Ford frustrated as bonus slips away


Published: Saturday 6th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Bath head coach Mike Ford has pledged his side will go for the jugular and all five points in their return match against Montpellier next week.

A 30-5 victory at a rain-soaked Altrad Stadium was, under any normal circumstances, the perfect result, but having lost their opening two games in Pool Four of the European Champions Cup, Bath really needed a bonus-point win to put pressure on the unbeaten Glasgow Warriors and Toulouse.

With three tries in the bag after 50 minutes they looked set to get what they came for, but as conditions worsened, and Montpellier tightened up, Bath fell agonisingly short.

Ford, whose son George kicked 15 points, said: “I thought we were excellent in the first half, we built a score and got a couple of tries right before the break and we were really on top.

“At the start of the second half we were playing really well and scored a great try in the corner.

“I unleashed the bench after 50 minutes and I thought we had enough time to get that bonus point. We are unbelievably frustrated that the game turned so scrappy.

“They put their subs on and the two huge props managed to get the balance of the game back in their favour. But at nine o’clock in the morning I would have taken a 3-0 win never mind a 30-5 win.

“Of course we are disappointed because we need a bonus point because of where we are in the pool, but hopefully Glasgow and Toulouse can take points off each other and we can get a win next week.

“We need both Glasgow and Toulouse to win games, but not get bonus points – I know I’m asking for a lot but anything can happen. We will try and concentrate on ourselves first and hopefully have a good day at The Rec next Friday night.

“We need a bonus point next week and we will prepare well. We will pick a strong squad for sure and if we can get a good performance in and put ourselves in a decent position for January – we will look to get five points next week and see where that takes us.”

While Ford was disappointed, Bath’s European rugby veteran Peter Stringer, who came on to replace Chris Cook to make his 97th appearance in the top-flight tournament, put the performance into perspective.

“First and foremost we are delighted with the win. It’s a tough group, but coming to the south of France and getting four points we have to be happy,” said Stringer.

“We put in a good shift in the first half. The conditions are far from ideal to play rugby. We have them again next week which is important and anything can happen.”

Published: Saturday 6th December 2014 by The News Editor

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