Premiership: London Irish’s Declan Kidney happy with high-scoring win against Bath

Dylan Coetzee
London Irish boss Declan Kidney looks on.

London Irish boss Declan Kidney claimed his side was “inclined to entertain” as they triumphed over Bath in a 47-38 high-scoring thriller.

Kidney’s men held a 35-5 lead after an outstanding first half but left the door open for Bath, who scored five tries in the second period in a valiant comeback effort.

Both wings, Ben Loader and Ollie Hassell-Collins, bagged hat-tricks for the side in an exciting showing on attack from Irish.

Poor second half

However, Kidney was not satisfied with the performance in the second half and was grateful to have had a big enough lead to protect.

“We are inclined to entertain but the second-half performance wasn’t acceptable,” Kidney said

“Fortunately we were able to score at the right time to keep our noses in front, but we will have to learn some lessons from it for on other days we could be on the other end of a tonking.

“When you lose momentum it’s very hard to get it back, for if you concede a try it’s probable that you are in danger of conceding more.

“We scored some good tries in the first half and were on our game for 36 of the 40 minutes. In the second half we were only on it for 10 of the 40 minutes.

“They scored a good try in the first half and I knew they were capable of scoring others and to be fair to them they came out fighting despite losing a couple of players to injury.”

The coach was pleased with his two wings, who did well with opportunities that presented themselves during the clash.

“The two hat-tricks will be one for the record books and they finished well, but what pleased me more was the work done inside to create their opportunities.

“Obviously being selected for England is out of their hands, all they can do is concentrate on their game and keep impressing.”

Tough start for van Graan

Bath’s coach Johann van Graan was disappointed to lose again this week in what has been a difficult start to life in the Premiership for the South African. The coach made no excuses and admitted his side was “simply not good enough”

“It’s another loss so I’m not proud of the performance, but I am proud of the reaction to come back,” van Graan said.

“It’s incredibly frustrating to concede 35 first-half points and then win the second half 33-12, but we began by losing our first line-out, then two scrums before giving away needless penalties.

“It’s simply not good enough and there are no excuses as we have to learn to play for 80 minutes.

“You can’t control injuries, but we lost two line-out callers with serious problems which could put them out for months.

“We are looking to bring in some bodies as we’ve had a lot of big injuries in the first three weeks.”

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