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Premiership Rugby 21/22 - Rd 6

TRF_Olyy

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EdBirch

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I'd like to say it's great we're finally on TV but with the abject way we're playing, it's not going to show us in a good light
 

Geordiefalcon

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Id like to think we can get something from our trip to Kingsholm....
 

Which Tyler

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Oh shit.

If Bath don't bounce back strong, and keen to put things right; it's got to be curtains for Hatley (and probably Hooper - thogh knowing Bath, he'll be Gatlanded, and promoted out of harms way - &/ asked to scout his replacement)
 

TRF_Olyy

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Not feeling overly optimistic about our trip to Leicester,

Hopefully have Lood and AJ back, which will be a big boost, but Tigers look rampant atm and have a very strong pack that won't be bullied like Bristol/Quins have been in the past (usually our go to plan when up against a side scoring tries for fun)
 

Ragey Erasmus

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Can't see us turning it around and I also can't see Bath management doing anything to change the coaching team. Quins to likely tear us apart too.
 

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Can't see us turning it around and I also can't see Bath management doing anything to change the coaching team. Quins to likely tear us apart too.
In your opinion, what is to blame for this terrible start to the season ? Is it down to the coaching staff, players or a mixture of both ? I’d be interested to hear.
 

Reiser99

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In your opinion, what is to blame for this terrible start to the season ? Is it down to the coaching staff, players or a mixture of both ? I’d be interested to hear.
For me I never liked the idea of Hooper being promoted from Captain to head coach and then director of rugby. It reeks of cronyism rather than appointing the best person from the job. It's also different to other clubs promoting from within. Usually those coaches have been around the setup for a while and earned their chance by working at a lower level for a while and are continuing to build on a successful coaching structure. Apart from the playoffs 2 years ago Bath have mixed results at best. Certainly they haven't looked like they have a strong coaching setup from which to build on or promote from within. Maybe if Hooper had ended up getting some good consistent results, but instead things have gone from bad to worse. It's almost like when Geordan Murphy took over Leicester. He was part of a coaching setup that was already failing and he couldn't turn it around. Same here, there are too many who have been involved in a failing structure and they don't look like turning it around. They need fresh blood from outside to change things.
 

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The Lekker Bowl at Welford Road
 

Ragey Erasmus

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In your opinion, what is to blame for this terrible start to the season ? Is it down to the coaching staff, players or a mixture of both ? I’d be interested to hear.
I'd say the majority of the fault lies with the management. Bath as a club seem to get far less out of the players than other clubs / international sides manage. Our policy on signings is completely disjointed and we don't seem to sign players to compliment a play style or address gaps in certain positions, it seems to be random. There also doesn't seem to be a particular culture or ethos in the club, what even is Bath's style? We haven't built a specific way of playing over the years and the whole team looks like they lack structure or any idea of what they are doing.

The troubles we are facing this season are not new, it's the same problems we have had for years, they are just being highlighted even more ruthlessly now. We have always had the tendency to go full on headless chicken the second things go wrong and compound errors with more errors. Cipriani throwing the miracle pass that was intercepted when a move went wrong being a prime example. As one of the most experienced heads on the field he should be a steadying influence, even if he is new to the club. As it was, he made the situation even worse. There is no sense of leadership and why Ewels is captain when he is ineffectual as a player and captain is beyond me.

We have a coaching staff that are just way out of their depth and seems to lack any real toughness. I could believe the coaching team and management spend more time quaffing champagne than being outside in the rain trying to get every last bit of performance out of the players. Everyone who leaves the club speaks of a toxic and unprofessional environment and almost without exception all go on to play better at other clubs. On the flip side Bath have not taken in underperforming players and made them good. It seems there is a serious issue with the culture at the club and nobody is willing to address it. It's a rich boys plaything and is being treated as such.

I'd say we have plenty of individually talented players but I get no sense of team cohesion, pride or morale. It's like everyone is there because they get paid for it and that's it. None of the players seem to have any love for the game whilst playing for Bath. Those that do tend to leave.
 

Becca

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I'd say the majority of the fault lies with the management. Bath as a club seem to get far less out of the players than other clubs / international sides manage. Our policy on signings is completely disjointed and we don't seem to sign players to compliment a play style or address gaps in certain positions, it seems to be random. There also doesn't seem to be a particular culture or ethos in the club, what even is Bath's style? We haven't built a specific way of playing over the years and the whole team looks like they lack structure or any idea of what they are doing.

The troubles we are facing this season are not new, it's the same problems we have had for years, they are just being highlighted even more ruthlessly now. We have always had the tendency to go full on headless chicken the second things go wrong and compound errors with more errors. Cipriani throwing the miracle pass that was intercepted when a move went wrong being a prime example. As one of the most experienced heads on the field he should be a steadying influence, even if he is new to the club. As it was, he made the situation even worse. There is no sense of leadership and why Ewels is captain when he is ineffectual as a player and captain is beyond me.

We have a coaching staff that are just way out of their depth and seems to lack any real toughness. I could believe the coaching team and management spend more time quaffing champagne than being outside in the rain trying to get every last bit of performance out of the players. Everyone who leaves the club speaks of a toxic and unprofessional environment and almost without exception all go on to play better at other clubs. On the flip side Bath have not taken in underperforming players and made them good. It seems there is a serious issue with the culture at the club and nobody is willing to address it. It's a rich boys plaything and is being treated as such.

I'd say we have plenty of individually talented players but I get no sense of team cohesion, pride or morale. It's like everyone is there because they get paid for it and that's it. None of the players seem to have any love for the game whilst playing for Bath. Those that do tend to leave.
Thank you for replying.
That all makes perfect sense to me.
Sad to see how bad things have got for you, Bath always used to be a tough team to play, particularly in the nineties.
Is there a quick fire solution to this ?
 

Ragey Erasmus

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Thank you for replying.
That all makes perfect sense to me.
Sad to see how bad things have got for you, Bath always used to be a tough team to play, particularly in the nineties.
Is there a quick fire solution to this ?

Well I'd say the entire coaching staff needs to be revamped with no mercy. Bring in people with a proven record from outside the club, there should not be a single internal appointment on the coaching staff. Next they need to instil a sense of pride and a desire to push hard into the players. We aren't going to be ***le contenders this season even if we get a miracle of a coaching team. What is achievable is getting the club to a point where we at least put up a fight and are difficult to beat. Just get the basics nailed down, cut out the penalties, cut out the compounding errors, cut out the headless chicken stuff and get the players to believe they can win if they keep it together.

Longer term, remove the dead wood from the player pool create a set style for attack and defence and then bring in players who will compliment that style.

All this relies on the first step of stripping out the coaching team and I can't see that happening. I think there will be too many people fully immersed in the existing culture who will obstruct attempts to transform the club for it to change. In a way the club is like the city, the city is full of NIMBYs who oppose for the sake of opposing even if it would be to their benefit. The club feels like it is the same, it doesn't want to move on and embrace a proper professional structure. It feels like an in-club for the haves rather than a professional outfit.
 

Which Tyler

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For me I never liked the idea of Hooper being promoted from Captain to head coach
That never happened
Hooper has never (officially) had a coaching role of any variety at Bath.
He went from player, to academy development officer, to academy to senior pathway manager to apprentice DoR to DoR.



As for the problems... It comes from the top, and have been the same ever since Bruce came along.
He searches for the big names with no thought as to if they fit.
Whether that's a Moody or Faletau, or an Ian McGeechan. You get the impression that he interferes (directly or otherwise) with the coaching crew too much - with Hooper being a prime example as a voice for the management interfering with the coaching beyond his remit as DoR.
Uncle Bruce then switched tack what was it? 4 years ago? When he saw that Saracens and Exeter had all their success by promoting from within at every available opportunity, so decided to so that then (Hooper as DoR, ex-players as principal coaches. The only coaches who didn't play for Bath, used to coach here previously)

The immediate problems are that Hatley is not head coach material, nor a good defence coach, whilst Lilley is not ready yet to be a principal coach. They've been Peter Principalled and promoted beyond their ability to the point where they fail (spectacularly).

The coaching crew are responsible for the day to day training and the week to week performance, and they have to carry the can.
The person who promoted them all to their current roles is Hooper, so he shares some responsibility, despite being responsible for the longer terms plans.
If Hooper has been hiring and instructing the coaches due to directives from above, then the buck HAS to pass further up.
That interference from above is the same story with Hooper/Hatley as it was with Blackadder, as it was with Gold, as it was with McGeechan. As it probably was with Ford - who's never met a boss he wouldn't happily stab in back for a giggle.

Bruce needs to limit his input to managing the bank account, and maybe saying "I'd like us to entertain, not just win" or "win at all costs" as he prefers - and then leave it to people who know how to do that.
He needs a DoR will tell him when to butt out. Trouble is, he's been burned when he's tried that (Ford, and possibly Geech).
Until that happens though, no DoR / HC stands much chance of success as they'll always be fighting with one hand tied behind their back.


IMO: there's no salary cap for coachig staff - get on the phone to Smith or Joseph and offer them whatever they want, o closing whatever colleagues they want.
The neither Bruce, nor any of his underlings should speak to whichever HC they get again until the end of each season. They can then ask questions and agree (collaboratively) future outcomes before shutting up for another year.
 
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BPM

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Looks like home wins across the board to me.

Falcons or Sale with the best chance of upsetting the home sides IMO.

With the du Preez twins back (not in SA squad) and AJ MacGinty not far off, I expect Sale to have a fairly steep upward curve over the next few weeks.
 

TRF_Olyy

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Any truth in the Steve Diamond to Bath rumours?

Sanderson said he met with Dimes and they talked about his future:
we talked about his prospects of getting back into the game. Bath has been the most recent one but there have been some others. San Diego was one, and he has got prospective backers (ready) to take over clubs who potentially come into some kind of financial trouble on the back of the Covid.
 

will311293

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Do I feel confident at beating Sarries at home at best of times.. No.

Do I feel confident at beating Sarries at home with half our squad out... No.

Do i feel confident at beating Sarries after they took Barf apart last week... HELP

In all seriousness, it's gonna be extremely tough once again. The squad is looking pretty beaten up atm but we have played relatively well. If the boys put up the performance they did against Chiefs, i will be very happy.

I wonder whether you will see both squads rotate (where we can!) as it feels like a comfortable Sarries win.
 

BPM

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Maybe. On the other hand, if you’re Saracens, now is a good time to press your advantage while your opponents are weakened.

Quins vs. Bath is a curious one. I think a lot will depend on the first quarter. If Quins score early, I could definitely see the Bath players thinking ‘here we go again’ and it being another very bad day for them. However, what better place to make a statement than away to the reigning champions? If Bath come in to it with the right mindset, they have more than enough good players to trouble us. Particularly if we are complacent.

Losing at Sale hopefully knocked any complacency out of us though.
 

Ragey Erasmus

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Maybe. On the other hand, if you’re Saracens, now is a good time to press your advantage while your opponents are weakened.

Quins vs. Bath is a curious one. I think a lot will depend on the first quarter. If Quins score early, I could definitely see the Bath players thinking ‘here we go again’ and it being another very bad day for them. However, what better place to make a statement than away to the reigning champions? If Bath come in to it with the right mindset, they have more than enough good players to trouble us. Particularly if we are complacent.

Losing at Sale hopefully knocked any complacency out of us though.
In a way I don't want Bath to beat Quins. I get the feeling any excuse to paper over the gaping cracks in Bath will be exploited and beating Quins will be used as a way to say everything is fine and dandy. Though it saddens me to say it, even the current situation still isn't enough to overcome the inertia in Bath's management, we really need to be absolutely awful for anything to change. In that sense I'd rather take the pain now in the hopes it will lead to positive change.

Then again there is always the chance it will go to ****, we will get change and it will be like when we went from Blackadder to Hooper... I'm now worried there is a very real possibility to toxic environment is so embedded that at best we will be stuck doing the same old and simply playing musical chairs with the coaching staff.
 

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