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David Humphreys praises Gloucester half-backs after win over rivals Bath

Gloucester Director of Rugby David Humphreys singled out his half-backs, former Wales fly-half James Hook and Kiwi scrum-half Willi Heinz, as key figures in their 15-11 win at lacklustre Bath.

Hook kicked five penalties and Heinz played an astute game at the base of the scrum to keep the home side on the back foot in a second half dominated by the weather.

"It was an important toss to win," said Humphreys, proud of his team's efforts in turning round an 8-3 deficit at half-time.

"We knew there was wind and rain coming in, so then it was a case of trying to get into the lead. Our set piece was good but our half-backs managed the game and didn't panic, just kept Bath in their half.

"It's hard to appreciate watching on TV or even sitting in the stand how difficult it was out there to play."

Humphreys had particular praise for Heinz, signed from Crusaders in Canterbury.

He said: "I thought he would be an outstanding addition to our squad. He showed his ability to play in any conditions. He's calm and composed and that rubs off on everyone around him."

Bath head coach Mike Ford faces a difficult task getting his side to pick themselves up for the trip to Worcester next weekend as they continue to linger in ninth place.

He was clear where the problems lay in the latest disappointing performance, having lost both his fly-halves, son George and Welshman Rhys Priestland to their respective Six Nations squads.

"We didn't have much of a kicking game, to be honest," said Ford. "There were times near the end we should have held on to the ball and tried to build pressure. But we carried on kicking poorly.

"Dan (Bowden) had a great debut at 12 last week but we missed an out-and-out No 10 tonight. The forwards did what they had to do but it was an ugly game, wasn't it. Not the best I've ever watched.

"Once they got in front it was difficult in that wind and rain. When we did get field position we kicked poorly or offloaded and the ball went to ground.

"Tactically we couldn't do anything else, with the weather and the personnel we had available."

Ford added: "I told the players: 'I trust you. I believe 100 per cent in you. We've got to take the criticism on the chin.' We've just got to get back to Farleigh and work harder. It's only us that can get us out of this.

"You've got to keep that hope, that we can put a run together. Next week against Worcester is going to be a difficult game. We'll just keep believing. There are some good, good players at this club."


From Belfast Telegraph