Imagine Rugby Blogs

Bath need to stop the rot

European Cup tie is perfect place to end losing streak

Posted Dec 09, 2010 by Jeff Dawson

Olly Barkley

Bath RFC invested heavily in new playing personnel during the summer in a bid to close the gap at the top and compete for honours on a regular basis.
They brought in the likes of England skipper Lewis Moody from Leicester Tigers and retained the services of star centre Olly Barkley who had pundits and fans purring with adulation following a series of stunning performances towards the back end of last season, winning 10 off 11 matches to surge into the Premiership play-off semi-finals.
Since then, form has been scratchy. A lack of width seems to be their biggest problem and if they aren’t careful they could see themselves dumped out of Europe and struggling to keep pace with the leading four in the Aviva Premiership.
The Heineken Cup is their immediate concern with back to-back matches with Ulster coming up, starting this weekend.
Confidence is low in the Bath camp at present after just two wins in nine games and Bath will need to be at their best in Belfast if they are to stand a chance of progressing from Pool Four.
Ulster are a good side and they trail Bath by one point in their group and these successive games present both sides with the opportunity to stamp their authority on the group and make much needed progression.
If Bath can pick up a positive result this weekend then it could be the boost they need in the Premiership too. There is no secret that winning is a habit and the same goes for losing. And as the team from The Rec haven’t won in the league since the end of September, this habit is becoming quite nasty for them.
They will need to sort their tactics out sharpish and improve the performances that so far have been lacking. And it will fall to the likes of Moody and Barley to pick up the stuttering team.
These two are fantastic players and bring something to the team that other clubs could only wish they had available to them and that is talent, desire and experience.
This weekend’s match is full of promise for both clubs but I expect Bath to turn their fortunes around and pick up a much needed victory in Northern Ireland.

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