Saturday, 20 September 2014


Well.  What to say about that?

Let's start with some book keeping.  To keep me sane.  That was Tigers record loss in competitive rugby.  Record loss in league rugby.  Record loss to Bath.  It was the first nilling we have suffered since the famous 33-0 drubbing in Ulster in January 2004.  It is the third time we have failed to trouble the scorers in league rugby after a 1989 nilling at Kingsholm and a 14-0 defeat to Northampton in 2003.

So it is not hyperbolic to call that the worst Tigers performance I've ever seen.  Factually it is.  And probably the worst performance from long before I started watching too.

First of all, and bitterly, grudgingly, lets give Bath some credit.  Scoring 45 points is hard against anyone.  They utterly overwhelmed us, taking almost every chance they had.  Thankfully they did spoon at least 2 chances in the first half or we would be looking at 50.

They were fast, aggressive and penalty free in defence.  Their attack was sharp and their carrying powerful.

But enough about them.

We were awful.  In the first half we just didn't look up for it at all.  Off the pace and uninterested at times.  We were bullied at the breakdown and Ford masterfully controlled territory so that we just didn't have a sniff of attacking ball.  The one chance we had in the 22 we were inattentive at the ruck and got turned over.

In the second half it actually picked up.  Its just our problems changed.  We had mountains of ball, tons of it, and some of it in pretty good possessions.  We actually ran at some pace and pushed the Bath defence back.  But we couldn't do it for long enough.  A rare penalty was gained and kicked to the corner.  Spilled in the maul.

To add insult to injury Bath then raced the length for a score that exposed our atrocious tackling.  But we came back at them, only to do it again.  Knock ons, kicks away, turned over we ran the full gamut of ways to balls up try scoring chances once Wayne Barnes ruled out Bob Barbieri's effort for an imaginary double movement.

Towards the end we had a penalty with Nick Auterac sin binned.  For me it should have been kicked at goal.  38-7 is no less embarrassing than 38-3 but both better than the dreaded nil.

Rubbing salt in the wound was David Mele's red card for stamping.  Some have criticised the decision but I just can't, the ball is miles away, Barbieri had already won the turnover and was setting up a new ruck.

Still after Ulster we responded with a 49-7 win, after Northampton we beat Leeds 39-11 and after Gloucester in 1989 we bounced back with a 37-6 win over Liverpool St. Helens.

Hope springs eternal.


  1. I'm looking forward to this weeks game far more than I would have done had we not had last week's humiliation. Both the crowd and the players are going to make a statement (I hope)

  2. No match report?? :-<