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Rhys Priestland on Bath Rugby turning a corner

9 January 2020

Priestland is keen for the side to consistently achieve the results that he knows they are capable of, starting with a win at home to Harlequins in the Heineken Champions Cup. The Bath Rugby fly-half is feeling confident heading back into the European competition.

The Welsh International fly-half Rhys Priestland has navigated through plenty of rough patches during his 13-year professional career. Before the turn of the New Year, Bath Rugby claimed vital Gallagher Premiership wins over London Irish and Sale Sharks before an untimely defeat to Gloucester Rugby last weekend, as the side prepare for their penultimate fixture in Europe tomorrow.

The 32-year-old is eager for the team to use the London Irish and Sale results to turn a corner going into the remainder of the Gallagher Premiership campaign and believes that there are small margins in games that ultimately have swung results away from the Blue, Black and White.

The Welsh international said: “There are aspects of our game that we have definitely improved on since the start of the season. It might not be obvious, but we know as a squad that we are definitely creating more opportunities and it’s just how we capitalise on that after our good work in the final third. 

“Everyone here wants to play an expansive game and you can only do that if you get the smaller parts of the game right and at the moment there are too many inaccuracies. 

What is frustrating at the moment is how we are letting teams get into the game. Sometimes it is just a case of you get beaten by the better team and you have to take your hat off.

“I feel that there have been a few games this season where we have just gone off system or we haven’t quite stuck to what we have worked on all week and that’s really hurt us. If we manage to cut these inaccuracies out of our game for 80 minutes, then I am sure that we will see these results going our way.”

Sale Sharks travelled to the Rec two weeks ago bringing a powerful group of forwards to challenge Bath’s set piece in the scrum and the maul. They presented clear strength within their back three which also offered another clear threat.

Heading into the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign, Bath Rugby will use the rest of the European games to springboard their performances going back into the Gallagher Premiership. In which the Blue, Black and White sit in sixth, on 17 points, level on points with tomorrow’s rivals.

Priestland believes the side have managed to find a formula through their structures in training that will open up more chances in games, with London Irish and Sale demonstrating his point.

He continued: “I have been part of team that have been on losing and winning streaks before, and the temptation generally is to react emotionally but we have some fantastic players in the squad and I think it’s now about going out there, being brave and sticking our colours to the mast.

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