Ford delight at Bath triumph

Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Head coach Mike Ford praised a “fantastic” effort from his Bath side who are embroiled in a three-horse race for top spot in Champions Cup Pool Four and automatic quarter-final qualification thanks to a majestic performance at Stade Ernest Wallon.

Toulouse, the four-time European champions, went down 35-18 but remain a point ahead of Bath and two clear of Glasgow Warriors.

Bath – Euro champions back in 1998 – will have home advantage against the Warriors and go into the contest at The Rec on the back of one of their finest hours in European battle in which Francois Louw scored their fourth try to complete a bonus-point win.

Louw dived over eight minutes from time to complete an impressive win after Matt Banahan, Chris Cook and Jonathan Joseph all crossed in dazzling first-half display.

“That was special and it was a great result to get five points and stop them getting anything,” Ford said.

” We were fantastic in the first half and, had Anthony Watson scored, then we would have led 29-7 with four tries inside half an hour.

“You have to give Toulouse credit, they fought their way back which they were always likely to do here, and the game was in the balance for a long while at 25-18.

“But George [Ford] got back to make a try-saving tackle which was really important and helped clear the pressure. Then that last break by Jonathan Joseph [to set up Louw’s try] was just world class.”

Toulouse responded with tries from Yoann Maestri and Yoann Huget while former Leicester and England fly-half Toby Flood kicked eight points.

However Yannick Nyanga was denied by Ford and Louis Picamoles failed to make the most of an interception as Bath’s scrum helped the visitors hold out for a famous win.

“The substitutes did really well. We talk all the time about the subs coming on and winning games after the lads have grafted for 50 minutes and set the foundation,” added Ford.

“We were really pleased with the scrum and it was really pleasing to finish by winning a scrum penalty.

“We’re in a good place at the moment. We can scrummage, we can drive and we showed again here that we can also play some great rugby.”

Toulouse try-scorer Huget said: “We got two massive scrums at five meters from their lines and we have to take some points from there. But we lost both of them.

“We tried to not let go but we never scored and Bath kept things tight in the second half with a strong defence.

“It will be complicated against Montpellier. They will try to win their first game for honour bit we were doing really well in the Champions Cup until this game and we are going to play our chances until the end. I think we deserve a quarter-final.”

Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

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