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RUGBY: Cool heads the key for new boy Watson
FULL-BACK Anthony Watson believes Bath’s composure in the latter stages of last weekend’s victory over reigning champions Leicester demonstrated their courage under fire.
The home side, leading 21-3 at half time, had to withstand a ferocious comeback from the wounded Tigers before fly-half George Ford’s boot helped secure a 27-20 triumph at the Rec.
Bath can expect a similar searching examination of their promising early-season form when they travel to Saracens on Sunday (2pm).
But Watson, who joined the club from London Irish in the summer having helped England to the Junior World Championship crown, reckons the squad will have taken a lot from last week’s triumph.
“I thought we showed a lot of courage to come back from our backs being against the wall in the second half,’’ said the 19-year-old.
“You can’t just put 20 points on a side like Leicester and not expect them to respond, so we knew it was coming and we dealt with it really well.
“The way we shut the game off in the last 10 minutes to make sure we won gave us a lot of confidence.’’
Saracens have put 40 points on both London Irish and Gloucester in their opening two games to set the early pace in the Aviva Premiership, but Watson believes denying the Allianz Park outfit control is the key to success.
“They have big ball carriers in the back row and both the Vunipolas (Mako and Billy) are players that run hard towards you,’’ he added.
“Also, they’ve got a Lions fly-half (Owen Farrell) and they will be trying to control things so it’s up to us to stop them doing that.’’ Watson has found himself thrust straight into action with his new club, starting both the wins over Newcastle and Leicester.
“It’s not really the circumstances I would have wanted with some of the other guys (Nick Abendanon and Ollie Devoto) being injured, but Nick has helped me a lot with advice,’’ he added.
“They are trying to push me as a player, which is one of the reasons I came here.’’
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