ZP February 8th
forgot to say when penning my piece on last week's match (Sarries v Glos)
that the line-out had been spot on, with Glos winning 100% of their own
throw-ins and even nicking a couple of Sarries'. Back to normal this week
unfortunately. The line-out used to be one of our strong points but these
days it's well below par in most matches. Just as well we're good at everything
game was top versus bottom but you would hardly have thought so from the
strong display from Bath. Who would have dreamt even as recently as a
couple of years ago that Bath would ever be at the bottom of the table
at any point in a season!
Well, from this performance it's hard to figure out why. The Bath forwards
matched Glos in all the set pieces and the maul. Their line-out was excellent,
much better than ours, and when Mike Catt had the ball he was virtually
unstoppable, scoring 2 drop goals in the process.
dominated the first quarter and had several spells of pressure in the
Bath 22. Stout defence from Bath plus the occasional lackadaisical moment
however prevented Glos from crossing the try line. Ludo landed 2 penalties
and the ever alert Mike Catt dropped a goal to take the score to Glos
6 - Bath 3.
In the second quarter, Glos had a series of attacking scrums very close
to the try-line. At one scrum Gomars was caught napping but was let off
the hook by a Bath knock-on. You wouldn't have thought he'd fall for the
same mistake twice but at the next scrum the same thing happened and Bath
took the ball way down field with a superb Mike Catt break. Glos scrambled
back and seemed to have stopped the try but Borthwick scored from the
next passage of play. The conversion took the score to Glos 6 - Bath 10.
The match was closely fought from this point to the break. Ludo landed
one more penalty but missed another from almost half-way to take the half-time
score to Glos 9 - Bath 10.
the start of the second half Glos looked more alert and used their one
man advantage (Mallet had been sin-binned in first half injury time) to
score a push over try from Azam. Ludo (who was having an excellent day
with all aspects of kicking play) slotted the conversion. Mike Catt landed
another drop goal to take the score to Glos 16 - Bath 13. Bath continued
to fight hard and play good rugby. Another exchange of penalties took
the score to Glos 19 - Bath 16. With full time approaching, Ludo landed
another penalty; but at only 6 points adrift it was still feasible for
Bath to take the game and cause a major upset. However it wasn't to be
their day. Just into injury time, Marcel score a try. Even though the
conversion was from very wide, Ludo landed the 2 points. Bath continued
to play for another score, but time ran out and they were denied the losing
score : Glos 29 - Bath 16
score slightly flatters Glos. Bath were unlucky not to leave with at least
a point. They played
very well and Mike Catt was outstanding. In fact I make him the man of
the match even though he was on the losing side and it's very rare that
I award man of the match to the opposition.
didn't play badly. They had some good spells of play and certainly the
there. Ludo had an excellent game. His kicking was brilliant and he was
very alert in the loose. In fact he ran Mike Catt a close second for man
of the match. The Glos team on the whole though did looked a tad tired
and it's good that they now have a well earned rest (3 weeks) before their
next match. The next match being the Powergen Cup semi final against Leicester
which will be every interesting.
on this evidence I think Bath will escape relegation and I certainly hope
they do. We couldn't do without playing them at least twice a season.
Last words of all - well done Mr. Spreadbury, good refereeing.