TOP BAR - Fixtures

Matt Garvey and Bath Rugby searching for that winning feeling

There is no hiding place for Bath Rugby as they enter a season-defining stretch of games but flanker Matt Garvey says one win could be all it takes to kick-start their campaign.

Defeat to Leinster in Ireland last week confirmed their European Rugby Champions Cup exit while in Aviva Premiership Rugby, Bath can count just three wins from their first eight games.

It is all the more surprising considering the West Country club were competing in the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final less than eight months ago after a season of scintillating rugby.

For a team desperate to emerge from a rut, the fixture gods have not been kind – after this week’s meeting with a star-studded Toulon, Saracens await at Allianz Park.

But Garvey insists the next victory – however it comes – could be the very jolt that Bath need.

“We know what we have to do – we had a great run last year but, as we talked about a few weeks ago, that’s over now,” he said.

“It was a good year but we didn’t win anything. If you’re satisfied by just getting to the Premiership Final, that’s not the standards we’re setting out to achieve.

“There are certain areas we need to focus on, as forwards our set-piece has not been as consistent as last year. But the coaches have been brilliant with us and it’s up to us as players to deliver.

“Toulon are three-time European champions, a great side with some huge names. But now we are out of the competition, it is all about getting back to winning ways.

"We’ll lose boys to the Six Nations in the next few weeks but in terms of momentum, a big win against Toulon would galvanise the squad ahead of a huge challenge in front of us against Saracens.

“You saw the performance away at Toulon, we’ve got it in us but we were poles apart from that against Leinster. We just need that first win, and everyone will come into work with a smile on their face.”

Garvey has barely missed a game on the blindside this season after having to be content on the bench for much of last year.

And he added: “To get back playing week in, week out is brilliant,” he added. “It’s good for the consistency, when you’re playing 20 or 30 minutes here or there it’s hard to get to the standards you set yourself – as soon as you get in the swing of things the game ends.

“It’s nice to be back in the leadership group and that’s why I signed here – I’m enjoying being back at six.”
 

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