Bath to go ‘full metal jacket’ as they look for revenge in Dublin
Ryan concedes Leinster need to tighten up at the breakdown after narrow win at The Rec
Sam Underhill enjoyed a fine game for Bath against Leinster. Photograph: David Davies/PA
Despite failing to win all three Champions Cup games this season, Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder has promised a full strength squad will be sent to the Aviva stadium next Saturday.
“If we win next week we are still in with a shout,” said Blackadder. “If we lose it’s game over.”
Blackadder and Bath might be forgiven for turning their attentions to the Premiership, and escaping a relegation battle with vital fixtures against Wasps and Leicester over Christmas.
“No, we’ll go full metal jacket. Yep, why not?”
“The chop tackles allowed [Louw and Underhill] to get over the ball. We really targeted that area. There was nothing between the sides was there? I thought our loose forwards were outstanding.
“It was a massive arm wrestle that came down to a couple of decisions.”
Man of the match James Ryan was asked about the damage Underhill and Louw caused for Leinster.
“I don’t know how many turnovers they got today, but it was too many.
“We’ve got to be there earlier and if we are not there earlier we’ve got to more aggressive to get them off the ball. They are super players and we knew that coming into the game. That’s definitely an area we’ve got to brush up on.”
Bath will be frustrated with Jordan Larmour’s intercept try - which essentially separated the teams - as outhalf James Wilson, believing he had advantage from a crooked Sean Cronin throw, threw a double skip pass.
Referee Mathieu Raynal deemed the advantage had passed.
“That was a bit of a relief,” said Ryan. “No better man than Jordan in a bit of space. We were a bit lucky with the advantage but we’ll take it.”
The French official also felt a penalty was sufficient punishment for Joe Cokanasiga’s tackle, that made contact with Luke McGrath’s head. McGrath was replaced by Jamison Gibson-Park soon after but this was a tactical decision.
“It depends on how you want to look at it,” said Leinster coach Leo Cullen.
“Clearly he connects high but Lukey, as he catches the ball, is coming down as well. Is he committed to the tackle? It depends on what person you ask.
“We’ll go with the interpretation on the day. I don’t think it was a straight forward call.”
Cullen doesn’t think Johnny Sexton’s injury was serious.
“Just his calf, I think. I don’t know if he got a kick on it or what, so we’ll see how he is. We’ll see how he is when we get back. I haven’t had a proper check there.”