After securing a bonus-point victory against Harlequins last weekend, Todd Blackadder believes that it will give the team a platform to build from going into Saturday’s clash with Northampton Saints (kick-off 15:00).
Harlequins raced into an early 15-5 lead, before Bath scored 25 unanswered points either side of half-time to give the Blue, Black and White a commanding lead. The home side fought back in the closing 10 minutes, but Bath closed out the game to secure their first victory at The Stoop since 2015.
Blackadder said: “I was really impressed with the performance. I think we showed some fantastic signs against Gloucester. We prepared well and the coaching team had a real vision of how we wanted to play, and I’m so proud of the boys. It’s not easy to win away from home, and to get a bonus point was great. It gives us something to build on now.”
The Director of Rugby was particularly impressed by the success of the rolling maul throughout the 80 minutes, whilst also highlighting the contribution made by Zach Mercer and midfield duo Jamie Roberts and Jackson Willison.
“We put a lot of time into it. Toby Booth has really been leading the charge there with the players. We have been working so hard and I think that’s the frustration that the players were feeling, that we didn’t transfer that, but it’s nice to see it working on the weekend and there was a feeling of satisfaction in the changing rooms afterwards because it all came together.”
“I thought Jamie Roberts was outstanding, Zach Mercer too - it was really good to see. Jackson Willison ran over 9km which I think is a (Gallagher) Premiership record, which just shows you what a work rate he has got. It’s just such a shame for Jamie, he got a bit of a whack on the cheek, so he’s got a fracture on his cheek bone. We are not sure how long he will be out for but hopefully nothing more than four to six weeks.”
Bath are back to the Rec this weekend with Northampton Saints the visitors to the West Country. Saints came within 10 minutes of taking the scalp of defending champions Saracens at Franklin’s Gardens, and Blackadder is not underestimating the challenge in front of the side.
“They (Northampton) are a quality team. Just forget about the result last weekend, they are a good, tough side, and will take a lot of momentum from their performance. You can see they are well coached, they are different from last year and have a bit more to them. They’ve got Dan Biggar there, so a strong kicking game. They have still got the powerhouse forwards up front so it’s going to be a great challenge. I'm really looking forward to be back playing at the Rec this weekend against Northampton.”
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