Ford hails ‘great achievement’

Published: Sunday 25th January 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Bath boss Mike Ford was relieved that his team “found a way to win” after they beat Glasgow and clinched a place in this season’s European Champions Cup quarter-finals.

Two second-half penalty tries underpinned a 20-15 Bath win that meant they finished top of Pool Four, courtesy of four-time European champions Toulouse losing 27-26 against Montpellier.

It is the first time in European Cup history that a team has lost its first two group games – Bath were beaten by Glasgow and Toulouse three months ago – and still reached the last-eight.

In stark contrast to their flamboyant 35-18 success in Toulouse last weekend, Bath had to grind it out, and the forwards saw them home by building a victory platform.

“They played well, Glasgow,” Ford said. “They threw a few shots at us and put us off our game a little bit.

“We couldn’t get our lineout going in the first-half, they scored a very good try and they were in front a couple of times.

“We didn’t play as best we can, but we found a way to win. Our forwards were very dominant.

“They were attacking our line near the end, and it’s just those close margins. We were on the right end of it today.

“In October, we lost our first two games, and now we are pool winners. It’s a great achievement, especially when you have got the likes of Montpellier and Toulouse in your group.

“Glasgow are a good side, and Gregor Townsend is a great coach.

“He has done a fantastic job with them, and he could be sitting here as the winning coach today, but luckily it’s us.”

There was an early injury concern for Bath when their England centre Kyle Eastmond went off during the opening minutes, and he now looks set to be scanned by the England medical team in the next couple of days after reporting for national squad duty.

“Kyle came off last week with a shoulder (knock), and he’s just taken another knock,” Ford added.

“He says he is fine, and we don’t think it is too bad. The doctor was pretty adamant that he had to come off, and it was the right thing to do.”

Bath were made to sweat and toil by a resilient Glasgow outfit, who stunned them with an early Alex Dunbar try and a brilliant Richie Vernon touchdown, while Finn Russell kicked a conversion and penalty.

George Ford booted two penalties and a conversion for Bath, with Ollie Devoto adding a conversion, ensuring that the hosts progressed after a nerve-shredding finale.

“At the end of the day, this club wants to play in the big games, and the quarter-final of the Champions Cup away from home is going to be a huge game. It is our next step,” Ford said.

“Last week (against Toulouse) you saw the dash. This week, you saw the grunt.”

Guinness PRO12 title contenders Glasgow bowed out of Europe, but they again underlined how much progress they are making with Townsend at the helm.

“I was really proud of the players’ efforts and how we aspired to play the game, taking on the opposition with ball in hand,” he said.

“We know what a dangerous team Bath are, and for the most part we were well in place with the way we defended.

“Today showed what a great competition this is. It went right to the wire.

“We have come up against three top sides in Toulouse, Montpellier and Bath, and I felt we gave a really good picture of the team we are and what we need to do to get to that next level.”

Published: Sunday 25th January 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search