Burgess surprised by accolade

Date published: April 25 2015

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Bath back-row Sam Burgess was surprised to be named Man of the Match after his side thrashed London Irish 43-18.

Burgess made his second start at blindside flanker and was one of five try scorers in the big win, as Bath moved up into second in the table and two points behind Northampton.

"I was quite surprised actually to get man of the match. I can be a bit hypercritical of myself at times but that's never a bad thing," said Burgess.

"There are a few tactical things I can improve on with the forwards coaches. I've got two weeks to the next game now – knuckle down and get some hard work done.

"[For the try] I was just waiting for the line to appear, really. It probably wasn't my most glorious try – but I'll take it. My name's on the scoresheet but the guys in front of me did the work.

"It was a bit scrappy in the first half but we were clinical after half-time."

Mike Ford revealed the message to his players at the break which led to five tries in the second half.

"The scoreboard lied at half-time, I thought. For some reason the game unfolded where we couldn't get possession to put the phases together," said Ford.

"At half-time, we showed them the stats – and some footage – that they were playing well. We said, 'you have to believe in our game, the principles and the processes. Don't worry about the scoreboard. Just believe in what you are doing."

London Irish boss Glenn Delaney was pleased with his side's first-half showing before the pressure told.

"First half was great. We had two chances in the red zone and took them both. We were under a huge amount of pressure and it perhaps took a lot out of us in the second half. Then you saw how good a team Bath are."

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