Aviva Premiership: Bath v Wasps Preview


The Aviva Premiership throws up a fascinating contest this week with Bath and Wasps set to lock horns at the 'Rec on Saturday the 30th of December.

Despite, rather oddly, heading into this contest as underdogs, Dai Young’s Wasps should comfortably better Todd Blackadder’s Bath at the 'Rec on Saturday. The visitors, off the back of their impressive 49-24 defeat of Gloucester at the Ricoh Arena, seem to have hit a purple patch of late, and their in-form playmakers should orchestrate another scintillating display this weekend.

Bath Rugby v London Wasps | Saturday 30 December | Recreation Ground | 15:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Bath 11/20 | Draw 18/1 | Wasps 15/10


Bath were lacklustre in their 32-9 away loss against Sale. Their overly passive defence was found wanting on a number of occasions, and Sale’s dangermen - in the forms of James O’Connor and Faf de Klerk – were fantastic in exploiting Bath’s ineptitude without ball-in-hand. Despite taking a narrow lead into halftime courtesy of the boot of Rhys Priestland, their lack of creativity on attack meant they were never really in with a real shout.

If Blackadder’s men put in a similar shift against an ever-improving Wasps outfit this weekend, it may turn into a long day for them indeed.

Freddie Burns at 10 will need to start utilizing the talent in his backline if they are to manage a few scores this weekend, while Priestland and Matt Banahan’s defence in the midfield will need to increase tenfold if they are to limit the attacking threats of the likes of Willie le Roux.

Wasps can be deadly with enough possession, and Bath’s ability to turn whatever possession they accumulate into points will be vital to their chances this Saturday.

Wasn’t it a treat to watch that man Le Roux back in full flight last weekend? The former Springbok fullback put in an attacking masterclass in Wasps’ thrashing of Gloucester, and seemed to spring up everywhere on the pitch to eventually finish the match with two assists to go along with the early try he bagged for himself. If the former Cheetah and Sharks-maverick can continue his upward curve, it shouldn’t be too long before he gets another look in at national level.

If Willie’s teammates can manage to replicate the attacking intensity they showed in that Gloucester second-half, they will be far too much for Bath to handle. Their dexterous use of the wider channels has so far worked to a tee, and more of the same will be on demand this Saturday.

Young’s boys are hitting a great run of form, and should be disappointed to come away from the 'Rec this weekend with anything less than a bonus-point win.

Verdict: Wasps 15/10
It really does seem surprising that Wasps are marked as underdogs, but that tag shouldn’t stop them from claiming another bonus-point win as their assault on the home playoff places continues.

Written by Shaun Goosen for @Hollywoodbets.net

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