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RUGBY: Ford warning for Bath
8:37am Monday 7th October 2013 in Sport
BATH head coach Mike Ford has warned his side they shouldn’t expect to get anything away from home if they allow their opponents to dominate the breakdown like they did against Sale Sharks.
Danny Cipriani’s 14 points and a try from Andy Forsyth, cancelling out Semesa Rokoduguni’s earlier effort, helped Sale inflict a 19-13 defeat on Bath – their second loss of the season.
And admitting his side were outplayed in key areas, Ford believes their night was compounded by a lack of finishing instinct during a second-half where they had their fair share of opportunities in the Sale 22.
“I would like to give Sale credit because they played very well and were really committed, the breakdown was a big issue for us and they won that clearly and also had the ascendency in the drive,” said Ford.
“They are two massive areas of the game where they had control and that made it difficult for us to gain any ascendency.
“We had plenty of ball in the second-half and good field position but a lack of composure cost us.
“If we don’t get the fundamentals right it is going to be hard to win away from home so we will take our medicine, get back in on Monday and try and fix things.”
A critical phase of the game came just before the hour when Sale’s Michael Paterson was sent to the sin bin but despite their dominance Bath failed to score any points during his ten-minute absence.
And Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond insists with his forwards putting in a match-winning effort, Cipriani was able to show off the consistency that is turning him into a match-winner again.
“What Danny is doing this season is being consistent – he is defending and he is playing the game we want him to play and putting the ball behind them,” Diamond said.
“We worked hard all week after Northampton, we got beat by a really good side but got a lot of positives out of that game and I think the real advantage was in the breakdown.
“Dan Braid, David Seymour and Tommy Taylor killed it on the deck legally and we probably made three or four choke tackles, which got the scrum put-in and generally we had a good scrum.
“We managed to control possession reasonably well even through that period when we were down to 14 men. The modern game is at the breakdown and if you are on your feet and legal you can get a lot of ball.
“Some people think we should be picking our bigger lads but Seymour, Braid and Paterson for example, their stats on a Monday morning when you read them are incredible.”
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