Fixtures - Top Bar

European round-up: Bath Rugby narrowly defeated despite Ford heroics

While Bath Rugby fell to a narrow 18-15 defeat to Leinster in a thrilling European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final, head coach Mike Ford insists his side want no sympathy after first-half indiscipline cost them a famous triumph.

Despite a superb solo try from England fly-half George Ford, the Aviva Premiership Rugby high-flyers trailed 15-5 at the interval as Leinster’s dominant scrum set up Ian Madigan to land five penalties.

Another scything break by Ford after the interval saw him offload for Stuart Hooper to touch down, with Ford converting, only for Madigan to boot his sixth penalty in a flawless display.

Ford’s penalty then set up a dramatic finish but the hosts held firm at the Aviva Stadium and Mike Ford admits his young side need to cut out the errors that left them with too much ground to make up.

“We weren’t good enough at the start, we conceded too many penalties and didn’t control the ball,” he said.

“It could have got away from us but in the second half we fixed one or two things and I thought we played a lot better ball in hand and picked them off a couple of times in attack.

“Everyone will give us a pat on the back because we played away from home and lost by three points but it’s not good enough from us.

“We’ve got to move on – it’s been a great experience for the boys as we’re still a young team but I’m so disappointed because we’re better than that and I don’t want the sympathy vote at all.”

Meanwhile, Northampton Saints boss Jim Mallinder turned his attentions to retaining the Aviva Premiership Rugby title after his side suffered a heavy 37-5 defeat in their quarter-final away to Clermont Auvergne.

The current Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders struggled to cope with the hosts’ attacking flair, trailing 27-0 at half time as Noa Nakaitaci scored a double and fellow France international Wesley Fofana also crossed.

Former Bath full-back Nick Abendanon added a fourth after the restart and although Alex Waller touched down inside the final 15 minutes, it proved to be mere consolation for the visitors at Stade Marcel Michelin.

“The first 40 minutes we just weren’t in any aspect of play, the breakdown, clearout, set-piece – they were just very good,” said Mallinder.

“We came up against a side who hit their peak, particularly in first half, but we didn’t help ourselves, we can be better than that.

“We know we can compete with the best teams but we have to play very well, and now we need to move on quickly.

“We have one focus now, to retain the Premiership trophy and we will do whatever we can to make sure that happens.”

Exeter Chiefs ran in six tries to emphatically see off Newcastle Falcons 48-13 in their European Challenge Cup quarter-final but Rob Baxter says it was Chiefs’ defensive resilience that bodes well for the future.

Dave Ewers’ score and a penalty try helped Exeter into a 17-6 half-time lead at Sandy Park before Thomas Waldrom, Byron McGuigan, Sam Hill and Dean Mumm dotted down after the break.

Chris Harris’ 68th-minute try was as good as it got for the Falcons and with a semi-final against Gloucester secured, Baxter believes competing on multiple fronts this season shows how far the Chiefs have come.

“Things are there for us to play for now which makes things very exciting,” explained the director of rugby.

“If you look at where we are now getting into the final of the LV=Cup, being around the top end of Aviva Premiership Rugby and now through to the semi-final of the European competition, shows that over the course of the season that we have been consistent in the right way.

“The tries were great and were fantastic for everyone to watch but for me what was most pleasing was the defensive performance and the way that we managed to control the game.”

EUROPEAN RUGBY CHAMPIONS CUP
 
Leinster 18 Bath Rugby 15
 
Leinster
Penalties: Madigan 6
 
Bath Rugby
Tries: Ford, Hooper
Conversion: Ford
Penalty: Ford
 
Referee: Jerome Garces
Attendance: 43,958
 
Clermont Auvergne 37 Northampton Saints 5
 
Clermont Auvergne
Tries: Nakaitaci 2, Fofana, Abendanon
Conversions: James 4
Penalties: James 3
 
Northampton Saints
Try: Waller
 
Referee: John Lacey
Attendance: 17,730
 
EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP
 
Exeter Chiefs 48 Newcastle Falcons 13
 
Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Ewers, penalty, Waldrom, McGuigan, Hill, Mumm
Conversions: Slade 4, Steenson 2
Penalties: Slade 2
 
Newcastle Falcons
Try: Harris
Conversion: Catterick
Penalties: Catterick 2
 
Referee: Marius Mitrea
Attendance: 10,022
 

Latest News

George North gets first 2017 tour try in dramatic British & Irish Lions draw

The British & Irish Lions concluded their midweek fixture list in New Zealand with a thrilling 31-31 draw against the…

Newcastle Falcons can’t wait for trip to Philadelphia

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards believes that the second Aviva Premiership Rugby regular season match in America can…

Dean Richards

Mark Reddish retires from rugby

Harlequins second row Mark Reddish has today (Tuesday 27th June) announced that he will retire from the game due to…

Mark Reddish

Aviva Premiership Rugby stars to feature heavily in Lions final midweek game

EIGHT Aviva Premiership players will start the British & Irish Lions’ final midweek game tomorrow looking to force their way…

Teofilo Paulo excited by London Irish move but will miss home cooking

Samoan international Teofilo Paulo is making the most of his mum’s cooking ahead of the summer move to London Irish.…

British & Irish Lions beaten in first Test by New Zealand

Two second-half tries from winger Rieko Ioane helped New Zealand to a 30-15 victory in the first Test against the…

Harlequins Ladies coach savours upcoming Women’s Super Rugby season

Women’s sport is booming according to former Richmond prop and Scotland captain Karen Findlay, who is now relishing the prospect…

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches