Todd Blackadder was delighted by the way the Bath Rugby squad fronted up in the 18-9 victory over Saracens on Friday night.
Rhys Priestland notched six penalties in a hugely physical encounter against the reigning Gallagher Premiership Champions at the Rec. Bath restricted Saracens to just 36% of the possession, which saw the visitors make 180 tackles – nearly twice the amount made by the Blue, Black and White.
After last minute losses to Northampton Saints and Harlequins, Blackadder was buoyed by the response from the squad.
Blackadder said: “It was always going to be a test of character given what had happened in the last two weeks. We just kept focusing on the performance and looking at those moments where we need to be in control.
“I thought we had a really good strategy out there and our back three in particular were great with the aerial balls. Defensively we put Saracens under a lot of pressure and won those crucial turnovers at the breakdown. They stuck to the game plan and most significantly, brought the physicality that was required to win.”
With Francois Louw, Sam Underhill, Josh Bayliss, Matt Garvey and Taulupe Faletau missing from the back row, Academy prospect Miles Reid was given his first Gallagher Premiership start one of many highlights for Blackadder.
“They worked really hard for each other and there were some outstanding performances. I thought Miles (Reid) really took his opportunity in the back row and Jackson Willison played really well until he came off. It was a good team performance and we were really pleased with the outcome.”
Bath Rugby will travel to Sandy Park to face Exeter Chiefs on Sunday 24th March before the West Country take over Twickenham for The Clash on Saturday 6th April. Tickets and hospitality packages are available to see Bath Rugby take on Bristol Bears by clicking here or calling the Ticket Office on 0844 448 1865.