A. Murphy’s Tiger Spirit is Indispensible
Geordan Murphy’s late introduction changed the game. He showed that real Tiger spirit and drive. He increased the physicality almost immediately and Bath just couldn’t deal with it. He provides a wealth of experience in an otherwise novice backline, which with Tony Allen’s concussion on Saturday is only getting worse in the short term. He simply must start against Treviso this Sunday as failure to get 4 tries could be disastrous if we are still a club that aims for a home quarter final in the Heineken Cup. Matt Tait has been going well enough at full back but it’s that Tigers X factor he lacks compared to Murphy. Luckily a spot’s just opened up in centres.
B. Young Gun Starts Firing
Micky Young had a cracking game to back up his LV Cup performance against London Irish. He brings much more physicality to his game than our other scrum halfs, which is both a strength and a weakness as at times he can be over keen to commit to rucks. But his snipping game round the fringes is most like Ben Youngs, the way he used Marcos Ayerza and Jordan Crane to unlock Bath’s defence was a terrific piece of interplay; if it had finished as a try it would have been highlighted much much more. Will struggle to overtake Ben Youngs but what a back up to have; hopefully he will stay beyond this season but he will have rival Premiership coaches on red alert if they are looking for a 9.
C. England Boys are World Class
Hardly a revelation to most of us but Dan Cole, Geoff Parling, Manu Tuilagi and the Youngs brothers are quietly blossoming into World Class players. And the hard definition of World Class too, legitimately the best players in their shirts in the world. No centre has Manu Tuilagi's range of skills allayed to his powerful super human physique. Dan Cole has quickly over taken Castro at club level and laid waste to the challengers at international level, nobody even comes close anymore. Tom Youngs rise has been meteoric; he is still yet to start 10 Premiership games for Tigers but has outplayed every opponent he has faced. Ben Youngs is confirming all his early promise with ever more influential displays. You need World Class players to win the Heineken Cup, we certainly did in 2001, so maybe the glory days are finally on the horizon again?