Ruaridh McConnochie joined Bath Rugby at the beginning of the 2018/19 season following a successful stint for England and Team GB sevens, taking home a silver Olympic medal from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic games. The Bath Rugby player has featured in the Premiership Rugby Cup over the last couple of weeks and looks ahead to our Friday night fixture against Newcastle Falcons.
McConnochie feels improvements were made against Exeter and expects that taking more positive steps on Friday night at Newcastle will be the squad's focus.
“We spoke after the Harlequins game and realised that we owed ourselves a better performance than that. A loss is a loss but you can still play well and lose, we didn’t play well that game. In the Exeter game, we showed a lot of improvement, and we need to keep demanding those improvements of ourselves. As a group, if we continue to invest in our game, then the wins will come”.
It was a close game last weekend at Sandy Park, Bath defeated 25-18 despite a late comeback from the visitors. McConnochie felt there were lots of positives to take from the game, despite the result.
“The key work-on’s we had in the week leading up to Exeter were there. I think our line speed that wasn’t there against Harlequins was there and we put them under a lot of pressure, and our intent to defend aggressively was great to see. We have to more be clinical and disciplined within that moving forwards.”
Newcastle have found strong form of recent, beating Toulon in the Heineken Champions Cup away from home, and they currently sit second place in the Premiership Rugby Cup pool. Ruaridh feels Bath owe themselves a strong performance at the weekend.
“Kingston Park is a tough place to go, especially at home Newcastle are very strong, you look at their recent form in both the Premiership Rugby Cup and the Heineken Champions Cup and they have picked up results.
“We owe it to ourselves to put in a really good performance up there and we have been building over these last few training sessions and we’ve been getting better since the Harlequins game, we had a massive improvement in the Exeter game but let ourselves down in other areas. We’re really excited about the challenge up there, and the challenge to keep building our performances”
Newcastle are one of the Premiership sides to use a 4G pitch, and boast a strong back three, so McConnochie is expecting a different style of play from them.
“I think it’s going to be a much faster game than we’ve been used to after the last two weeks, due to their 4G up there and the attacking threats in their back three. That can be a good thing for us. We are constantly working on creating fast ball to allow us to play on top”.
Having started both Premiership Rugby Cup games, Ruaridh has gained valuable game time and 15’s experience in the last couple of weeks. He is loving his time at Bath Rugby and continues to learn.
“I’m just excited to play, I’ve had to learn a lot of things over the last few months in 15’s that perhaps I didn’t think would be a massive learning curve, but they were. To pull on that Bath jersey is a massive privilege and to make my debut two weeks ago in front of friends and family in front of a home crowd was an awesome moment for me. I’m learning still but I’m enjoying it.”