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Heineken Cup - Round 6 Reaction
Booth 'not suicidal' after exit
Scrum.com
January 23, 2010

  • London Irish head coach Toby Booth suffered mixed emotions following his side's Heineken Cup elimination. The Exiles boss saw his side slip out of the competition after drawing with champions Leinster at Twickenham, having lost home and away to the Scarlets in previous rounds.

    "I'm not feeling suicidal," Booth said. "Strange as it may seem, my first emotion is I'm proud of what we've achieved in this Heineken Cup campaign, to be honest.

    "To be undefeated against the team that holds the trophy, and to go to their back garden and win, tells me we can live at the top table of European rugby. The damage was not done tonight, it was done in rounds two and five. While you can have some indifferent performances in the Guinness Premiership, if you have them in the Heineken Cup, you can't recover.

    "It's part of the continued improvement that we need, this ability to perform when we feel less threatened. It's about moving from happy underdog to expectant favourite and we need to learn that at this club."

  • Bath head coach Steve Meehan refused to blame Danny Grewcock for his side's 28-10 defeat at the hands of Ulster.

    The veteran lock saw red for a blatant stamp on the arm of Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris in the first-half, but Meehan blamed his side's poor start to the second period. Matt Banahan had earlier given Bath the lead with a try.

    "I wouldn't say we lost the game because Danny was off the field," Meehan said. "There was a 10-minute spell just after half-time when we weren't applying ourselves to the game and were falling off tackles. For whatever reason we started the second half poorly. We were then playing catch-up.

    "We're down to 14 men and it's 21-10. We were attempting passes that weren't on, when you'd expect to be a bit more patient, setting up a ruck. Our half-dozen matches in the Heineken Cup reflected the five months of our season. We played well in patches today almost getting there and then taking a step back. It's been extremely frustrating for all involved, the supporters too."

  • Scarlets fly-half Stephen Jones praised his side after they saw off Brive to qualify for the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup.

    "It's great for everyone that we're still involved in Europe," he said. "It wasn't pretty at times but we stuck in there and showed great character. It was a great effort from such a young squad.

    "Everyone worked really hard in defence, especially when we went down to 14 men for 20 minutes. Brive are a very dangerous side with a big squad and we knew it would be a big ask to come here - we're delighted to get the win. We look forward to whoever we come up against in the quarter-finals."

  • Edinburgh coach Rob Moffat was pleased with his side's Heineken Cup return following a victory over Stade Francais at Murrayfield. Moffat's side won all of their home games, with the coach untroubled by their lack of try-scoring nous.

    "At the end of the day, sometimes all we need is three points - for Greig [Laidlaw] or Phil [Godman] to drop back, take a drop goal and come away with three points," he said. "We are the sort of team that always want to play the ball quickly and last week Ulster showed us how to play a slow-tempo game. We don't want to play that way but sometimes we have to.

    "I think it's a decent return from Europe for us this year, winning our three home games. That's what we wanted to do. However, we wanted to win the pool and we wanted to go through. The bottom line is you want to qualify but we have to move on."

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