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OJO'S INSIDE LINE: Fifth would represent a good year
1:34pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in Sport
DURING my days with Bath, my two favourite games were always against Gloucester and Leicester.
We had good tussles with the likes of Wasps and Harlequins too over the years, but the Cherry & White and Tigers were ‘the’ matches in terms of intensity and passion – and continue to be so.
For it to be the 100th anniversary of the fixture makes it an even more special occasion.
Although it is still very early in the season, if Bath are going to be challenging at the upper end of the table, these are the sorts of games they are going to need to win.
Leicester waltzed down here towards the end of last season, but Bath turned them over which gave everyone a big buzz.
If they can do something similar tomorrow, it will give them real confidence going forward.
To do anything in the Premiership, you need a big strong squad and there is little doubt in my mind that Bath’s squad is a bigger one than last year, with a real emphasis on youth.
They have some big ball carriers in there now, a good set-piece and a few more options in the backline.
But let’s not start jumping about.
Yes, they beat Newcastle on the opening weekend, but the Falcons were a team still getting used to being back in the Premiership and this weekend will be a much stiffer test.
To me, within the Premiership this season you have three different leagues within a league and I see Bath very much challenging in the second of those.
It’s very difficult to look past Leicester, Saracens, Northampton and Harlequins in that top four again, but Bath, along with Wasps, Gloucester and Exeter, should be fighting it out to be top dog in that next group, with the remainder at the bottom end.
I would expect that if Bath could finish fifth, that would represent a very positive season for them.
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