Mike Ford insists Bath will come back stronger in Europe

Bath director of rugby insists there are 'no dramas' despite comprehensive Champions Cup defeat

By Gareth Llewellyn

Mike Ford admitted he was disappointed by the manner of Bath Rugby’s 37-10 hammering at Glasgow Warriors on Saturday, but is adamant they’ll bounce back.

The Bath director of rugby saw his team ripped apart by the Scots and lose star centre Kyle Eastmond to injury towards the end of the first half as their return to Europe’s elite started on a sour note.

Such was the manner of the defeat, Bath failed to score after Jonathan Joseph’s 12th-minute converted try, while the Warriors backs cruised to five tries in a bonus-point win in front of a capacity crowd at Scotstoun Stadium.

“It’s a lesson learned when you’re coming away from Europe,” Ford said. “They were possibly up for it more than we were. Disappointed with the tries we let in in the first half and the game got away from us.

“We couldn’t finish off the breaks we made in the second half, they got a couple of run away tries and all of a sudden you’re on the end of a poor scoreline. We’ll learn from it. We’re a young side.”

Much was made before the match of Bath’s back row problems, with three players injured and Leroy Houston suspended, prompting Ford to switch lock Dominic Day to flanker. They ended the game with five locks on the field.

“He did a great job for us – he’s not a back-rower,” Ford added. “There’s no dramas here. You understand the back row we had and on the bench today, but that’s not an excuse. We should have stopped all three of their tries in the first half – missed tackles and a quick tap, which was poor from us.

“Second half, I thought we got a foothold in the game. You’ve got to give credit to Glasgow – I thought they played well. Nothing we didn’t expect, really.

“Like I said, you get one or two things wrong, the bounce of the ball, things like referee’s decisions – you get them every game. They took their tries really well.”

Bath’s task in Europe doesn’t get any easier with four-time European champions Toulouse set to visit The Rec next weekend, a match already dubbed must-win if the West Country side are to keep alive their hopes of reaching the knock-out stages of the European Rugby Champions Cup.

“We’ll regroup on Monday,” he said before admitting he won’t learn the extent of Eastmond’s injury until Tuesday. “Really positive about Toulouse coming to The Rec. We need to win that one if we want to stand any chance in Europe.

“We’ve got [Thierry] Dusatoir, [Yannick] Nyanga, [Louis] Picamoles, [Gillian] Galan next week, so it doesn’t get any easier in their back row, does it?

“In this competition you need your big guns out there, unfortunately we’ve got a few on the bed.”

Ford also conceded that it was one of the worst performances since he took the helm at The Rec, and he will look into why they were undercooked against the high-flying Scots.

“Possibly  in terms of desire,” he said. “That’s what’s disappointing for me – they wanted it more than us. We’ve got to figure our why that was. Credit to them as well.

“The home crowd was definitely a factor. We’re quite good at The Rec too, so it does [make a difference]. We prided ourselves on our away form last season, but this is a big competition.

“We were in the Amlin last year. This is a bigger competition, playing better teams. We’ll regroup and we’ll come back pretty strong.”

 

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