We put our belief in Bath

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Bath travel to Wasps in the Gallagher Premiership and look great value at 5/4 to win at the Ricoh Arena and maintain their good form of late.

Defence was optional the last time these sides met in the Premiership back in January – a time when Wasps were riding high and Bath were at a low ebb.

Fast-forward three months and their 52-44 win at The Rec must seem like a distant memory to Wasps who have slumped alarmingly whilst Bath have improved immeasurably.

Despite a run of nine defeats in their last 11 games in all competitions, Wasps start this game as marginal favourites. So what is the justification for this?

Concerns over Orlando Bailey’s ability to run the game at 10 for the blue, black and whites, and no specialist fly-half cover could be one of the factors for doubting Bath’s ability to come from Coventry with the points. 

Another is the lack of an established goalkicker in the Bath ranks. Bailey kicked his only conversion attempt in the Premiership this season and is largely untried at first-team level, whilst Ben Spencer, the natural back-up, is on the bench.

With a success rate of 68%, Spencer is no Rhys Priestland, but he showed what he is capable of last weekend with a brilliant touchline effort that won Bath the game against Leicester.

Jacob Umaga has proved fallible in front of goal and is picked for his ability to get the backline moving not his accuracy from the tee, otherwise, Lee Blackett would have selected Jimmy Gopperth.

Given what happened at The Rec and the trend for running rugby, this does not have the feel of a match that will be decided by penalty goals anyway.

And whilst Bath have one eye on their European Challenge Cup semi-final against Montpellier next weekend, Stuart Hooper has picked what looks close to a full-strength side in most areas other than at half-back.

If Will Chudley steps up and gives Bailey the service he needs, Bath have potent threats in Joe Cokanasiga, Anthony Watson and in-form Will Muir – not to mention Cam Redpath and Jonathan Joseph in midfield – to cause the Wasps defence real problems.

The confidence that Bath have gained from only one defeat in six cannot be underestimated, and they are also performing well away from home with impressive wins at Newcastle, Northampton and Sale in the last couple of months.

Bath to win is a best-priced 5/4 with Betfred.

Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Paolo Odogwu, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Michael Le Bourgeois, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jacob Umaga, 9 Dan Robson, 1 Tom West, 2 Tommy Taylor, 3 Kieran Brookes, 4 Joe Launchbury (c), 5 Will Rowlands, 6 Ben Morris, 7 Thomas Young, 8 Brad Shields (47)

Replacements: 16 Gabriel Oghre, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 19 Levi Douglas, 20 Tom Willis, 21 Will Porter, 22 Charlie Atkinson, 23 Zach Kibirige

Bath: 15. Anthony Watson, 14. Joe Cokanasiga, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Cameron Redpath, 11. Will Muir, 10. Orlando Bailey, 9. Will Chudley; 1. Juan Schoeman, 2. Tom Dunn, 3. Will Stuart, 4. Josh McNally, 5. Charlie Ewels ©, 6. Miles Reid, 7. Sam Underhill, 8. Zach Mercer

Replacements: 16. Jacques du Toit, 17. Beno Obano, 18. Henry Thomas, 19. Elliott Stooke, 20. Josh Bayliss, 21. Ben Spencer, 22. Max Clark, 23. Alex Gray


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