Ben Tapuai believes he has struck gold with Bath Rugby, but the centre is determined that his side must only focus on themselves if they are to challenge for Aviva Premiership Rugby silverware this season.
The Australian traded Super Rugby for the Rec as recently as last autumn, a highly-sought after acquisition for Todd Blackadder while bidding for a first Aviva Premiership Rugby crown since 1996.
The most recent of his ten matches so far, however, saw Bath lose out to bottom side Bristol Rugby in a 12-11 defeat away from home – though it did not prevent them from maintaining their place within the current top four.
Yet with Wasps the weekend’s visitors to the Rec, the challenges do not get any easier against a side flying high with 513 points scored from just 16 games this campaign.
But with just seven points currently separating second-place Exeter Chiefs and Leicester Tigers in fifth, Tapuai believes Bath’s attention cannot be turned to anyone but themselves if they are to be in the hunt for end-of-season honours.
“We are not dwelling on the Bristol result,” he said. “We are obviously disappointed but since Monday our focus went on to Wasps.
“There are no easy teams in the league as we have seen in the past couple of weeks, Wasps went down to Sale Sharks so anyone can beat anyone on their day and that is why it is an awesome competition.
“But we are looking to take the positives that we can from Bristol and the last few games to keep move forward. We don’t want to dwell on our losses but it is important to look ahead.
“Wasps are a pretty dangerous side so we will have to be careful. The challenge for us is to focus on our own performances to try and stay in that top four.
“We just have to take it week-by-week, not looking ahead of ourselves and trying to get that consistency.”
Tapuai has already hit double-figures for appearances in the blue and white so far this term, carving himself an important role in the West Country, having just recovered from a recent injury.
That is despite this being just his first season of Aviva Premiership Rugby, the next stage of a career that has also seen him pick up international honours with the Wallabies.
But the 28-year-old still feels he has more to offer the Bath faithful both on and off the pitch, at least once he becomes accustomed to the major differences between Australian and English rugby.
Tough old derby game! Well done to @Bristol_RFC. Hellava game to play in! You win some, you lose some. Time to prep for next week.
— Ben Tapuai (@benntaps) February 26, 2017
“I’ve been living out of town which has been cool, it is a great city and I have been enjoying my time here week-by-week,” he said.
“It is a different set-up, mostly a varying style of rugby, but it’s the weather more than anything that’s been a big difference!
“It’s been a good move to come to a new team, to keep on learning, and that was part of the reason I came over – to be able to keep on developing my rugby.
“I’ve fitted in well with Bath and it’s been going well so far, the boys have made me feel very welcome and helped me settle in, and I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot over here.”