Todd Blackadder previews Bath's game against Leicester at Twickenham
“You’ve got to be positive,” Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder says when asked if his side will try and entertain when they face Leicester at Twickenham during The Clash this Saturday.
“I think all year we’ve wanted to play with that style and brand. But we’ve got too much quality with our backs not to try and stretch Leicester.”
With Bath in fifth and Tigers just three points ahead in fourth spot in the Premiership, both sides are hoping to gain significant advantage in the hunt for a play-off spot. But there have been differing fortunes in terms of form, with Tigers winning four of their last five league matches. Last week Bath impressed against Brive, utilising such width – with Wales No 8 Taulupe Faletau thriving within Blackadder’s structure that attempts to station game-breakers wide out – however, the side have lost their last three league fixtures, including a 53-10 demolition at the hands of Saracens last time out. Blackadder believes a big event at Twickenham will serve as a huge motivator for his charges.
“If anything it’s rejuvenated and refreshed us,” Blackadder says. “It’s a home game, but instead of having 14.5k fans at the Rec, we’ll have 55k. It’s really exciting and we’ve put in a lot of hard work for the showcase. It’s been a while since I’ve experienced anything like that – the closest thing will probably have been playing at Twickenham with the Crusaders (in 2011) – but our players are really relishing it.
“The best thing about that loss to Sarries was that it highlighted a lot of issues that we then progressed against Brive. We kicked a lot of ball away, we were not holding on to it. We gifted them points, kicking it away. We were not shifting the ball to the wider channels and we’ve got a really good backline. We can win (against Leicester) if we do that well – it’s a supply game.”
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