Todd Blackadder conceded Bath Rugby’s pride had taken a huge hit after their Anglo-Welsh Cup collapse against Scarlets.
Bath, who currently sit third in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table, held a 12-point advantage at half-time at Parc y Scarlets, thanks to a Max Lahiff double and a Jeff Williams effort.
But Scarlets came out from the interval with renewed optimism, scoring 35 unanswered points to take the victory, including two tries in three minutes from Jack Condy.
Blackadder: "We're better than that performance and we'll do better next week. Premiership game against Bristol is our priority." pic.twitter.com/Ejmy61rCDO
— Bath Rugby (@bathrugby) November 11, 2016
It left Bath director of rugby Blackadder at a loss as to a reason for his side’s second-half crumble, but insists it will motivate them ahead of their upcoming fixtures.
“I was really disappointed, especially with that last 20 minutes, it was unbecoming of the season we have had so far,” he said. “We are better than that, I haven’t seen that before.
“But in hindsight, in the big picture, it may serve us really well. Our pride has been dented and it will galvanise us.
“It looked like we had the game in control, but we didn’t win those collisions in the second half and credit to the Scarlets, they played really well with a young side.
He added: “Our priority in this competition has always been to develop, we gave some young guys a go, but our senior players need to lead the way in these games and they didn’t do that tonight and they know that.”
Following Bath’s first-half domination, Scarlets opened their try account moments after the break through Tom Phillips, before Emyr Phillips and Condy crossed the whitewash themselves on home soil.
Dan Jones delivered a kicking masterclass from the tee, scoring four conversions and three penalties to steer the hosts to victory, and for Scarlets forwards coach Ioan Cunningham, who has taken control of the side from Wayne Pivac for the Anglo-Welsh Cup, the win will provide a much-needed confidence boost for his side.
“Credit to the players, we spoke at half-time to stick with what we had in place, not to panic and I think it showed in the last half hour – it came together for us,” he said.
“A win like that is massive for this team. For a young group of players, getting a win over a quality side like Bath is going to be huge for us as a region.
“A lot of individuals stood up, which is great for us, growing our depth and giving us headaches selection-wise moving forward this season. Full credit to the boys, it was a great performance.”
Scarlets: Williams; R Smith, Nicholas, Owen, Conbeer (McBryde 72); Jones (Maynard 77), A Davies (D Smith 76); Evans (Garrett 63), E Phillips (T Davies 76), Edwards (Thomas 51); Beirne, Bernardo; Condy, Macleod, Allen (T Phillips 61)
Replacements not used: Price
Bath Rugby: T Homer (Hastings 18); Williams, Banahan, Bowden, Wilson; Priestland (Jennings 77), Allinson (W Homer 58); Obano (Catt 51), Dunn (Van Vuuren 51), Lahiff (Thomas 51-57); Garvey (Humfrey 63), Stooke (Humfrey 55-61); Z Mercer (Bayliss 71), G Mercer, Grant
Tries: Macleod, T Phillips, E Phillips, Condy 2
Conversions: Jones 4, McBryde
Penalties: Jones 3
Bath Rugby 21
Tries: Lahiff 2, Williams
Conversions: Priestland 3
Referee: Christophe Ridley