Bath Rugby’s Chris Cook is relishing the prospect of another tussle with French giants Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Champions Cup this weekend at the Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin (kick-off 15:15 GMT).
The Blue, Black and White were on the wrong side of a 17-34 defeat against the three-time finalists at the Rec last Friday and despite a number of positives, the scrum-half knows that the team need to tighten up in defence and attack.
Cook said: “We will take a lot of confidence from that period (first 60 minutes) of the game. If we can keep our hands on the ball, I think we were in a good place at that stage. We were able to make line breaks, but we just couldn’t quite convert them, but that again is another area that we have been looking at.
“We need to tidy up those little mistakes and I think our discipline let us down last Friday. I feel like our defence has been very solid, but it was our discipline that let Clermont Auvergne into the game a bit too much.
“I felt that we had them sussed in defence when they were attacking. If we are able to hold onto the ball, sort out our discipline then I think we will be in a good place going forward into what could be a crucial turning point at this stage our season.
“It’s a pressure-free game, in France, big crowd. It’s very exciting and those are the games that you want to play in. It is a really big opportunity for us to express ourselves and go out and play the game that we want to play"
Now in his 11th season with the Club, the 28-year-old old is looking to use the disappointment of the opening three games in Europe as motivation, with Bath closing out 2019 with two big games against London Irish and Sale Sharks in the Gallagher Premiership.
He added: “It has been massively disappointing for us because we spent so long and worked so hard to get ourselves in the elite European competition last season and to lose those first three games has been very gutting for the squad.
“It’s a massively important game this Sunday. We are playing for Bath, we’re wearing that Bath jersey and we’re away from home. We want to go out and do a good job out in France this weekend.
“We want to flip our current form on its head and go back into the Premiership with momentum.”