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OJO'S INSIDE LINE: Changes not always for the best
2:00pm Friday 27th September 2013 in Sport
I KNOW I’m not the only one who was perplexed by Bath’s team selection for last weekend’s defeat against Saracens.
Yes, you need a big squad to compete in the Aviva Premiership and over the course of a long season but the side they picked at Allianz Park did raise eyebrows, especially mine.
We’re not yet out of September and already they made massive changes to their line-up – and a winning line-up at that.
We’ve not even played five league games yet, so who needs a rest?
To me, it was a policy that backfired.
Yes, people within the squad need to play but, when you are winning, is there really a need to make the massive changes we saw?
I was surprised to see key positions like scrum-half and fly-half changed for the match and, while Bath do have a larger squad, I don’t believe they are at the stage where they should be doing that.
To many, it looked like they were handing Saracens the result.
Of course, Bath can look at the match and say that, from 31-3 down, they came back and ‘won’ the second half, but doesn’t that make you start thinking ‘what if’?
Trailing by such a margin means that there might have been some ‘switching off’ on the Saracens side of things, but was there a bonus point up for grabs there? Who knows?
I was disappointed. Coaches live and die by the decisions they make and, of course, they might point to the longer term goals but I am sure it is something they won’t do again.
They took a risk because momentum is everything in rugby and I just don’t think you can make that volume of changes.
That fact that it’s London Irish at home tomorrow makes last week even more puzzling for me.
If you were going to make changes, that game looks the more obvious one in which to do so, unless they decided that they were going to target this game.
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