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Meehan happy to grind out win

Bath head coach Steve Meehan admitted he'd "rather win ugly than lose ugly" after it took Olly Barkley's third penalty to secure a 16-13 victory over Leeds at the Recreation Ground.

Apart from a moment of brilliance by Nick Abendanon, scoring immediately after half-time, Bath huffed and puffed against spirited opponents who were buoyed by their win over Gloucester last weekend.

Meehan commended the Premiership's bottom club for their efforts, saying: "We've said it before. They are a side that work very, very hard for one another and you've got to take your opportunities."

He added: "We made life difficult for ourselves. Leeds displayed great spirit and character and were very much up for the match.

"We had three very obvious opportunities to clear our lines after defending very well. But we didn't take any of them and we allowed Leeds to come back and put pressure on us and they ended up levelling the scores. Then we had to fight back over those last 15 minutes."

Meehan, whose preparations were disrupted by the 11th-hour withdrawal of skipper Luke Watson, insisted however: "I was really, really pleased with some of the attacking endeavour. Some of the moves were as good as anything in the last few years so we're not far away, that's for sure.

"And our set piece over the last two weeks has been far, far better. Scrum-time was excellent too so I'm delighted the way the forwards are going.

"We're now away from this competition for five weeks and a lot can happen in that time, not just at Bath but everywhere, but it is terrific to start the New Year with two out of two.

"The teams just above us will start to take notice - they know we've got a couple of games in hand. We're in a good position, if we can keep sneaking up on people."

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