Why Bath Against Bristol Bears Could Be One Of The Closest Derby Matches This Season

The West Country derby is one of the most fiercely contested matches in the English rugby calendar. The cities of Bath and Bristol lie just 13.6 miles away from each other, and both sets of fans are passionate when it comes to their rugby teams. This season, there is an added bonus to this derby, because both sides are fighting for places in the playoffs.

In their last meeting, back in October, Bristol hammered Bath 43-16, with tries from Luke Morahan (two), Nathan Hughes, Mat Protheroe, Piers O’Connor, John Afoa, and Ioan Lloyd seeing them off at Ashton Gate. Both sides have named their starting 15 for Sunday afternoon’s game with strong teams set to face each other at The Rec. However, both also have really well-built general squads, which is the reason for their rise up the table this season.

Bath’s starting 15 includes some returning Six Nations players, including Wales; number eight Taulupe Faletau and England duo prop Will Stuart and flanker Sam Underhill. Looking at Faletau and Underhill, in particular, they are both destructive players in the forward lines. Faletau loves to carry the ball forwards and make ground for his team and Underhill is one of the best flankers in the Premiership. He has made a name as one of the best at tackling and making things happen and has gained several man of the match awards for his performances with England. He has formed a solid national partnership with Sale Sharks’ flanker Tom Curry, which was one of the main reasons for England’s successful run in Japan last year.

Other players to watch out for include….

Read the full article here: https://therunnersports.com/why-bath-against-bristol-bears-could-be-one-of-the-closest-derby-matches-this-season/

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