Neal Hatley is very aware of the form that Lee Blackett’s side are in as Bath Rugby welcome this afternoon’s visitors to the Rec, in what would have been a spectacular occasion at Twickenham Stadium at The Clash.
Wasps head into the match with five wins from their last six games, with their only defeat coming in Round 16 against Sale Sharks. With wins under their belt against Saracens, London Irish, Gloucester, Northampton Saints and Worcester Warriors, Hatley remains wary of the loose attacking threat they possess as the Blue, Black and White prepare to face them.
Hatley began by saying: “Just from watching them against Saints the other week, Jack Willis almost single-handedly stopped Northampton at the breakdown so I think their boys have been a very good attacking side and it looks very clearly like they’ve spent a lot of time honing in on their defensive strategy.
“That’s probably as well as I’ve seen them defend over maybe the last 12 to 18 months. They always bring a lot of speed into the game. They’ve got some really good runners so it’s going to be a tough day. The way they attack you always know it’s going to be a quick game, but I think defensively is where they’ve made huge strides.”
With the visitors building a consistent platform and resilience in their tactical game, Hatley believes the side have enough quality in their pack and backline to impact any team in the Gallagher Premiership this season.
He continued: “They’ve got players across the park. Their back row – Tom Young and Jack Willis – very impressive. Dan Robson puts real speed into the game, Jacob Umaga and Malakai Fekitoa as well.
“They’ve got some really good ball players there who could cause damage through the middle or push you out wide. And it’s not about just two or three people – across the club, they can be really dangerous with quick ball."