Planet Rugby



Louw stresses need for pool points

16th January 2014 08:21


Francois Louw of Bath

Flying: Francois Louw

Bath flanker Francois Louw has warned Bordeaux-Begles must be respected when they visit the Rec on Challenge Cup duty come Thursday.

Bath cannot be caught at the top of the pool, but are seeking a bonus-point win over the Frenchmen to guarantee them prime seeding for a quarter-final berth.

The pair battled out a 15-6 victory for the Premiership outfit across the Channel, and Louw expects a similarly tough affair.

"There's a perception that they might not bring a top side over or be up for the game but with sport, and rugby especially, there is always pride involved," Springbok Louw told the Bath Chronicle.

"Whether guys can win or not they put their bodies on the line, they don't just give up. Even if there are ten minutes to go and you're 20 points down you still want to walk off with your head held high.

"They are a massive side, a massive pack and impose themselves physically. I think we can expect a big challenge up front, and a hard, physical game.

"It's going to force us to be a lot more accurate, especially in our defence. We can't afford give them any yards. We've got to set our lines early and stick to our structures.

"If we get that right we can really combat their attack."

Louw is rated among the world's very best players after a stellar Rugby Championship for South Africa, that narrowly saw Heyneke Meyer's side miss out on title glory.

And the fetcher knows the value of gaining the highest possible points tally from the pool stages.

"It's important for us to give ourselves the best opportunity in the tournament," added Louw.

"Finishing top of our pool and finishing with a bonus point does make a difference. It means will be facing an Challenge Cup team rather than a Heineken Cup team coming down.

"You want to have the easiest route to the top. At the end of the day you are going to face a really strong side in the semi-finals and final but we don't want to make life difficult for ourselves by playing a top side early on in the competition.

"We want to give ourselves a good opportunity to go all the way."

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