Meehan: Display bodes well
Published 23/01/2011 | 11:12
Bath coach Steve Meehan is confident his side can kick on and push for an Aviva Premiership play-off place despite being dumped out of Europe at the hands of Biarritz.
Bath fell to a 26-19 at the hands of the Basque side with former Rec favourite Iain Balshaw grabbing two of the hosts' four tries. Dimitri Yachvili and Takudzwa Ngwenya also crossed for Biarritz while Stuart Hooper and Tom Biggs (two) touched down for Bath.
"If we return to the Premiership and play rugby like that then we are going to be a handful," said Meehan. "The rugby itself was fairly evenly shared. At times we got on the front foot and played some good attacking rugby. If you look only at our win-loss count in this pool, it looks poor. But we performed better than that indicates."
He added: "In the second-half, both of their tries came from poor tactical kicking that put us under pressure. But we finished off well and kept working for the full 80 minutes. We thoroughly deserved those three tries. It's frustrating to have lost, but you must be optimistic after performances like that."
France scrum-half Yachvili opened the scoring for the hosts' after five minutes when he charged down Olly Barkley's clearance to stroll over for a try which he converted.
Balshaw's brace put the hosts 21-0 to the good before Hooper hit-back for Bath.
Ngwenya gave the home side a bonus point before Biggs grabbed his try double during a strong finish from Bath.
The result ensures a home quarter-final for Biarritz and Balshaw said: "We completed our objective that we set at the start of the game. We knew we had a chance of a home quarter-final and delivered it.
"It was a stern test from Bath and it was probably very good to watch. We got four tries but in the last 10 minutes we were probably looking to get a few more tries and were swaying both ways.
"At half-time we said they would come out and play and it was important that we started the way we finished the first half. We took our foot off the gas but are pleased with the result."