Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

All to play for - Ford

Mike Ford hailed the 'intensity' of Bath's defence

There was no disguising the elation felt by Bath defence coach Mike Ford after his side's dramatic 27-26 bonus-point Aviva Premiership victory over Leicester at the Recreation Ground.

Instead of kissing goodbye to any chance of qualifying for the Heineken Cup next season, Bath remained in the mix - especially if, against all odds, they can win at Saracens in two weeks' time. And, if Saracens can win the Heineken Cup, there will be a seventh English place up for grabs.

Ford said: "It's pretty pleasing how well we played. What we've done is give ourselves a chance (of qualifying for the Heineken Cup). We're going to have two weeks' preparation to play Saracens. It's in our hands - we've got something to play for."

Sunday's Exeter-Wasps clash complicates matters further but the Bath coaching team were delighted that they put lacklustre performances against Stade Francais and Harlequins behind them.

Ford added: "We're just pleased that, against the top try-scoring side in the Premiership, we kept a tight rein on them.

"Going in three tries to two up at half-time - even though we were eight points down - gave us heart.

"The intensity and level of our defence was sensational. Can anyone remember them getting into our 22 in the second half? We limited them to just two penalty goals.

"The forwards were very good. That's the best I've seen Davey Wilson play. He was phenomenal. He must have carried 10 times - and that was on top of his scrummaging. We won our lineout today too and we were able to play off that."

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill was philosophical about the surprise defeat.

"It was a good game for the neutral - four tries to two," he said. "They deserved their win but we were a bit inaccurate at times. You can't let Bath run at you because at some point you'll break and we did and they scored. We have only ourselves to blame."

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