Bath vow to fight fire with fire
January 10, 2000
Bath have promised to "fight fire with fire" when they scrap for their Heineken Cup lives against Swansea on Tuesday night.
The 1998 European champions must beat Swansea then topple tournament favourites Toulouse in France next Saturday to have any chance of securing a quarter-final place.
Given Bath's recent form, the Cup scrapheap beckons, joining Premiership rivals Harlequins, Leicester and Saracens as inevitable English casualties.
But hooker Andy Long believes Bath will draw inspiration from last month's clash in Swansea, when they lost 10-9, yet played 90% of the rugby on a storm-lashed evening.
"We should have come away with the points from Swansea it was a harsh feeling that we didn't win the game," Long said.
"This match will be like a cup final, but beating Padova on Saturday has put us in the right frame of mind and we know what we've got to do.
"I think that we must fight fire with fire in the forward battle. If we can get them there, then we have to think that we can do well in other areas."
England internationals Phil de Glanville, Mike Catt and Ben Clarke are all set to make the Bath starting XV following recent injuries, although coach Andy Robinson will keep his side under wraps until just before kick-off.
Centre de Glanville has recovered from a fractured cheekbone, with both fly-half Catt (shoulder) and flanker Clarke(hamstring) also being lined up for timely returns.
Swansea, whose final Pool 2 fixture is against Italian whipping-boys Padova, find themselves in must-win mode tomorrow night, just like their opponents.
Skipper Scott Gibbs (hamstring) remains doubtful, but fly-half Arwel Thomas Bath's tormentor-in-chief last month looks a likely starter.
"Arwel says that he is feeling pretty good," said Swansea coach John Plumtree. ``He will probably make it, but it's debatable whether Scott's hamstring will have recovered in time."
Swansea should have travelled to Bath three weeks ago, but heavy snow left the Recreation Ground unplayable.
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter