RUGBY: LV= Cup progress delights Hatley

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Scrum-half Micky Young celebrates his try against Cardiff (Photo: Bob Ascott) Scrum-half Micky Young celebrates his try against Cardiff (Photo: Bob Ascott)

BATH are on course for a home semi-final in the Anglo-Welsh competition after grabbing a late bonus point try in yesterday's 24-13 win over Cardiff Blues, which delighted forwards coach Neal Hatley.

"We are pleased with the outcome," he said. "There's lots to work on from the actual performance but to come away with five points, we're pleased with that."

And he conceded that the win had been founded on the driving maul.

"We said at half-time that if we could establish field position from those midfield penalties, we'd back ourselves from 15-20 metres to drive them over. To come away with three is great reward for the work the boys have been putting in.

"We are pleased as well for guys that haven't played for a while. It was nice to have Alafoti (Fa'osilva) back. He was particularly good for 40 minutes.

"We've talked about squad depth. It means that some of the guys will go a while without getting any rugby so it's good to give them a run."

Cardiff Blues have refused point blank to respond with any statement on Sam Warburton's decision to sign a Welsh Rugby Union central contract, other than to say: "No comment."

Attack coach Paul John, who deputised for Directory of Rugby Phil Davies on media duties, was obviously under strict instructions not to say anything about long-awaited news on the Welsh skipper's future.

A club spokesman said that any statement on the matter would only come from Regional Rugby Wales, who represent the professional regional sides.

The WRU statement said it "intends that he will be released for Cardiff Blues games outside his Wales duties at no cost to the Region".

There is a long-standing arrangement between the regions that they will not field any player centrally contracted by the WRU - unless they are all in agreement. It means that the announcement is not quite as cut and dried as it seems.

When asked about the Blues performance, rather than about the politics, John said: "We're disappointed because we created chances. It was nice to score at the end to get us to 13 points but we could have made it a six-point game before that.

"We just need to be a bit more clinical and cut out the errors at critical points.

"Some individuals will be disappointed with errors they made but hopefully will get a chance against Quins at home next week to put things right. It was a good team performance though."

MORE BATH RUGBY NEWS & REACTION IN NEXT WEEK'S WILTSHIRE TIMES

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