Bath Rugby’s Nathan Catt is hoping that a good run of form in the tail end of the domestic and European season can see the Club finish the 2016/17 campaign on a high.
The Blue, Black and White head to Allianz Park on to face Saracens on Sunday after two weeks without a game, and the prop is focused on a strong start against the reigning Aviva Premiership Champions. After winning 14-11 at the Recreation Ground in December, Catt believes that if the team can replicate that performance, they’ve got a good chance of completing a league double.
Catt said: “We’re looking to do the same as we did last time. They’re going to have their internationals back and so will we. They have some big ball carriers with the likes of the Vunipolas’ and Maro (Itoje), but we’re going to try and get after them and play in the right areas. There’s no doubt that it will be a really physical battle.
“We can’t really afford to lose too many more games, so every single game now is must win for us if we want to finish in the top four and get after this Challenge Cup. We need to build some momentum and there’s no better way than against Saracens and then the Quarter Final against Brive.”
Catt has admitted that the break has been hugely beneficial to the squad and could prove crucial in the run-in, with big fixtures against Brive and Leicester Tigers just around the corner.
“It was good for the boys to get away and refresh their mindsets. There aren’t many opportunities where you can rest up, so these two weeks have meant we can recharge our batteries, get on top of any nigglesand come back in running, but as we’re talking about front rows, more of an amble. We’ve got some really big games coming up, so it’s all about hitting the ground running again.”
Bath will be the first non-London club to stage a ‘home’ game atThe Clash at Twickenham on Saturday 8th April when they meet their old rivals Leicester and Catt is exciting by the prospect of seeing the stands full of Bath supporters.
“They’re always good games against Leicester and they’ve got one of the best packs in the league, so it’s exciting to challenge ourselves against those guys. We’ve got over 50,000 going, so there should be a really good atmosphere. It also gives us that opportunity of playing in these bigger games, in front of bigger crowds, which could prove really beneficial further down the line.
“There’s nothing in it between the teams, so it’s pretty much a must-win. There’s no better place to do it than up at Twickenham. Both teams will be going at it, so it should be a pretty good game to be a part of.”
The 29-year-old has made nearly 150 appearances in Bath colours and is determined to ensure that the Club has something to show for their efforts at the end of the season.
“There’s quite a few of us that have been here a while and haven’t got our hands on a trophy. It was 2008 when we won the Challenge Cup, so Banners (Matt Banahan) is the only one that was involved at the time. Personally, I’m desperate to win something with this Club and I know the rest of the guys are too. So we’ll be looking to get after this Challenge Cup and get in the top four to give us a chance to fight for the Premiership. The boys are mad keen for it.”
Tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Quarter-Final against Brive on Saturday 1st April and The Clash on Saturday 8th April are on sale at bathrugby.com or by calling the Bath Ticket Office on 0844 448 1865.