Cross Code Challenge v Bath 1996.

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Lazy J
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 4:08 pm

Re: Cross Code Challenge v Bath 1996.

Post by Lazy J » Sun May 10, 2020 12:21 pm

Exactly, all Bath had to do was force scrums and lick the resulting penalty, they noticeably stopped pushing the scrum etc.
There are 10 types of people, those who get binary and those who dont!

Levrier
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:23 pm

Re: Cross Code Challenge v Bath 1996.

Post by Levrier » Sun May 10, 2020 2:33 pm

When I watched the Union game I was very aware that Bath could have simply played to their strengths and crushed us at set pieces. They played to the spirit of the event and did enough to win without crippling our front row in the scrums. There is a reason that today in RU the highest payed players in the squad are in the front row. It was an interesting event but we should not read too much into the scores. What it did tell us was that Un ion could learn from us in open running play and outright professionalism. I think that they have learned that lesson quite well and we have learned that we could do with a bit of their money and a bigger international game. :cry:

morley pie eater
Posts: 1624
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 2:01 pm

Re: Cross Code Challenge v Bath 1996.

Post by morley pie eater » Mon May 11, 2020 10:11 am

I have always been passionately anti-union, and have only ever seen 2 games: Bath v Wigan and a match at Morley RU (Morley v Rosslyn Park) which I left before half time, bored rigid.

However, even I had some admiration for the Barth players who played in those games. (Guscott bottled it, saying it wasn't in his contract iirc). It must be remembered that, in 1996, we were full-time pros and they weren't.

I would point to two things from the Twickenham match:

1. The ref crucified us, especially early in the game, with penalties for "going in from the side" and so on. The RL ref made allowances for Bath at Maine Road, even coaching them on playing the ball at one point.

2. Wigan made the mistake of trying to play union like a union team. I'm convinced that, late on, when Rads got the ball near his own line (right in front of us), he was supposed to kick. But instead he thought "sod it" and set off running. Supported by Craig Murdock, it resulted in the best try of the game.

If we'd played with that attitude all game instead of doing what you're supposed to do, we wouldn't have won but it would have been much more interesting and memorable imo.

Wintergreen
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 2:13 pm

Re: Cross Code Challenge v Bath 1996.

Post by Wintergreen » Mon May 11, 2020 3:07 pm

It would have been more interesting that's for sure.

The only way I could think of us having even the slightest chance in that game was if we kept the ball alive ALL of the time, moving from side to side and looking to run Bath off their feet.

Would have been massively unconventional, maybe even turning down tries but it would have been entertaining at least.

The issue is that Bath could have scored/gained a penalty from every set piece/ruck/maul so the only way to win would be to deprive them of that opportunity at any cost. Not sure that would have been possible.

Levrier
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:23 pm

Re: Cross Code Challenge v Bath 1996.

Post by Levrier » Mon May 11, 2020 5:50 pm

The players may be superhuman but even that would have been beyond them. One of my worries is that union may decide to have the same season as us given that they have certainly learned a great deal from us which has made their game more entertaining especially in drier conditions.

Wintergreen
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 2:13 pm

Re: Cross Code Challenge v Bath 1996.

Post by Wintergreen » Mon May 11, 2020 7:45 pm

Levrier wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 5:50 pm
The players may be superhuman but even that would have been beyond them. One of my worries is that union may decide to have the same season as us given that they have certainly learned a great deal from us which has made their game more entertaining especially in drier conditions.
Totally agree. Wigan had virtually zero chance in the RU game, and was thinking of the only possible way they could achieve it (i.e. keep hold of the ball)

BriH
Posts: 2500
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:12 am

Re: Cross Code Challenge v Bath 1996.

Post by BriH » Sun May 31, 2020 5:05 pm

morley pie eater wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 10:11 am
I have always been passionately anti-union, and have only ever seen 2 games: Bath v Wigan and a match at Morley RU (Morley v Rosslyn Park) which I left before half time, bored rigid.

However, even I had some admiration for the Barth players who played in those games. (Guscott bottled it, saying it wasn't in his contract iirc). It must be remembered that, in 1996, we were full-time pros and they weren't.

I would point to two things from the Twickenham match:

1. The ref crucified us, especially early in the game, with penalties for "going in from the side" and so on. The RL ref made allowances for Bath at Maine Road, even coaching them on playing the ball at one point.

2. Wigan made the mistake of trying to play union like a union team. I'm convinced that, late on, when Rads got the ball near his own line (right in front of us), he was supposed to kick. But instead he thought "sod it" and set off running. Supported by Craig Murdock, it resulted in the best try of the game.

If we'd played with that attitude all game instead of doing what you're supposed to do, we wouldn't have won but it would have been much more interesting and memorable imo.
Just watched the Twickers game and it really made my day to see the 2 best ever tries seen scored by a lad from Mirehouse in Whitehaven! Craig Murdoch.

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