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Davis: Loss was tough to take

Bath coach Brad Davis accepts that the club face a huge challenge at home to Heineken Cup champions Leinster next week after a dispiriting 16-13 defeat at home to Sale.

Davis described the result as "a bitter pill to swallow", coming so soon after the side surrendered tamely to Worcester eight days before.

"We've all got to look hard at ourselves - coaches included - because the performances we are putting in at the moment aren't of a standard that's expected at Bath Rugby," he said. "It's our job to get things right. You get the credit when it's all going well and you expect the criticism when it's not going so well. We've got to ride this through."

Bath led 10-0 at half-time but when a resurgent Sale grabbed the initiative in the second half with a try by Mark Cueto the home team failed to respond until it was too late.

Davis added: "It was as if we sent out two different teams - the one that started in the first half and the one that came out for the second 40. We couldn't get into the second 40 and when we had a chance to win it, guys came up with some really poor decisions."

The double header with Leinster over the next two weekends will provide the ultimate test for their injury-ravaged squad.

Davis said: "This game is definitely going to hurt us for a few days but we can't feel sorry for ourselves. We've got to crack on and prepare as best we can for Leinster."

Sale supremo Steve Diamond was understandably delighted with the way his side responded after throwing away a 20-point lead at home to Exeter last weekend.

He said: "We capitulated last week against Exeter and that was a huge watershed for us as a team because you shouldn't be 23 points up and lose - and we did. So there was a bit of directness applied: come down here, get the result and concentrate on performance. It's tough to win here.

"It wasn't a fantastic game skill-wise but the endeavour, the hits that were put in, were second to none. It's a tough league and to come here and get four points is good for us."

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