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Itching to wash away memories of Bath trip
THE frustrating thing about having a long break between games is you have to wait to get the opportunity to put things right.
Had we gone to The Rec and performed the way we know we can, come home with another win and taken another step forward, then it would be easier to deal with.
I write this frustrated and itching to get out on the pitch and face Newcastle!
Although, to a man, we would happily get back on the park tonight, we have an opportunity to use our time wisely and prepare ourselves both physically and mentally for what awaits us on March 23.
As Hilly has said, the schedule has been tough on us and we have done well for the most part since Christmas.
We now have to continue our strides forward and those steps can resume against the Falcons.
We know we weren’t quite there on Saturday — our intensity from the previous week had dropped very slightly but, at this level, those margins are amplified.
Credit is due to Bath for the way they took their chances and punished us for our errors.
With us playing into a strong wind in the first-half, the game started in a bizarre way — Olly Barkley’s kick-off went straight out, which lead to two free-kicks and three scrums on the half-way line.
We kept our composure and caught Bath off-guard to take an early lead through Tom Arscott and silence the home crowd.
Bath then began to click and piled the pressure on us in our 22.
The speed of their breakdown made it hard for us to fold and get our defence organised in time to withstand the next wave of Bath attackers.
They gave us a bit of a lesson in how to take chances through sustained pressure.
Bath went in 21-10 up at the break, but we felt confident we could close the deficit in the second period.
Once again, our errors were costly as we coughed up ball in the their half to allow them to clear and knock us deep into our own.
Every mistake we made seemed to go punished in some way or another — a trait we need to avoid.
Bath went over for their bonus-point try after 50 minutes but, instead of folding, we fought back. The boys coming off the bench made a good impact on the game.
Our ball quickened in attack and Miles Benjamin latched onto a Blair Cowan off-load to go under the posts for a deserved score. We kept pressing hard in search for another try, but our accuracy let us down.
Bath crossed late on to seal the game through Tom Biggs and we left with our tails between our legs, very disappointed with the account we gave of ourselves.
As I previously mentioned, it is frustrating that we can’t go out and put things to bed immediately, but we will use this time we have now to get ourselves in the right place to continue our winning 2012 home record and beat Newcastle.
Having a bit of time allows us to focus our attention on the details of both our game and our players.
There are guys who need this time to recover from any knocks they may be carrying or any coughs and colds.
It also gives us a chance to do some specific training both rugby-related and from a strength and conditioning perspective.
We will be set to fire into the Falcons come the night of the 23rd at Sixways.
The game will be billed by most as our biggest of the season — we know what it means and we will be ready.