Planet Rugby

Booth targets Bath improvement

21st December 2013 19:46

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Satisfied: Toby Booth

Bath coach Toby Booth claimed his side were still seeking "significant improvement" in spite of a dominant 14-3 victory over Harlequins.

Indeed, that win at the Rec ensured Bath remained firmly among the play-off positions heading into Christmas, with Booth's men also top of their Challenge and LV= Cup pools respectively.

Amid a hard-fought, uncompromising forward effort, Jonathan Joseph brought the home crowd to their feet with a fine individual try, rounding much-vaunted England full-back Mike Brown to score from some 40 metres.

"He took his try very well and not many people do that, stand up the England full-back," said Booth.

"I thought defensively, we were excellent. Everyone knows about how Harlequins play the game and to keep them to three points is impressive.

"But the defence, along with a bit of forward domination, paved the way for the victory.

"We drove well and we scrummed exceptionally well - and we got control of the game. The quality of this league is that, unless someone is having a particularly bad day, you're not going to see the fruits of your effort until 50 minutes in, really.

"And often it's a softening up process and eventually your quality tells."

"We are in a good position but we're in a situation where we are still speaking about the player empowerment side and the culture - we haven't really spoken about outcomes.

"And we've won the A League this week, which is important. It's a happy place to be and people are enjoying coming to work but we know there is a significant improvement still to come along. That's the exciting thing.

"Look at the consistent top four performers - we've got three in three weeks. We'll have a better idea after that of our progress. But we aren't where we are in the table by accident."

Quins boss Conor O'Shea admitted that the better side had triumphed, but questioned referee Martin Fox's decision not to go to the TMO with his side driving a maul over the home line late on in search of a losing bonus point.

"First of all, the side that won, deserved to win," said O'Shea.

"But we are pretty disappointed that we didn't get the try that was 'scored', that it didn't go the TMO. When a try is so openly and blatantly scored why did it not go to the TMO?"

"We gave them an easy six-point start. And the try they scored from set piece from 50 metres was off a line-out when we were down to 14 men.

"Our guys stuck at it right to the end, probably didn't get the reward they deserved. It was a pretty tight game and every little thing went their way as opposed to ours."

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