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Bath coach Toby Booth backs Semesa Rokodguni's England claims

Published 26/03/2016

Bath boss Toby Booth believes Semesa Rokodguni is knocking on the England door
Bath boss Toby Booth believes Semesa Rokodguni is knocking on the England door

Another brace of tries from Bath wing Semesa Rokodguni, taking his tally to six in four games, has reinforced his claim to a place on England's summer tour of Australia, according to first-team coach Toby Booth.

A poacher's score five minutes from time clinched a 17-12 win at Gloucester and their first back-to-back victories of a tough Aviva Premiership season, following the home win over Newcastle.

"He had no right to score the last one," said Booth. "Everyone knows what Roko brings. He's unbelievably strong and powerful. He's a try scorer and every team needs one. He does it for us on a regular basis.

"We've had (England boss) Eddie Jones with us this week, giving us player feedback, and obviously we know that Roko's on his radar. All Roko can do is play well for Bath and if he does that people will watch."

The return of England's Grand Slam stars put a definite spring in the step of a team that has languished in ninth place for most of the season.

Booth added: "A lot of people have come back and that gives a massive injection of enthusiasm. They all stepped up and brought that enthusiasm with them."

It was not all one-way traffic, though, and Bath had to withstand huge pressure in the second half.

"Camped on our own line, that was a massive effort from a discipline point of view," said Booth. "We're a bit disappointed at how we got into that position, but coaches always are. From a defensive and discipline point of view, we're delighted.

"If we were guilty of anything in the first half it was trying to play too much, but the conditions didn't lend themselves to that. As the game wore on, we got on to the front foot and dragged ourselves into their half and that's when we applied the pressure."

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys was left wondering how his side have slumped to three successive defeats after beating Wasps at the beginning of the month.

"It's very disappointing," he said. "I can't fault the effort, but there were key moments in defence and attack when we made simple mistakes - one-on-one missed tackles, key turnovers. It felt like we were a long time in the Bath 22 and we couldn't get over the line.

Talking of the difficulties in getting a top-six place, he said: "Three weeks ago we were in a great place. Now on the back of two poor performances we've got to sit down and make sure we finish the league far better than we've played the last couple of games."

He added: "Against team as good as Bath defensively and offensively, you've got to take your opportunities, it's all the small details which haven't been as good as they need to be against the best teams.

"We pride ourselves on our defence, but today a couple of individual errors cost us. It's disappointing to concede three tries and lose at home."

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