Bath vs. Tigers - Sat 25 Jan 15:00

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OakhamTiger32
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Bath vs. Tigers - Sat 25 Jan 15:00

Post by OakhamTiger32 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:31 pm

There have been some very promising signs recently, especially the fighting spirit and mentality shown during the second half. To come back from 27-13 to draw 30-30 with Quins, coming back from 14-10 down at HT to beat Cardiff 30-20 and most recently a decent second half shift saw us win the second half 10-0 away to Pau and more importantly secure a home QF in the Challenge Cup.

Eddie Jones has announced his squad and perhaps as expected we are set to lose Genge, Youngs, Ford, Tuilagi and May with Holmes called up to represent Wales. Dan Cole has not been selected for England and is therefore still available for Tigers. There is of course a chance some of our players may be released to play for us during the 6N; however, I would envisage the England contingent being integral to Jones' plan and therefore retained. Perhaps Holmes may fall into this category with Wales.

Anyway, back to the GP and a cracking fixture away to Bath. With the Saracens Saga dominating the press of late and the confirmation of their automatic relegation at the end of the season, the pressure is now off and hopefully we will see that reflected in the style of play.

Clearly we must not rest on our laurels and it is essential that we continue the great momentum that has been slowly building over the last few games to ensure we finish the season in a respectable position.

This is where is really gets tough and tests Tigers strength in depth. Losing 5 England Internationals and potentially another International to Wales will certainly have an impact but I feel that our squad is stronger than it has been for a few years.

Bath have their own share of absentees with Dunn, Ewels, Stuart, Underhill, Joseph and Watson all called up to the England Squad and Faletau called up by Wales. They are also without a few injured players; Thomas, Mercer, Joe Cokanasiga and Green to name but a few and Batty was the recipient of a red card at the weekend so will likely be suspended.

So where does that leave us once the dust has all settled. I imagine our team sheet will look something like this:

15 Telusa Veianu
14 Jordan Olowafela
13 Jaco Taute
12 Kyle Eastmond
11 Adam Thompstone

10 Tom Hardwick
9 Ben White

1 Greg Bateman
2 Tom Youngs (c)
3 Dan Cole
4 Tomas Lavanini
5 Calum Green
6 Harry Wells
7 Jordan Taufua
8 Sione Kalamafoni

Replacements:

16 Jake Kerr
17 Facundo Gigena
18 Joe Heyes
19 Will Spencer
20 Tommy Reffell
21 Harry Simmons
22 Noel Reid
23 George Worth

Clearly if Holmes and Genge are released then I would expect them to take their places in the starting 15.

Before the Pau match GM said "Hanro Liebenberg is still out, Guy Thompson is still struggling with his neck and Nephi Leatigaga got a bang on the shoulder at the weekend" so I doubt these 3 will figure.

Back row combinations, centre pairings and who starts at 10 will undoubtedly be up for debate with Lewis and Reffell possible options in the back row and Reid a possible starter at 10 or 12.

While this is not the exact team that I personally would choose it is what I think we are likely to see as it follows a similar makeup to that used against Bristol with Wells at 6 and the Eastmond/Taute partnership in the centre.

Thoughts?
Last edited by OakhamTiger32 on Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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bendy
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Re: Bath vs. Tigers - Sat 25 Jan 15:00

Post by bendy » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:38 pm

That's a good looking pack imo. Has Spencer earned another roll of the dice?

I'm increasingly of the opinion that Reid has a better claim on the 12 shirt than Eastmond at the moment. I'm trying to think if he's impressed off the bench before - I know KE has, so there could be an argument for swapping those two.

But overall I'm inclined to agree, I'm feeling much more confident of getting something from this match than I was a month ago.

Mark62
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Re: Bath vs. Tigers - Sat 25 Jan 15:00

Post by Mark62 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:02 pm

I think you’re pretty much spot on there.
I think we’ll hang onto Holmes and he will start instead of Thompstone but none of the England 5 will be released

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Re: Bath vs. Tigers - Sat 25 Jan 15:00

Post by happywomble » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:13 pm

EW Viljoen is starting in the shield tonight. Has he been injured as well? May sneak onto the bench for Bath? Sad no Liebenberg but I would potentially go for a back row of Kalamafoni, Reffell and Taufua although Lewis may also feature?

OakhamTiger32
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Re: Bath vs. Tigers - Sat 25 Jan 15:00

Post by OakhamTiger32 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:20 pm

happywomble wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:13 pm
EW Viljoen is starting in the shield tonight. Has he been injured as well? May sneak onto the bench for Bath? Sad no Liebenberg but I would potentially go for a back row of Kalamafoni, Reffell and Taufua although Lewis may also feature?
Personally I would go for that back row too but Wells seems to be preferred at 6. Both Reffell and Lewis have been impressive so far this season so would certainly be good for them to get some game time. Good to see Viljoen back fit. If he can sort his radar out then his kicks are absolutely huge! Could be a big asset
Last edited by OakhamTiger32 on Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Mark62
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Re: Bath vs. Tigers - Sat 25 Jan 15:00

Post by Mark62 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:21 pm

happywomble wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:13 pm
EW Viljoen is starting in the shield tonight. Has he been injured as well? May sneak onto the bench for Bath? Sad no Liebenberg but I would potentially go for a back row of Kalamafoni, Reffell and Taufua although Lewis may also feature?
I just think Viljoen hasn’t been what we had hope Happywomble. It does take players different lengths of time to adjust so maybe he’ll come good.
Steward starting tonight too so unlikely to feature Saturday unless off the bench

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Re: Bath vs. Tigers - Sat 25 Jan 15:00

Post by Mark62 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:22 pm

OakhamTiger32 wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:20 pm
happywomble wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:13 pm
EW Viljoen is starting in the shield tonight. Has he been injured as well? May sneak onto the bench for Bath? Sad no Liebenberg but I would potentially go for a back row of Kalamafoni, Reffell and Taufua although Lewis may also feature?
Personally I would go for that back row too but Wells seems to be preferred at 6. Both Reffell hand Lewis have been impressive so far this season so would certainly be good for them to get some game time. Good to see Viljoen back fit. If he can sort his radar out then his kicks are absolutely huge! Could be a huge asset
Lewis still looks a little under powered for me

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Re: Bath vs. Tigers - Sat 25 Jan 15:00

Post by Tiglon » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:35 pm

I think we need to be cautious about highly we rate the current crop of youngsters. Hardwick, Costelow, Reffell, Steward and Lewis clearly all have potential, but I haven't seen any of them put in that big performance that announces them as being Premiership starters.

I'd like to see them all continue to get opportunities over the coming months, but none of them have proved themselves yet.

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Re: Bath vs. Tigers - Sat 25 Jan 15:00

Post by OakhamTiger32 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:43 pm

Tiglon wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:35 pm
I think we need to be cautious about highly we rate the current crop of youngsters. Hardwick, Costelow, Reffell, Steward and Lewis clearly all have potential, but I haven't seen any of them put in that big performance that announces them as being Premiership starters.

I'd like to see them all continue to get opportunities over the coming months, but none of them have proved themselves yet.
Agree with most of that with the exception of Hardwick. He's been playing and kicking well and kicked the winning penalty at the death away to Cardiff and showed nerves of steel once again at the weekend to secure the LBP away to Pau. I think they all have potential but he is, imho slightly ahead of the others on that list
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Re: Bath vs. Tigers - Sat 25 Jan 15:00

Post by Tiglon » Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:15 pm

OakhamTiger32 wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:43 pm
Tiglon wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:35 pm
I think we need to be cautious about highly we rate the current crop of youngsters. Hardwick, Costelow, Reffell, Steward and Lewis clearly all have potential, but I haven't seen any of them put in that big performance that announces them as being Premiership starters.

I'd like to see them all continue to get opportunities over the coming months, but none of them have proved themselves yet.
Agree with most of that with the exception of Hardwick. He's been playing and kicking well and kicked the winning penalty at the death away to Cardiff and showed nerves of steel once again at the weekend to secure the LBP away to Pau. I think they all have potential but he is, imho slightly ahead of the others on that list
No big argument there, he's seen the most game time so is understandably some way ahead in his development. Still not knocking on the door of first XV when all are fit though. I don't mean that as a criticism, there are some very good players ahead of him, but remember when players like Ford and Ben Youngs first played for Tigers - it was obvious they were ready and should be playing regular first team rugby for a top Premiership team also competing at the latter stages of the European Cup. None of our current group are anywhere near that level.

OakhamTiger32
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Re: Bath vs. Tigers - Sat 25 Jan 15:00

Post by OakhamTiger32 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:28 pm

Tiglon wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:15 pm
OakhamTiger32 wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:43 pm
Tiglon wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:35 pm
I think we need to be cautious about highly we rate the current crop of youngsters. Hardwick, Costelow, Reffell, Steward and Lewis clearly all have potential, but I haven't seen any of them put in that big performance that announces them as being Premiership starters.

I'd like to see them all continue to get opportunities over the coming months, but none of them have proved themselves yet.
Agree with most of that with the exception of Hardwick. He's been playing and kicking well and kicked the winning penalty at the death away to Cardiff and showed nerves of steel once again at the weekend to secure the LBP away to Pau. I think they all have potential but he is, imho slightly ahead of the others on that list
No big argument there, he's seen the most game time so is understandably some way ahead in his development. Still not knocking on the door of first XV when all are fit though. I don't mean that as a criticism, there are some very good players ahead of him, but remember when players like Ford and Ben Youngs first played for Tigers - it was obvious they were ready and should be playing regular first team rugby for a top Premiership team also competing at the latter stages of the European Cup. None of our current group are anywhere near that level.
Agreed. I think Hardwick is a step up on some of our previous understudies at 10 but yes, he’s not a starter just yet.
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Re: Bath vs. Tigers - Sat 25 Jan 15:00

Post by JP14 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:06 pm

1 Bateman
2 Youngs
3 Cole
4 Spencer
5 Lavanini
6 Wells
7 Taufua
8 Kalamafoni
9 White
10 Hardwick
11 Olowofela
12 Eastmond
13 Taute
14 Holmes
15 Veainu

16 TPN
17 Gigena
18 Heyes
19 Batley
20 Reffell
21 Simmons
22 Reid
23 Worth
"Our Greatest Glory Is Not In Never Failing, But In Rising Every Time We Fall" Confucius

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Re: Bath vs. Tigers - Sat 25 Jan 15:00

Post by Mark62 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:25 pm

The team you’d select I know JP14 but would you pick Batley over Green.
More general point thought Kerr did well on Saturday would like to see him on the bench

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Re: Bath vs. Tigers - Sat 25 Jan 15:00

Post by OakhamTiger32 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:41 pm

Mark62 wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:25 pm
The team you’d select I know JP14 but would you pick Batley over Green.
More general point thought Kerr did well on Saturday would like to see him on the bench
Completely agree about Kerr. Was in great form early last season and lack of game time has unsurprisingly affected him. Hope he can get some time under his belt during the remainder of the season. We have already seen a few promising hookers leave over the last few years and I hope he’s not another one to follow suit.

TPN might be off and that would free up some decent cap space so invest in the future.

:smt023
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Re: Bath vs. Tigers - Sat 25 Jan 15:00

Post by JP14 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:57 pm

My thinking was that Murphy would name the heavy duty Spencer/Lavanini lock partnership with Wells at 6 and that Batley off the bench would offer more impact than Green.
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