Discussion in 'Aviva Premiership / LV Cup' started by Prestwick, Jan 25, 2008.
Bath Rugby prop Matt Stevens will clock up his 100th appearance for Bath Rugby on Sunday when the blue, black, whites take on Saracens at Vicarage Road (kick-off 1.30pm). Head Coach Steve Meehan has named a relatively changed side from the one that played against Auch in the European Challenge Cup last weekend.
In the backs Nick Abendanon returns at fullback moving Joe Maddock to the wing, Shaun Berne moves to outside centre with Olly Barkley coming in at 12.
Matt Banahan returns on the other wing with Butch James and Michael Claassens starting in the half-back pairing.
In the forwards Lee Mears comes in at hooker with Matt Stevens also starting in the front row alongside David Barnes who will make his 199th appearance for Bath.
Andy Beattie, Michael Lipman and Daniel Browne form the back row.
Bath Rugby side to face Saracens
15 Nick Abendanon
14 Joe Maddock
13 Shaun Berne Â©
12 Olly Barkley
11 Matt Banahan
10 Butch James
9 Michael Claassens
1 David Barnes
2 Lee Mears
3 Matt Stevens
4 Steve Borthwick
5 Danny Grewcock
6 Andy Beattie
7 Michael Lipman
8 Daniel Browne
16 Pieter Dixon
17 Aaron Jarvis
18 Peter Short
19 Jonny Faamatuainu
20 Mike Baxter
21 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu
22 Andrew Higgins
Bath Rugby Wesite
The big story here is Borthwick playing against his future team.I cant see any reason why he shouldnt carry on playing (but cannot be captain) as he has always been a good player for Bath(although not really up to England standards). Should be a cracker, dissapointed to see Jack is out as his ball carrying and all round game have given Sarries a new dimension since his arrival. I go for a 3-5 point win for Sarries.
Saracens host the form side in the premiership Bath in Round 11 of the Guinness Premiership at Vicarage Road in a top of the table clash.
The high-flying West Country side are currently lying in second place, one place above the Men in Black and they claimed the scalp of leaders Gloucester in the last round easily beating their rivals at a rain-soaked Rec.
Bath these days are full of pace and power. The guile of half backs Claasens and James are linked with the pace and power of Barkley, Abendonen and the 6ft 7ins, 17 stone winger Banahan who has been winning rave reviews. Up front they are as abrasive as ever with Mears, Barnes and Stevens adding the grunt and Grewcock, the gameâ€™s favourite pantomime villain, and Borthwick ruling the air in the line out.
Saracens are going to have to be at their best to shrug off the visitors to Watford and are sure to put under a lot of pressure, particularly at the breakdown, but Alan Gaffney has at his disposal a squad that should be able line up as equals to them, particularly with Dan Scarbrough, who was in sparkling form before his injury in September, possibly in the frame to a return.
Saracens team line-up:
1. N. Lloyd
2. F. Ongaro
3. C. Johnston
4. T. Ryder
5. H. Vyvyan
6. K. Chesney
7. D. Seymour
8. B. Skirving
9. N. de Kock
10. G. Jackson
11. R. Penney
12. A. Farrell
13. A. Powell
14. R. Haughton
15. B. Russell
16. A. Kryiacou
17. T. Mercey
18. P. Gustard
19. D. Barrell
20. A. Dickens
21. E. Thrower
22. F. Leonelli
A little of topic, but how has Brent "The Pocket Rocket" Russell been playing Prestwick?
Glad to see he's playing fullback
He's had times where he's dithered and then made the wrong decision, sometimes kicking when he should have run and running when he should have kicked. But most times he's been going into overdrive, really has been a total asset and is the rightful successor to Thomas Castinede!
On the subject of Russell, do you think he is more of a winger than a fullback. From what ive seen of him(and its all been on tv) we all know he has electric pace but does he have the kicking and general footballing skills to be a true 15. I must admit i do rate him and i would like to hear from someone who has seen him play in the flesh.
I think he does manage to be a good full back, he does the kicking and catching part good enough to qualify.
The problem is that thanks to the powers that have shaped the game over the last 30 years at the clubs like Bath, Leicester, Gloucester, Quins and Northampton, we've ended up with this obsession in England that the full back has to be a decent kicker first and everything else a distant second. I disagree and think that the primary skills that a full back should have are speed, agility, intelligence and good handling skills with a good boot if he gets into trouble.
In this, I think Brent Russell scores highly and I'm sad that Jake White overlooked him so much because he's such a enthusiastic player.
I've seen him play in the flesh, in almost every position in the back line. The curse of versatility.
He thrives at fullback. Probably because he can be more unpredictable there. He gets shut out very easily at wing, and unfortunately he doesn't exactly look for work.
He was a crowd favourite here. As soon as he got the ball people would start cheering. I think it's because he brought a different brand of rugby us South Africans are used to. Unfortunately due to this we didn't know how to use him.
He reminds me so much of Jason Robinson
The unpredicatbility is awesome. After the Viadana game in Italy, I managed to speak to some of the Saracens players who commented that they just didn't have a clue what he was going to do half of the time. Crazy!
His form is just as unpredictable as his antics on the field. Live by the sword, die by the sword I guess.
Perhaps I'll make an effort and go to a bar to watch this match
*BTW I was suppose to say "us South Africans aren't" in my last post*
You flatter to deceive Alexandros...
Pete have you joined Mates Odds yet, cos I want to bet you that Bath will Win this game...
Foolish bet to take right now IMO, Bath are proberbly the best side in the country ATM. They're certainly playing the best rugby.
We had the likes of Nick Beal and Ian Hunter playing for us at fullback. If these two gents weren't good runners of the ball then I don't know who is. I think England fullbacks picked purely for their kicking ability really ended around the time of Jonathan Webb. Can't think of too many people afterwards who spring to mind as being selected primarily as kickers.
I could be wrong of course seeing as I'm speculating about rugby during a period where I was still learning how to kick anything myself.
To say that Enland have an obsession with kicking full backs is nonsense, look at the players who have worn the shirt mostly over the last 5 years Jason Robinson,Josh Lewsey and Ian Balshaw, hardly kicking full backs
I disagree, Northampton are one of the top illustrious clubs in England so thus you need to take your share of the blame at how people in England see the role of a full-back. Its not all Northampton's fault, its the collective responsibility of the influential clubs who have set how England plays rugby in the last 25 to 30 years.
And out of those three players, I've only seen Jason Robinson actually do some decent running with the ball. For the most part, they seem to be instructed to just hoof the ball away rather than do anything speculative with it. They may be running attacking players at heart but they play completely differently when they pull on the 15 jersey for England and that is frankly worrying.
Anyway, halfway through the second half and its 21 - 12 to Saracens! Beautiful!
Well, it appears I'm a blithering idiot who knows nothing about rugby.
Its not other yet...
Been a good game to watch, still could change... I hope....
...it is now! :bleh!:
Note to the "guru" of Bath Rugby: get the basics right before you start playin' fancy.
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