Club-by-club guide: Bath
Thursday 04 September 2008
Head Coach: Steve Meehan
Captain: Michael Lipman, Alex Crockett
Stuart Hooper (Leeds), Justin Harrison (Ulster), Shontayne Hape (Bradford Bulls), Scott Bemand (Leicester)
Steve Borthwick (Saracens), Olly Barkley (Gloucester), Nick Walshe (Bedford coach), Isaac Feaunati (retired), Luke Cozens (Bridgwater and Albion - loan)
First five games
Sep 7 Bristol (A)
Sep 13 Gloucester (H)
Sep 20 London Irish (A)
Sep 27 Worcester (H)
Oct 1 London Wasps (A)
Lessons from last season
Bath were a side transformed last season and a joy to watch, before falling in the play-off semi-finals. They will look to develop the mental toughness and killer instinct required to kill off teams and turn considerable possession into points. Steve Meehan’s boys had the lion’s share of possession in a late-season clash with Gloucester and in the play-off semi-final with Wasps yet they lost both games and scored just one try in the process. They need to remember how good it felt to lift silverware for the first time in 10 years (European Challenge Cup) and carry that success into 2008-09.
The uncertainty surrounding The Rec is damaging Bath on the pitch. Steve Borthwick and Olly Barkley left after making a few choice comments about the club’s facilities and ambitions, and Matt Stevens (left) has also warned that things need to improve or he’s off as well. On the pitch, Bath need more cutting edge for the finishing touches to their exquisite approach play.
There were times last season when Bath just made you sit back and purr. Steve Meehan’s men keep the ball alive at all costs, throw it around with care-free abandon and score plenty of points. Oh, and they know how to mix it physically as well with an imposing, aggressive pack.
Player to watch
Hardly seems fair does it? A 6ft 7in behemoth who weighs in at more than 17st should not be playing on the wing. Matt Banahan (below), the former Jerseyborn lock, is a nightmare for Premiership defenders and is an imposing sight in full flight. At just 21 years of age, his best years are ahead of him and his recent displays for the England Saxons hint at an international future. Scored 10 tries in 14 league starts last season.
Did you know?
Bath Rugby’s Recreation Ground is the only stadium in the Guinness Premiership that has a public footpath running through it.
Losing Barkley and Borthwick are massive blows to a club punching above their financial weight.
Commonwealth Games 2014 Opening Ceremony: Ewan McGregor launches Unicef charity fundraiser, making £2.5m in one night
Arsenal transfer news: Atletico Madrid closing in on Santi Cazorla deal - reports
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger set to cancel moves for Sami Khedira and Morgan Schneiderlin in favour of Jack Wilshere - reports
Manchester United transfer news: Arturo Vidal subject of £39m bid
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers (and giant cans of Irn Bru) welcome in Glasgow's Games
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia