to make up for last week's defeat.
David Flatman, Chris Biller and David Wilson continue in the front row, with Dave Attwood and Ryan Caldwell combining in the second row. Bath captain Francois Louw returns at blindside, with Guy Mercer at openside and Simon Taylor at number eight completing the pack.
Michael Claassens and Stephen Donald continue to form their half-back partnership.
The only change to the starting XV comes in the backs, where Dan Hipkiss is ruled out with a knock picked up last week. Matt Banahan shifts from the wing to outside centre, with Nick Abendanon moving to the wing and Sam Vesty coming in at full-back.
There is a welcome return to the bench for Ross Batty and Ben Williams who both come back into the squad following injuries.
Leinster will know a win over Bath would secure their position at the top of Pool 3 and put them in the driving seat for a Heineken Cup quarter-finals place.
There are a few changes to the Leinster team with Eoin Reddan partnering Jonathan Sexton at half back and Shane Jennings coming into the back row alongside fellow Ireland internationals Sean O'Brien and Jamie Heaslip.
Devin Toner partners another Ireland international, skipper Leo Cullen, at second row.
Luke Fitzgerald continues in the back three alongside Rob Kearney and Isa Nacewa.
Meanwhile, Eoin O'Malley (who will make his 40th Leinster appearance on Saturday) forms a centre partnership with Fergus McFadden for the first time in the Heineken Cup.
Gordon D'Arcy, limited by a minor niggle in training earlier this week, will provide extra firepower from a replacements bench which includes six Ireland internationals.
Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Isa Nacewa, 13 Eoin O'Malley, 12 Fergus McFadden, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Sean O'Brien, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Heinke Van Der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Nathan White, 19 Kevin McLaughlin, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Gordon D'Arcy.
Bath: 15 Sam Vesty, 14 Jack Cuthbert, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Nick Abendanon, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Francois Louw (c), 5 Ryan Caldwell, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 David Wilson, 2 Chris Biller, 1 David Flatman.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Andy Beattie, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Ben Williams.
Date: Saturday, 17 December
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 18:00 GMT
Referee: Romain Poite
Very happy with the Leinster team, looking forward see how the centre partnership stands up in the HC.
I guess the question if O'Malley can handle the big international centres will be answered on Saturday. Talk about a David and Goliath situation.
Bath management are idiots
Banahan back in the centres and Abendanon back on the wing, despite those two being two of Baths best players last week on the wing and at fullback
Leinster will cruise this.
They seem obsessed with trying HMS in the centre. He's too big to be an effective centre. His best performances I've seen him play were on the wing. Last week, Northampton league game last season are 2 that stand out.
His distribution is also pants
Stuart Barnes seems to confuse being able to pass with having good distribution. I remember last week he did a simple pass down the line and Barnes was like "OMG LOOK AT THE DISTRIBUTION SKILLS THIS IS WHY BATH AND ENGLAND NEED HIM IN THE CENTRES HES WASTED ON THE WING OMG OMG OMG OMG *spaff*"
I think the reason he is back in the centre is because a certain Nacewa managed to break Dan Hipkiss, Ben Williams is only just coming off injury & Matt Carraro is still injured.
Saying that they'd be putting Vestibule at 13, Banahan at 11 and Bendy at 15... but then the Bath management has been a complete shower this season (thanks "Lions legend McGeechan" ).
That bench selection is dire, Beattie (bless him) being there shows how many injuries we've got in the back row, Cook and Heathcote are too young and the rest of the forwards really are not the pick of the bunch.
This Banahan centre malarky only works against teams with pants centres where he can just rip through them, he was pretty damn effective last game but based on the fact he was on the wing. Stuart Barnes suprises me, as listening to him you'd be suprised he's even watched a game of rugby let alone played it, the day he FOANECORA* is a good one.
*Fecks off and never ever commentates on rugby again
Exactly my thoughts, to be honest
I don't know how they can justify moving Abendanon to the wing - don't get me wrong, he's not a bad winger, but he's 100x more effective at FB
At FB he is 10x the player than at wing, he's able to run his lines properly and cut up the opposition. All Vesty does from FB is hoof the ball away and give away possession because that is all he can do.
PD thats the point Stuart Barnes doesn't actually seem to watch any rugby in between his commentating which is why he comes up with rubbish like Banahan should be Englands no 13. He's a generally leathal winger in the AP who has reguarly been the differance between defeat and victory for Bath but when you put him at centre he draws in players and not alot else.
I paraphrased, obviously , but he said it after his try vs Leinster
I think this summarises my thoughts on Banahan:
Well that didn't take long, cheeky back pass from the ruck to Kearney and he's over almost before the Bath defenders can react
Be interesting to see how Biller copes with European rugby.
Sexy kick from Sexton
I can't wait until Kidney ****s off so we can stick with Sexton at Fly Half for Ireland.
Leo Cullen, possibly the ugliest player in Rugby, binned for a punch/slap on Biller
Leinster all over Bath at the moment. Leinster's ill discipline letting Bath having a foothold.
He did pretty well last week, considering - was one of Bath's better players
Cullen binned for being a bellend but a great offload by the Horse and Leinster get a try through Fitzgerald
Could be a long night for Bath...
Sexton's kicking for the corners is superb, got to be one of the best in the game at it ATM - I'd say better than O'Gara
Doesn't matter if he's 20 or 80m out, he'll bounce it out 2m from the flag - madness
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