Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Injuries give England and Wales cause for concern after Wasps add to Bath's woes

England back Ollie Devoto and Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland both suffered knocks as Bath slumped to a sixth defeat from their last eight Aviva Premiership games.

Bath went down 24-18 at home to Wasps, with uncapped England Six Nations squad member Devoto going off at half-time and Priestland nursing a leg problem.

"Ollie took a knock - I am not too sure if it is concussion," Bath head coach Mike Ford said, who described the centre as feeling "groggy."

"And Rhys has got a sore dead leg, but he has said he is fine. It is not too bad.

"We are disappointed with the way we started both halves. Losing Ollie didn't help, and Rhys was playing on one leg there in the second-half.

"I am pleased we got a (losing) bonus point in the end, which is not great to say that when you are playing at home, but at least we showed a bit of character and scored a try at the death."

Bath have only won two league games since Christmas - both against Worcester - and their title play-off hopes are deteriorating by the day, with them currently standing 14 points adrift of the Premiership's top four.

Ford added: "It was individual errors that cost us - simple dropped passes, missed tackles. We were not great on attack - at times we looked too narrow - but they (Wasps) are playing well.

"We are disappointed for the fans. We are disappointed that we are not winning for them."

Wing Frank Halai scored two tries as Wasps moved into third place by claiming a fifth successive Premiership victory.

Halai's double, plus a second-half touchdown from prop Simon McIntyre, saw Wasps home as they claimed a third win from four Premiership and European Champions Cup starts against Bath this season.

Kickers Elliot Daly, Ruaridh Jackson and Jimmy Gopperth each landed a penalty, while Bath replied through a Tom Homer try that he also converted, plus two Priestland penalties and a late touchdown by number eight Amanaki Mafi on his home debut.

Wasps rugby director Dai Young said: "We had a lot of possession in the first-half, but we really struggled to break Bath down. We found it hard to get much penetration, but at half-time we said to just keep playing.

"As coaches, all we can do is try to give the players the tools. They have to make the decisions on the day, and I was pretty pleased with how we played the game.

"I thought we looked the better team and we looked in control, but we never really got away from them that much. I never felt comfortable, if I am honest. I felt we were in control, but I never thought the game was dead and we were out of sight.

"To come here and get a win, we have got to be pleased.

"From my point of view, we've had two good wins and gone from ninth to third. But two bad losses, and you can go from third to ninth. We have just got to keep the momentum going.

"A lot of people are talking about top four. We will start talking about top four in the last month of the season, if we have got a chance of being there.

"Our target, not only for this season, but the next couple of seasons, is that we want to be a consistent top-six team, because we haven't been. We want to be in Europe and at the top table of European rugby consistently."

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph