Bath had one of their best seasons since rugby became professional last year and were looking to build upon their impressive performance with a stellar season to celebrate 150 years as a club.
This did not happen.
Instead Bath are fighting for nothing with 2 games still to go. 9th in the Aviva Premiership and the only English club to have been eliminated from the Champions Cup at the group stages, albeit in the toughest group.
Ill-discipline, injuries and lack of confidence have been the main contributors to a forgettable season.
A grand total of 22 yellow cards in 22 Aviva Premiership games. That’s over 2 and a half games of rugby Bath have played this season without 15 men on the pitch. Immediately you are giving the opposition team an advantage.
Take our trip up to Sale a few weeks back. Bath were 17-6 down after 40 minutes but managed to take control of the game and have momentum on their side to pin Sale back to 17-17. But then a yellow card 7 minutes from time and Bath lose 29-17. It’s hard enough winning games in a competitive league with 15 men on the pitch let alone 14.
The amount of injuries can be seen as unlucky but they have made a massive impact. The likes of Dave Attwood, Kyle Eastmond and Francois Louw being out has left Bath having to overuse the same players.
The impact and experience these players bring to a side is so important. Since Attwood’s come back the Bath pack has become more dominant once again and the scrums have been more stable. Francois Louw is consistently a turnover threat but playing every other game doesn’t enable form to be maintained.
The season as a whole has been utterly disappointing but nothing should be based on one season. Last year we were phenomenal, this year sub-standard, maybe next year will be once again phenomenal.