Aviva Premiership – Friday 1 March, 2013
Bath 31 – Glocuester 25
Watching the game, I just knew that there would be an outbreak of moaning on Shedweb. There were some unrealistic expectations going into the game too – Bath are, like Glaws, a work in progress, and on their day they have been playing some decent stuff. In contrast, Glaws have been distinctly ropey in their last two games – I think a LBP was a good result for us, and arguably we were lucky to get it.
As for the supposedly contentious decisions – the Sharples yellow and the penalty try were surely unarguable? He did tackle Biggs without the ball, and I’d go as far as to say that in Barnes / Greenwood /Morris la la land, they’d have been happy with the decision, as it was as ‘almost certain’ a score as you’ll ever see. Biggs is class, and wouldn’t have messed it up.
As for the red: as soon as I saw it, I knew someone was going, and I find it hard to argue with it. The Shedweb test is, had it happened to one of ours, how would we have reacted? That question answers itself.
We lost to Bath, they were at home, they’re an improving side, and once again we were pretty average. In my book they beat us at the scrum, at the line-out, and at the breakdown. All that saved us was their defensive lapses, and our knack of scoring tries against the run of play. When it comes to attitude though, I give Glaws 10 out of 10, and that’s really important. Once we get some of our first-choice players back then we still have a fair chance of the top four.
Nick Wood struggled at times again, I stick with my view that Dawaduik is a lightweight, and Harden’s injury was a huge blow. In the second row, as I feared, Attwood was pretty good, and our weakness at lock was once again exposed. Our back row, as usual, did OK, but not much more as Bath were equally good in that area.
Bad day at the office for Freddie when it came to goal kicking, but surely we need to cut him some slack – he’s still class and has saved us time and time again this season! Robson again did OK, but I hope to see Dave Lewis get a start soon – in recent weeks, when he has come on as a replacement, I think he has looked really good.
In the centre, Tinds and Trinder did pretty well – without Tinds solidity, organisational ability, and physicality, we would, IMHO, have lost by a bigger margin.
Rob Cook did OK most of the time, without ever being the superstar that one of us believes him to be, and his was one of the defensive lapses that cost us. I like the guy, and he has served us well, but I think a sense of balance needs to be kept – there are a decent number of much better 15s out there at present. I genuinely think his cause would be better served if his mega-fan stopped going on about him – no need to fight his corner repeatedly, just let people come to their own view about him. Continually singing his praises probably turns some people off the guy! Just my view!
May did better last night, but I don’t much enjoy seeing him crashing into big forwards – that way lies disaster! Charlie did some good things, but he’s not convincing me at present, and it could be that he needs a rest, or maybe it’s just a confidence thing.
As for the ref’, he isn’t my favourite, and I’ve seen him have some shockers, but I don’t this was one of them. Of course there were things I saw differently, but there always are with every ref’. I thought he used the TMO, and the big-screen replay really well, and the view that he shouldn’t look at the big screen is just nonsense – it’s his job to get to the right decision as soon as possible, and if seeing a replay helps with that, fantastic.
I think some of us need to take a deep breath, and then read some of the threads as an impartial outsider would. If you do that, then I think you’ll see that some of our number are just plain whingeing, exactly what we were indignant about when the Wuss supporters did it last week. Come on, we’re surely better than that!
It needs saying, so here goes: well done Bath, you were the better team on the night, and by some margin. Here’s hoping that the three weeks’ rest helps Glaws get things back on track.