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Hatley frustrated by Bath lapses

Bath ran in seven tries in beating London Welsh 53-26 in a cut-and-thrust match at the Recreation Ground - but both sets of coaches were unhappy with their teams' defensive showing.

Bath forwards coach Neal Hatley admitted to 'mixed emotions' over the performance.

"To score 50 points against anyone in this league is an outstanding effort but to concede four tries at home is nowhere near good enough," he said. "We are disappointed with the way we defended and we are going to have do a lot better over the next two or three weeks."

"I think we lacked a bit of urgency in crucial areas. We had two or three opportunities for further tries but we didn't take them - and in this league you can pay the price.

"But if you score 53 points you have got to be reasonably happy."

Those points came via tries from Chris Cook, on his first Aviva Premiership start, Semesa Rokoduguni (two), Jonathan Joseph (two), Leroy Houston and Carl Fearns, while George Ford added an 18-point haul in a near-faultless performance with the boot.

But tries from Pete Browne, Seb Stegmann, Seb Jewell and Lachlan McCaffrey were enough to leave Hatley hungry to get back into training to work on the defence.

He added: "The coaches have been telling the players we have got to get better every day, in every game. There are a few areas, primarily defence, where we will have to work harder."

Hatley also praised Cook, who was out on loan to London Welsh last season, after he touched down after just two minutes to make the most of his first start for Bath.

"It was great for Cooky to start off with a try," said Hatley. It's going to take a while for him to get accustomed to the pace of it again. But he's done some really good things today."

Ahead of their big clash with Leicester at the Rec next week, Bath have a concern over England wing Anthony Watson who went off just before half-time after seeming to go over on an ankle.

After conceding 52 points at home to Exeter last weekend, London Welsh coach Justin Burnell found himself again bemoaning one-on-one errors in defence.

He said: "Bath are not far away from being one of the top teams - they should be in the top four with the calibre of squad they've got. Someone said their front row cost more than our whole XV.

"We scored four tries and we were able to compete but it's coming back to the same old thing, unfortunately: four one-on-one individual errors - four tries. That's nothing to do with systems, structures.

"I think we are more than capable of competing physically. I would be concerned if we were getting destroyed in every other aspect. I don't think we are. We could have scored two more tries."


From Belfast Telegraph