Ben Williams sees the benefits of Bath Rugby's new self-analysis
by Ric Sumner
Ben Williams believes Bath Rugby are benefitting from shifting their focus away from the opposition and instead on analysing themselves.
An impressive 53-8 victory over Bucharest Wolves in their last outing suggests Bath have fine-tuned their preparations to perfection, but centre Williams insists turning attentions on their own game is what has made the squad so deadly in Europe.
The win was Bath's sixth in six Amlin Cup Pool 4 games and sent them through to the quarter-finals as top seeds, where they will entertain Stade Francais.
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Victory over Exeter Chiefs on Saturday (2.15pm) would see Bath move a step closer to qualification for the knockout stages of a second competition – the LV= Cup.
Williams believes the new emphasis brought in under head coach Gary Gold is responsible for their cup success.
"This year training has been a lot more intense than probably what a lot of the guys will have been used to," said the 23-year-old, who joined Bath from school in 2007.
"The coaches are all world class and a big influence.
"The guys who have come in have put a lot of emphasis on individual skills and analysis, and you get a lot of time from them.
"Of course analysis is a big part of our preparation, but over the past few weeks we've put a lot of focus on ourselves and putting our own game right.
"We haven't spent too much time working on what the opposition are doing because we know when we get it right, not a lot of teams can live with us."
Williams has been one of the beneficiaries of Gold's new regime, with the former England youth international racking up a string of appearances this term.
Although he scored a try when Exeter last visited The Rec – during the 23-15 Aviva Premiership win in October – Williams is still working towards becoming the finished article.
"I've played for the last couple of weeks in a row now and have actually played quite a bit this season, so it's nice to get the game time," said Williams.
"I don't like to get too far ahead of myself. I'm just working hard every day in training but I'm pretty happy with my form.
"I know my strengths but I'm working hard on other parts of my game like my kicking, as well as improving my contact skills."
The LV= Cup. Watch the next generation break through. For tickets and information, visit www.lv.com/rugby.