Sunday, 24 April 2011

My first article - Bath Rugby pest control!

London Wasps 10 – 43 Bath Rugby

If you asked Bath fans what the highlight of last season was most would say visiting HQ on a Sunny St George’s day and ruining London Wasps party! Bath have now ran out on to the historic Twickenham pitch two season in a row, against their opponents London Wasps, and Bath have become unbeatable on this famous turf.

Watching Bath fling the ball about and score tries for fun leaves you begging the question ‘How are Bath not in the top 4?’. Ok… to be fair Wasps were terrible, by half time I had lost count of how many times Wasps had knocked on, coughed up the ball or been turned over, but Bath did make them pay. Every Bath player did their bit…. Sam Vesty had a cracking game (even if he was a bit dodgy off the tee), Biggs and Banners were outstanding and let’s not forget the engine room, defending well and creating quick ball after quick ball!

Waking up to gorgeous sunshine on Saturday morning ready to start the journey down to Twickers I have to admit, I thought Bath would struggle… The bookies were predicting Bath were going to win by 4 points, and at the start of the day I would have taken that, I would have taken a one point win! How wrong was I…!? Bath were about to teach Wasps a ‘Biggs lesson’!

The hardest part of the day for me had to be the journey down and having to endure cans of Carling and Fosters. But I worked through this knowing that their was a cold ale waiting for me when I arrive in the outskirts of Bath’s new home, away from home! As always Twickenham, the surrounding pubs and the Wasps fans were brilliant hosts, making us feel very welcome and giving us a day we will never forget… The day that Bath guaranteed Heineken rugby next season, the day Bath snatched away any chance Wasps had of competing for the European Cup they have won twice, the day Bath put 6 tries past Wasp’s and racked up a 33 point victory and probably the day that Lawrence Dallaglio and co. decided that Bath wont be invited back next season!

Why did Bath put Wasps to the sword with such ease? Was its Bath’s mixture of youth and experience against a side made up of ‘boys’, was it Bath finally starting to play in a way that Steve Meehan has been trying to develop for 5 years or did Bath just get he bounce of the ball!? I would say it was a mixture of them all, players like Classeens, Lobbe, Grewcock and Moody controlled the game and unleashing the backs to run riot and kill the game off by half time! Bigg’s was showing brilliance not only in his try scoring but the cool head under pressure, chipping through and making some big tackles. The only silver-lining that Wasp’s could possibly take away from this game was Joe Simpsons amazing turn of pace that resulted in Wasp’s only try of the game! So with the like of Walder, Van Gisbergan and Betsen moving to pastures new next season where does this leave London Wasp’s and the youth left on the field… transition year (or 2) maybe!

With two games remaining for Bath this season (both against Falcons) 10 points must be on the cards…. Heineken rugby will be played at the Rec next season, so lets use the final games to build on our sunny day at HQ. Did I hear some say ‘fourth place’…. no that can’t be possible can it!?

Joe Beament (HawkEye)

Click here to see this article published on Talking Rugby Union website

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