Geech praises Bath attitude

Boss delighted after Bath halt four-match losing run

Last Updated: 01/01/12 5:43pm

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Nick Abendanon: Earned Sir Ian McGeechan's praise after sparkling performance

Nick Abendanon: Earned Sir Ian McGeechan's praise after sparkling performance

Bath rugby director Sir Ian McGeechan praised the attitude of his players after their first Aviva Premiership victory for two months against London Irish.

The hosts earned a 30-3 victory over the Exiles at a sodden Recreation Ground to halt a four-match losing run.

An early try by prop Anthony Perenise set the tone before fly-half Stephen Donald added a conversion and two penalties to put daylight between the teams.

Scrum-half Michael Claassens notched a thrilling counter-attacking try sparked by full-back Nick Abendanon, while Bath were awarded a penalty try four minutes from time to complete the rout.

"I thought the attitude of the players right through the 80 minutes was spot-on. We put a good game together."
Sir Ian McGeechan Quotes of the week

Donald kicked 15 points, but it was the form of England full-back candidate Abendanon and a powerful Bath scrum that proved the most telling factors.

McGeechan said: "There are a lot of good players in the Premiership. Ben Foden has got the (England full-back) shirt, and Mike Brown is playing well at Harlequins.

"If Nick keeps playing like that, they have got to be in the equation because these fellows can change games.

"If you have that sort of player knocking on the door for an international jersey, your international set-up is in pretty good shape.

"I thought the attitude of the players right through the 80 minutes was spot-on. We put a good game together.

"We had done it for spells in games, but not for 80 minutes. We kept control of the game today, and the result was in our hands going into the last 20 minutes. That makes a big difference.

"The scrum was outstanding, but people like Nathan Catt and Anthony Perenise are also natural ball-carriers. It wasn't ever going to be a really quick game because of the conditions, but we had eight forwards comfortable in ball-carrying positions."

Asked if he had felt under pressure from Bath's millionaire chairman Bruce Craig during the run of league defeats, McGeechan added: "We (coaches and players) are more critical of ourselves than Bruce is.

"We've got a good environment, and he knows there are a lot of things right."


Toby Booth was disappointed after his battered and bruised London Irish team suffered their heaviest Premiership defeat for more than five years.

"We didn't come up with enough answers, and quite often we gave away too many gifts," the head coach said.

"When you have got a side that is desperate to get on the winning trail, like Bath were, and the conditions being like they were, it made it very difficult.

"We put ourselves under unnecessary pressure, and that is really disappointing.

"This is the most competitive league going, we all know that, but the good thing is you get a chance to put it right straight away.

"We have Sale next, and we are going to need to show our character and bounce back. We will find a lot out about ourselves this week."

To complete a miserable afternoon for the visitors, their England international full-back Delon Armitage, who had an abysmal disciplinary record in 2011, was sin-binned for a late tackle on Claassens.

Reflecting on Armitage's latest transgression, Booth added: "It doesn't help, does it?

"To be fair, it had no bearing in relation to the game because of the scoreline at the time, but it is not going to help for the long-term, that's for sure."

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