Todd Blackadder insists his Bath Rugby team will keep on fighting for their Aviva Premiership Rugby semi-final place – despite a major setback at Worcester Warriors.
After eight straight wins in this fixture, a 25-19 defeat to end that streak couldn’t have come at a worse time for Blackadder and his team.
It means they are now four points behind Leicester Tigers – who enjoyed a prized bonus-point win over Newcastle Falcons – with two games remaining in the regular season.
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) April 15, 2017
In contrast Worcester are on the up thanks to second half tries by Josh Adams, Wynand Olivier and former Bath lock Will Spencer.
“We knew what was at stake and that’s what makes it so disappointing,” said Blackadder, who made no starting changes from the team that beat Leicester at Twickenham.
“But we are not giving up on the hope until it’s mathematically impossible. Leicester are in a strong position but there is still hope and still lots to play for. This is elite sport – anything can happen
“We’ve got to take a look at ourselves – the basics have let us down to be honest.
“Unforced errors killed us and we gifted them the ball too many times. The effort was there but the execution let us down, in both attack and defence.
“We need to be more ruthless in games like this. Turning over that amount of ball is totally unacceptable.”
If Blackadder cut a glum figure at Sixways as he ponders the variables of the next two matches, then opposite number Gary Gold was all smiles.
Buzzing 👏 pic.twitter.com/q0M9nvZsCN
— Worcester Warriors🏉 (@WorcsWarriors) April 15, 2017
It’s four years since he left Bath but the victory tasted extra sweet, not because of his backstory but because of the future of the club.
“It’s not about me, it’s about Worcester,” said Gold. “I’m so satisfied and proud because I’ve come in during January and tried to fix things and make some progress.
“Bristol have three games left, nothing is guaranteed yet. They’ve got two matches at home and remember they beat Bath at home earlier this season too.
“If we get through this fight then the time will be right to chat to the club and see about plans for next season.
“Right now I’m just elated by this result and so, so proud of the guys who have stuck in there and fought against a very high quality team. No-one had a poor game.
“You will never defend your way out of relegation, all you can do is put tries on the board. We’ve scored 14 tries in our last four games and that tells you a lot.”
What a win at such a crucial time, Massive shift from the lads! Awesome support from a packed out Sixways! pic.twitter.com/VEC059qges
— Perry Humphreys (@Perry_Humphreys) April 15, 2017
Worcester Warriors: Pennell; Humphreys, Willison (Olivier 55), Te’o, Adams; Mills, Hougaard; Bower (Grant 75), Taufete’e (Singleton 67), Alo (Milasinovich 46), O’Callaghan (Fa’osiliva 67), Spencer, Vui, Lewis, Mama (Potgeiter 72)
Subs not used: Baldwin, Lamb,
Bath Rugby: Watson (Homer 66); Rokoduguni, Joseph, Tapuai, Banahan; Ford, Fotuali’i; Catt (Obano 62), Batty (Charles 52), Palma-Newport (Knight 62), Ewels, Stooke, Ellis (Mercer 42), Louw (Denton 72), Faletau
Subs not used: Cook, Priestland
Tries: Adams, Olivier, Spencer
Conversions: Mills 2
Penalties: Mills 2
Penalties: Ford 4
Referee: Luke Pearce
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