Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

McGeechan pays tribute to team

Bath supremo Ian McGeechan paid tribute to his coaching team Martin Haag and Brad Davis after an impressive opening 22-9 win in the Aviva Premiership at Newcastle.

The former British Lions coach and manager has lost none of his appetite for the game and is set on forging a winning team on and off the field at Bath.

"The work Martin and Brad have put in along with the players showed," said director of rugby McGeechan.

"This is not an easy place to come and win. I've come here with some very good sides and gone away beaten. It's also the first game of the season and the conditions weren't great so you're never quite sure how things are going to materialise.

"The way the set piece went, the way the forwards went is just what we wanted. When the set piece is going well it's easy. We made a few errors but in the second half we put the ball in the right area and took the points when they were there. We have something to work on now.

"I have two good coaches working alongside me and we get on well and we have similar ideas, but I did wake up this morning thinking why the hell am I doing this again? But when you are involved with really good people and when you come away with a result like this it's really worth doing."

Newcastle, who lost to Bath home and away at the end of last season, now have to go to Exeter who pulled off a shock win at Leicester.

Coach Alan Tait said: "My job is now to get the players' heads up because we have Exeter away next and they are a big, fit, physical side and if you don't stop them, they will roll right over you.

"Obviously, we're disappointed because the fans got right behind the players and they feel they let them down and the players are really low because of that. We gave away a really soft try early on and that gave them breathing space and they have class players who were able to control things.

"We then gave away three points within two minutes of the start of the second half with a daft penalty after we'd come close to scoring just before half-time, but Bath really did a job on us and their defence was outstanding."


From Belfast Telegraph