London Irish had plenty of positives to take from their hard-fought loss against Saracens last weekend but flanker Blair Cowan admits it is high time to start getting results.
Irish produced their best performance of the young season but ultimately fell 24-14 to the reigning Aviva Premiership Rugby champions at Allianz Park – their third league loss in a row.
The Exiles are one of just three Aviva Premiership Rugby teams to have beaten Sarries at Allianz Park and after Asaeli Tikoirotuma’s score gave them a 7-3 half-time lead, things were looking up.
But Jackson Wray and Alex Goode crossed after the break to ensure Irish followed up 28-16 and 38-11 losses to Leicester Tigers and Exeter Chiefs respectively with another defeat.
Defensively, they frustrated Saracens for large portions of the game and that is what has Cowan optimistic heading into Saturday’s tricky-looking clash with Bath Rugby at the Madejski Stadium.
And while the 29-year-old believes the mistakes are easily fixed he wants to see performances turning into points.
“We‘ve got positives to feed off but now we need to turn that into results. I think we’ll take a lot out of the Saracens game and know we can get these results,” said Cowan.
“We’ve got a home game this weekend and it’s all about consistency.
“As good a performance as we put out against Saracens there was maybe some basic fundamentals that cost us on the scoreboard.
“It was a loss but we pushed them right to the edge and there are the small victories stats-wise like our defence which was 92 per cent tackles completed which we can take forward into the next few games.
“The problems are things that can easily be fixed, so we’ve addressed that and if we target these areas then we will start getting results.
“It’s recognising the problems and fixing them week by week so that we’re moving forward not back.”
Some of London Irish’s Rugby World Cup stars, including the likes of Jebb Sinclair, Sean Maitland and Cowan himself, have already returned to the club but the rest of the cavalry are now on their way.
World Cup winner Ben Franks and Canadian centre Ciaran Hearn – who signed a contract with Irish earlier this week – will be linking up with the squad shortly and Cowan predicts improvement each time out for the Exiles moving forward.
“We’re definitely getting better week by week. The World Cup has been a big distraction for a lot of teams and we’ve got boys coming back in dribs and drabs which is still happening now,” he added.
“The boys who are coming in are working hard and trying to get in sync with what we are trying to achieve.
“The longer we stay together, the better we will get as everyone becomes more comfortable together.”
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