Blackadder hails Bath players’ character

Date published: September 19 2016

Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder praised the character within his squad as they produced a second half fightback to beat Worcester Warriors 37-22 at the Rec on Saturday.

The home side were trailing 6-17 at half-time but turned things around in the second half with tries Anthony Watson, Matt Banahan, Semesa Rokoduguni and Leroy Houston securing victory.

Blackadder conceded that his team had some defensive issues but also praised Worcester for exposing flaws in his side's game.

"We were certainly put under the pump," he told the Bath Chronicle. 

"I thought Worcester were outstanding in the first half and they'd certainly seen some things in our defence.

"We were letting them play around us too easy and we'll take a lot out of that.

"Defensively we weren't working hard enough to get on our feet and go forward. We were just too passive and too tight.

"There were a lot of new combinations out there today and that probably showed in that first half."

The former Crusaders head coach was happy with the way his charges fought back in the second half, however.

"We got those two things right in the second half, along with the mindset, and there was a lot of belief," added Blackadder.

"Probably the most pleasing thing I took out of today was the resilience and resolve.

"We could have easily folded, but we really turned that game around. It was probably the first real test we've had."

Blackadder said Bath's second half revival came after he reminded them of their "processes" at half-time, and he singled out Banahan for special praise.

"We needed to carry hard, have really good clean out and quick ball," he said.

"We knew if we could recycle the ball really quickly we'd create opportunities and get our kickers on the front foot.

"Banners really gave us the go-forward today. He started carrying and then we got into the rest of our game.

"If you've got triple threats – when you can pass, kick space or run – that's really good."