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Preview: Saracens v Bath Rugby

Preview: Saracens v Bath Rugby

Saracens may not be the flashiest side in Aviva Premiership Rugby but what they do, they do extremely well – and that’s what makes them so dangerous according to Bath Rugby back Dan Bowden.

Bath are reeling from a run of four losses in all competitions but showed glimpses of the form that saw them reach the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final last season after running European champions Toulon mightily close at the Rec.

Indeed with just eight games played, Bath are certainly still in with a shout of catching up with the top four – though their return to league action is not exactly easy.

League leaders Saracens had been unbeaten this season until their loss against Harlequins earlier this month, and Bowden says precision will be the name of the game for Bath on Saturday.

“We're just trying to identify things that are on trend, and then put them right against Saracens, said Bowden, who is set to make his debut against Saracens after signing from the Auckland Blues.

“They are a side where you've got to outwork them; they might not do anything particularly extravagant going forwards, but you have to make sure your kick chasing and winning set-piece ball is spot on.

“Against a side like Saracens, they are trying to lure you into running from somewhere you don't want to and that's how they punish you.

“So Mike (Ford) and the rest of the coaching staff have been trying to make sure we understand that, and we also need to be courageous and believe in what we are trying to achieve.

“Harlequins gave a little bit of a blueprint into how to beat them, so we've got enough to create opportunities.”

Bath have won just one of their last 11 encounters with Saracens including last season's Aviva Premiership Rugby final – that was a 21-11 victory at the Rec in October 2014.

And they have not been successful on Saracens soil since a trip to Vicarage Road in February 2010.

But flanker Guy Mercer is confident that the tables can turn – as long as Bath play to their potential.

“Morale is good,” he said. “We have had to have some tough conversations in the past couple of weeks but we are a pretty positive group.

"The international guys will have got to go away and have a fresh environment and we get a few of those back for the game, which will hopefully adds impetus to our week back here.

“There is plenty of activity at the training ground and we have got to make sure we are ready for what will be a hell of a test up at Saracens.”

Allianz Park, 3.15pm – Live on BT Sport

Referee: Dean Richards (84th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Greg Macdonald & Andy Watson. TMO: Geoff Warren.

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