Press Notes: Harlequins

7 January 2020

Press notes with Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper following Tuesday's media conference ahead of the Round 5 clash with Harlequins in the Heineken Champions Cup. 

On disappointment from Gloucester result

“We played some decent rugby in the first-half. I thought we played the right way that we thought we could beat Gloucester and we went in at half-time up. It was a really attritional game and we got our points from the boot but sometimes that is what is required. Up until 60 minutes it was an arm wrestle and there were three points in it. When we had our try disallowed when Jonathan Joseph went through and we got penalised in midfield that would have taken up to 22-12 and that was a big turning point in the game. Yes, overall it was disappointing but there are some developments to take from our first-half performance.”

On Taulupe Faletau, Sam Underhill and Francois Louw partnership 

“If you look back on the start of the game those guys delivered us an awful lot of quick ball which allowed us to get on the front foot in the first part of the game. We didn’t take the chances that we should have but all three of them operated effectively in giving us some attacking ball. The potential of these three is huge and with the other. Players we have the combination is very powerful. It is just making sure that our game is aligned to how they play to benefit the team. 

Ending on a high in Europe 

“For a number of reasons – pulling on the Bath Rugby jersey is massively important at home and also it is another chance for the players to go out and grow our game. There will be players that will play that haven’t had as much rugby as they would have liked, so there’s an opportunity for them to play. There is an opportunity to develop and grow and to push on with areas of our game that we feel need a bit of work.”

On Harlequins 

“These games always stick in the memory of the lads. They will be looking to go out there and play and perform and bring aspects of what we have worked on this week into the game in front of the home supporters. They are a competitive bunch and I know that Paul Gustard will be wanting to get as much as he possibly can out of the game. I don’t expect anything other than a strong side coming down the M4. 

On player contracts

“One thing that is really important is that it is right for the playing group. Whether that is making announcements to the playing group on if players are coming in, leaving or staying. We will announce them when the time is right. I am a huge believer in the importance of building an understanding within the group of the direction we are headed and what we are doing. Our supporters will receive some good news shortly.

Tickets are still available for the game by clicking here or you can call the Ticket Office on 01225 536 900.

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