Belfast Telegraph

European Champions Cup: George Ford stays cool to kick Leinster into touch

By Andrew Baldock

England star George Ford admitted it was a case of "focus on the process" as he kicked Bath to a European Champions Cup victory over Leinster.

Fly-half Ford sent an early reminder to new England head coach Eddie Jones of his quality by booting 14 points - three penalties, a conversion and a drop-goal - as Bath also collected a second-half penalty try to edge out Recreation Ground visitors Leinster 19-16.

His 76th-minute penalty proved the clincher, and Ford said: "You understand what type of kick it is to take a lead with a few minutes to go.

"But you just focus on the process. You are in your own little bubble as a goal-kicker, you try and block everything out and just hit the ball like you do hundreds of time in training.

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"We didn't score many tries today, but we were positive in the way we went about things."

Ford's father, Bath head coach Mike Ford, was relieved to claim Saturday's win as the west country club avenged last season's Champions Cup quarter-final defeat against Leinster.

"We showed our inexperience at 16-9 up," Ford said.

"We were in control of the game, but we stupidly did things that let them back in. We then got to 19-16 and we did it again, but luckily Stuart (Hooper) nicked that last lineout for us.

"I am pleased we won against a Leinster side full of internationals. Our scrum was awesome - Henry Thomas and Nick Auterac were outstanding - but we can't afford to give teams easy outs and chances to score points like we did today."

Belfast Telegraph


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