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Todd Blackadder not concerned despite Bath's draw with Gloucester

Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder is not concerned that Bath have still not won a game in the Anglo-Welsh Cup after being held to a last-minute 17-17 draw at home by Gloucester.

The result ended any slim mathematical chance of Bath progressing in the competition.

"I look on this game purely as development," he said. "We chucked a pretty young side out there tonight who acquitted themselves pretty well against what was probably a more experienced side. We probably performed higher than our expectations."

He added: "Some teams are out to win this competition. What we are really doing is using these games as preparation for Northampton in two weeks.

"Yes, it's part of developing guys, which we did out there tonight, to create more competition, but when you lose so many guys to the Six Nations you can't help but use this game as preparation.

"One of the silver linings in a season where we've had a massive amount of injuries is we've played more guys than we would have - but if anything it's strengthened our foundations."

Blackadder said he had no information from the England camp on the severity of Anthony Watson's hamstring injury, adding: "It really doesn't affect us too much. He wouldn't be with us for the next three weeks. Hopefully it's nothing too serious in the long term."

Gloucester Academy coach Richard Whifflin said: "It was a scrappy game. The weather coming in like that made it a bit of a kick-fest. For us to come away with a draw after where we were at 75 minutes and being on the back foot in the second half we're pleased with to stay alive in the competition.

"We came out strongly and the second half was a bit of a reversal of that. We controlled field position first half; they controlled it second half.

"There were just some errors and ill-discipline that allowed Bath to come back in that second half."

He added: "We wanted to move the ball and be more expansive but the rain cuts down your options in that regard. You just have to be a bit more pragmatic.

"At half-time we just felt we needed to cut down on the mistakes and handling errors. We had let their back row cause havoc at the breakdown. We won that battle in the second half and we were really pleased to finish off strongly."


From Belfast Telegraph