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Bath throw away lead
South Westerners need three wins to progress in Heineken Cup
Posted Dec 15, 2010 by Jeff Dawson
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Bath have left themselves in real trouble in the Heineken Cup following a crushing defeat to Ulster – a game they led at the break 15-13 before throwing the contest away and walking away with a 22-18 loss.
We featured a report on the build up to this key clash, stating that if Bath wanted to ensure their progression they really needed to win this game. And with Biarritz losing 28-27 at Aironi, the door was left wide open for Bath to close the gap at the top but it’s an opportunity they failed to take.
It now means that Bath must win against Ulster at home on Saturday and then win their remaining two matches if they are to stand any realistic chance of topping the group and progressing to the next phase of the competition.
A fact that they are well aware of. The hard work starts now for them and if they are to rectify Saturday’s loss this weekend then they will need to cut out the errors that saw them throw away at 15-3 lead at Ravenhill.
The worrying thing for the team from the south west is that they have now lost their last four matches by a score or less and have won just once in their last seven outings. It’s a worrying stat for a team that invested so heavily in playing staff in the summer.
And one of those recruits, England skipper Lewis Moody, has issued a rallying cry, saying: “Everything’s still to play for. The belief is there, we just need that result. When we get it we’ll be turning the corner. It’s up to us to put it right next week with some good, honest hard work during the week and this time hopefully we’ll come off with the right result.”
In Ulster, Bath got off to the perfect start when Jack Cuthbert broke clear to score and Moody added a try himself as they raced into a 15-3 lead. But Pedrie Wannenburg’s intercepttry got the hosts back into it as they trailed by two at the break. Ian Humphreys then kicked three penalties, adding to his two earlier three pointers and conversion, in the second half to give the home side the win. Olly Barkley kicked a conversion and two penalties for Bath.