TOP BAR - Fixtures

Batty: Bath Rugby will battle on

Ross Batty insists there will be no hangover as Bath Rugby look to put their European disappointment behind them in the race for the Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-finals.

Bath fell to a narrow 18-15 defeat at the hands of Leinster on Saturday in the quarter-finals of the European Rugby Champions Cup.

Yet their expansive style and never-say-die attitude – which has helped them into third place in the Aviva Premiership Rugby standings – earned them plenty of plaudits in Dublin.

The performance of 22-year-old England fly-half George Ford, who scored one try and was at the heart of most of Bath’s best moments, was particularly inspiring.

And while hooker Batty admits the European exit has been difficult to swallow, the 28-year-old says priorities at the Rec have quickly switched with just four rounds to go in Aviva Premiership Rugby.

“It’s obviously disappointing to have come back on the losing side because the latter stages of competitions is where we want to be as a club,” said Batty.

“But there are definitely plenty of positives to take, it’s given us even more belief that what we are doing and the way we are playing is the right thing to do.

“Leinster are a tough outfit, they are experienced and know how to win games, but we have a very exciting group of young players.

“We played really well against Leinster, particularly in the last 15 or 20 minutes of the second half, but it’s back to the Premiership now and we have to learn from the result and some of the mistakes we made.

“It’s a really exciting time to be playing for Bath, the young players who are coming to the fore is great, and the strength in depth of the squad is excellent.”

Bath will need all that strength in depth in the final four rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby action with the table so tight.

Mike Ford’s troops are locked in a battle for the top four which looks set to go down to the wire – they are just two points above fifth-placed Exeter Chiefs.

Next up for Bath is a trip to Batty’s hometown club Newcastle Falcons on Friday night.

And while his former employers may be down in 11th, Batty admits he is expecting no favours.

“Every game is so difficult in the Premiership, you can’t go anywhere expecting to win,” he added. “We need to go there and do the job, because if we don’t we will be punished.”

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