Ford left to rue poor start

Date published: December 19 2016

Mike Ford says Toulon must start their away games better if they want any chance of reaching the knock-out stages of the Champions Cup.

Leigh Halfpenny missed a last minute penalty which gave Scarlets a 22-21 win over Ford’s charges as the coach lamented a poor start to the match as a big reason for their struggles.

“We have got to look at how we start in away games,” Ford said after the game.

“It needed a few things to be said at half-time. We were in control in the second half, but we were disappointed with the number of times we were in their red zone and didn’t execute. I thought we were well prepared before the game, we had trained really well. The last 48 hours of the week is where the players get themselves right on the edge, when you play away from home you have to raise the intensity levels even more.

“We failed to do that and it is something we have to look at, but credit to the Scarlets, it was a real gritty performance from them,” Ford added.

“We are not out of this competition. We have 10 points and we have two games left to play. It looks like we are going to have to go to Saracens and win.”

On Halfpenny’s miss, Ford added: “You feel for Leigh because he’s won us many games. He’s a world-class goal-kicker. He’s gutted in the changing room.”