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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Friday, February 28th 2020

Preview: Bath (a) - Gallagher Premiership

Bristol Bears make the short trip to The Recreation Ground on Sunday to take on local rivals Bath in round 12 of the Gallagher Premiership (3pm KO).

Pat Lam's men recorded a third successive league win for the first time in 13 years with a narrow 13-10 triumph over Worcester Warriors at Ashton Gate, off the back of victories over Gloucester and Northampton Saints.

Bath sit fifth in the Gallagher Premiership, but have won seven of their 11 games - more than any other side, except league leaders, Exeter Chiefs. 

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Sunday's Gallagher Premiership clash at the Recreation Ground.


Match details:

  • Date: Sunday, March 1st
  • Kick-off: 3pm
  • Competition: Gallagher Premiership
  • Where: The Recreation Ground
  • Referee: Ian Tempest (68th Premiership game). Assistant Referees: Jamie Leahy & Paul Dix. TMO: Keith Lewis. Citing Officer: John Byett.
  • Media coverage: BT Sport, BBC Radio Bristol, Channel 5 Highlights 
  • Tickets: Click here to purchase tickets for the match.

Team news

Jordan Crane makes his first competitive outing of the season when Bristol face Bath in the West Country derby on Sunday (3pm KO).

The hugely experienced back rower is one of seven changes to the side that secured a third successive Gallagher Premiership victory last weekend.

Director of Rugby Pat Lam includes Alapati Leiua and Andy Uren in the backline, with Henry Purdy (hamstring) missing out.

In the pack, Yann Thomas makes his first league start of the campaign, while Shaun Malton also returns to the front row. Ed Holmes comes into the second row, while Chris Vui remains at blindside flanker.

Steven Luatua comes back into the side as skipper, after missing the win over Worcester with a neck injury.


Bristol Bears team to face Bath Rugby at the Recreation Ground on Sunday, March 1st  (3pm KO):

15. Charles Piutau; 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Piers O’Conor, 12. Sam Bedlow, 11. Alapati Leiua; 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Andy Uren; 1. Yann Thomas, 2. Shaun Malton, 3. Lewis Thiede, 4. Ed Holmes, 5. Joe Joyce, 6. Chris Vui, 7. Steven Luatua (c), 8. Jordan Crane.

Replacements: 16. Will Capon, 17. Jake Woolmore, 18. Max Lahiff, 19. Nathan Hughes, 20. Luke Hamilton, 21. Harry Randall, 22. Ian Madigan, 23. Mat Protheroe.

Unavailable: Harry Thacker (neck), Jordan Lay (knee), James Lay (leg), John Afoa (calf), Aly Muldowney (head), Dave Attwood (shoulder), Siale Piutau (knee), Luke Daniels (shoulder), Will Hurrell (head), Charlie Powell (ankle), Henry Purdy (hamstring).

Bath Rugby:

15. Tom Homer, 14. Semesa Rokoduguni, 13. Jackson Willison, 12. Josh Matavesi, 11. Ruaridh McConnochie, 10. Rhys Priestland, 9. Rhys Webb; 1. Lewis Boyce, 2. Jack Walker, 3. Will Stuart, 4. Josh McNally, 5. Elliott Stooke, 6. Mike Williams, 7. Francois Louw (c), 8. Taulupe Faletau.

Replacement: 16. Tom Doughty, 17. Beno Obano, 18. Christian Judge, 19. Tom Ellis, 20. Josh Bayliss, 21. Chris Cook, 22. Freddie Burns, 23. Max Wright


Last time out

Friday, October 18th | Bristol Bears 43-16 Bath | Gallagher Premiership

Bristol Bears ran in seven tries to storm to a magnificent bonus-point victory over local rivals Bath at a sold-out Ashton Gate in October.

Luke Morahan and Nathan Hughes touched down inside the first 15 minutes, before Bath hit back with two Rhys Priestland penalties and a try from Zach Mercer to lead by a single point just before the interval.

But Pat Lam’s men had the final say of the half with a try from Mat Protheroe, before the wing turned provider for Piers O’Conor early in the second half.

Priestland landed a third penalty to reduce the deficit, but Lewis Boyce’s yellow card opened the floodgates, as John Afoa, Ioan Lloyd – on his Premiership debut – and Luke Morahan sealed a thumping win for Bristol in front of more than 26,000 supporters in BS3.

Read the full report here. 


Word from the camp

Pat Lam expects one of the toughest challenges of the season so far when Bristol face a resurgent Bath on Sunday (3pm KO).

The Director of Rugby previews the round 12 clash at the Recreation Ground as Bristol Bears go in search of a fourth straight victory in the Gallagher Premiership.

Subscribe to Bristol Bears TV by clicking here.

 


Form guide

Bath Rugby’s only defeat in the last six rounds of Gallagher Premiership Rugby was 15-29 at Gloucester on January 4th.

Bath have lost only once at the Recreation Ground since this weekend last year: 12-25 to Saracens in Premiership Rugby in November.

Bristol Bears have won their last three Gallagher Premiership Rugby fixtures but have not won four in succession in the tournament since 2006/07. The Bears have won twice on the road in Premiership Rugby this season, at Exeter in round four and at Northampton in round 10.

Bristol have lost just once in their last four encounters with Bath in Gallagher Premiership Rugby: 19-26 in ‘The Clash’ at Twickenham in April 2019. The Bears most recent success at the recreation Ground was 19-12 in Premiership Rugby in November 2006.

Bristol Bears: WWW
Bath: LLW 


Head-to-head

Steven Luatua vs Francois Louw

It's an international battle in the back row, as Bristol skipper, Steven Luatua takes on his Bath counterpart, Francois Louw in a Titanic tussle at openside.

Luke Morahan vs Ruaridh McConnochie

Two players of similar style go head to head on the wing on Sunday, as Australian flyer, Luke Morahan faces England wing, Ruaridh McConnochie in what promises to be a belter of a battle.


Statto's corner

  • Jordan Crane set for first competitive outing of season
  • Yann Thomas makes first league start of campaign
  • Bristol Bears have won their last three Gallagher Premiership Rugby fixtures but have not won four in succession in the tournament since 2006/07

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