Sunday, 23 September 2012

Exiles catch Bath napping

Every player in rugby has an off day and who can blame them they are only human.
With Bath lining up against the biggest sieve defensively London Irish what myself and most Bath fans didn't expect was a whole team whose minds seem to be AWOL. We as fans can understand a players off day but all of them??

A tentative beginning with Bath breaking the deadlock from an Olly Barkley penalty. A little tit-for-tat on the penalty count with both teams trying to open the game up, but mostly Irish seemed to have the bit between the teeth. Nearing the half an hour mark a fantastic move from the Bath backline had the travelling fans to their feet. A good interaction between the backs saw Donald float a pass to Eastmond after looping from behind him, he then released Abendanon who tore off down the pitch with Biggs and Eastmond in support. Abendanon in turn passed back to Eastmond who picked up his second try of the season, Barkley happily took the extras. With Bath in the lead 9-13 it seemed they were ready to take a firm grasp on the fixture and march on to victory.

Sadly this wasn't the case.

Another penalty followed for the exiles taking them within one point. Then just before the stroke of halftime they themselves ran in a try and Shingler converted taking Irish to a 19-13 halftime lead.
Infringements and lack of passion seemed to be making Bath their own worse enemies.
Unfortunately the second half continued this trend, Bath leaking points through penalties and silly mistakes. Bath managed to get into some strong positions but sadly either knocked on or failed to release the ball. It wasn't to be their day!
Another try and Shingler penalties saw the exiles run out victorious 29-22 gaining their first win of the season and Bath lose their second successive fixture.

So what went wrong? Lack of the fundamental skills, lose of concentration or just complacency? Were they just thinking we'll turn up and breeze it who knows.
One thing is certain the worst critic of a player is the player themselves, and I'm sure there is a squad tearing themselves to pieces.
A bad loss but sometimes a bad loss can give players a kick up the rear end and help motivate. It's only game four and too early to judge a long way to go and I for one believe this will only help to move Bath forward.

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