The perfect month for Bath Rugby, or so the results will say.
5 wins from 5 matches but the performances weren’t all that convincing. But a win is a win and I doubt the Bath of last season would have walked away with the 100% record for this month.
Three fixtures in the league saw Bath travel away to Gloucester and Exeter Chiefs with Sale Sharks making the trip to the Rec.
The first match against Gloucester was a tactical mastermind from Todd Blackadder. A bland first half saw Gloucester lead 3-0 at the break but second half reinforcements in the shape of Dave Attwood and a new front row saw Bath’s strength in depth overpower an under-firing Gloucester side to score two tries making the final score 15-6 meaning a 4th successive win in the league at Kingsholm.
Sale were up next for Bath and the score was very flattering to Bath as they ran out 30-3 winners. A faultless kicking display from George Ford pushed Bath into a comfortable lead and it was rounded off by a wonderful piece of individual brilliance by Kane Palma-Newport who sidestepped his way over the whitewash.
The final league fixture, which meant Bath remained in third placer after two months, was away to last season’s runners up Exeter Chiefs. A repeat of the other West Country derby saw Bath 3-0 down at half-time. A very competitive game had to wait until the 71st minute for the first try as Exeter went over for what many thought would be the match winner. But those people forgot about Semesa Rokoduguni and Bath’s new mentality. Eight minutes after the clock had gone red and the man in search of his second England cap finished off a play of almost 20 phases to steal the win away from Exeter.
October saw the start of European action and it was 100% for Bath. A hard fought victory away against Pau was followed up by a home win against Bristol, in what was the first competitive fixture between the two sides in 7 years (I’d happily have waited another 7 years for the lacklustre match that occurred).
All in all, a fantastic month results wise for Bath as they are in a group with Saracens and Wasps pulling clear at the top of the Aviva Premiership and they are undefeated alongside Cardiff Blues in our European pool.
One new signing confirmed in October was that of Jack Wilson who joins until the end of the season. Wilson has represented England and New Zealand on the 7s circuit.
Bath sadly said farewell to Leroy Houston once again as his short term loan spell came to an end. He didn’t leave without achieving his dream though as he finally earned his first Australian cap, which was a proud moment for all those associated with the club.
Some Bath players will be hoping to gain some more international experience over the next month as George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Semesa Rokoduguni, Charlie Ewels, Dave Attwood (all England), Luke Charteris, Taulupe Faletau (both Wales), Niko Matawalu (Fiji) and Kahn Fotuali’i (Samoa) have all been called up into their international squads.