Aviva Premiership: Bath v London Wasps Preview


Bath and Wasps will go head-to-head this Saturday in what is always a heated encounter.

The pick of the round sees Bath, looking to hang onto their top four status, host the log-leading Wasps at the Recreation Ground on Saturday.

Bath v London Wasps | Saturday 4 March | Recreation Ground | 17:00

To Win (80 mins)
Bath 17/20 | Draw 19/1 | Wasps 1/1

Bath will be kicking themselves after their shock result against Bristol. Another win was there for the taking, and yet they still ended up going down by, and to the league’s bottom side no less! This week offers a new challenge, however, and they don’t come much bigger than that of the Wasps. Having gone down by 40 points to 26 earlier on in the season, and taking into account their latest result, Todd Blackadder will expect his men to “front-up” in typical Blackadder style, and go hard at this weekend’s opposition.

Two disallowed tries against Bristol certainly frustrated Bath, but they should still have sealed the result after Semesa Rokoduguni intercept try, despite Rhys Priestland’s conversion miss. Bath will need to up the intensity in a big way if they are to avoid the Wasp’s sting, and will definitely need to take the game to them this weekend, head on. With Leicester (sitting one point behind them on the log) ready to pounce, the Bath boys simply cannot afford to drop more points and surrender their fourth-placed spot. Expect them to play with aggression and urgency.

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Sitting pretty six points clear at the top, Wasps will have all the motivation in the world to defeat Bath and extend their overall lead this Saturday. Last weekend’s result against Gloucester ended what was a four-match winless run in all competitions that extended right back to the 22nd of January, and that was threatening to derail their campaign. The Gloucester game was a turning point, however, as outside centre Jimmy Gopperth’s unbelievable 25 points (which, incredibly, included a hat-trick of tries too) masterminded victory for the home side. More support will be needed from his fellow backliners, however, if they are to seriously challenge Bath.

Springbok Willie le Roux managed a score on his first start for his new side, and he will hope for another big performance this time out. With a backline that includes the likes of Gopperth, le Roux, Christian Wade and Kurtley Beale amongst others, Wasps certainly have no excuse not to be winning matches. They will need every ounce of this firepower against a solid outfit like Bath, and no doubt coach Dai Young’s voice will be ringing in his players’ ears, reminding them that they are in pole position to secure first place at the end of the season, and potentially host the playoffs.

Verdict: Wasps 1/1
Certainly one of the toughest calls I’ve had to make in a while. I’m going to back Wasps to trump Bath – their skill and imagination in the backs should be too much for a Bath side that has struggled for five-pointers recently.

Written by Shaun Goosen for @Hollywoodbets.net!

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