Bath set for one final push

Bath set for one final push

MIKE Ford says Bath Rugby will not alter their attacking philosophy when they go in search of Aviva Premiership glory this weekend. Bath must overcome Saracens on Saturday if they are to get their hands on the silverware in what is sure to be a clash of styles at Twickenham. Sarries are known for their defensive prowess, while Bath have built-up an expansive gameplan at The Rec in recent years, making this weekend’s showdown all the more mouth-watering. Head coach Ford says Bath intend to stick to their principles as they look to be crowned champions of England for the first time since 1996, although believes they can change tact if necessary. “People say the only way you beat Saracens is by playing like Saracens. That is one way but we are going to go another way to beat Saracens,” said Ford. “In the Champions Cup semi-finals, Clermont had put five-tries on Northampton the week before and then kicked everything against Saracens and very nearly lost it. “That’s not what we’re going to do, we’re going to carry on playing the way we’re playing. “I think we’re in the 36 or 37th week now, so it’s like an Olympic cycle. “You train for four years and then come to the last day on the track or at the velodrome you have doubts in your mind and want to try to change things, but why would you? “We have gone from A to B in those 36 weeks playing rugby that suits us because we’ve got the players with that skill set. We’re not going to change, why would we? “If the rain comes down we’ll drive them and scrum them, we’ll go for that contest because we’ve won games this year playing like that as well. We are a heads-up team, we adapt and change. “Everyone is talking about our attack, and quite rightly, but if we have to play a little bit differently, the leaders will make those decisions at the weekend.” Bath head into their first Premiership final since 2004 this weekend but Saracens have established themselves as one of the most consistent performers on the continent in recent years. Although they have not been crowned domestic champions since 2010, they reached both the Premiership and Heineken Cup finals last term. “Their fundamentals are brilliant,” added Ford. “The desire they have defensively, what they do at the ruck, the way they counter-ruck and try to slow the ball down, and the line speed they’ve got. “Jacques Burger is a great player, their talisman in defence. Billy Vunipola is their talisman in attack. “Those two are fantastic players but I think we have got a few of them ourselves. We’ve got Francois Louw in defence, Leroy Houston in attack and a guy in the middle of them who can do both. “They are brilliant at what they do and it’s something they have hung their hat on for four or five years and been successful for them in terms of being in finals but we’re ready to play.”

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