Meehan defiant after defeat
December 11, 2010
Bath boss Steve Meehan will fight on © Getty Images
Bath head coach Steve Meehan is not ready to throw in the towel in the Heineken Cup despite losing 22-18 on their trip to Ulster.
The 1998 champions finished bottom of their pool last year having lost to Ulster in the first match of that campaign. Now they have lost to the Irish region again, with Ulster great value for their win this time around.
An interception try from No.8 Pedrie Wannenburg plus five penalties and a conversion from fly-half Ian Humphreys saw Ulster, who won the cup in 1999, take a giant stride towards qualification to the knock-out stages. Bath's points came from another interception, this time from from fullback Jack Cuthbert charging the length of the field, and an opportunist effort by England captain Lewis Moody.
Meehan said: "We are disappointed, obviously, but if we don't go in with the intensity that we should, then we are going to give sides like Ulster opportunities. We have three matches to play. We need to work on two or three key areas this week and then host Ulster and turn around the result.
"The course of the next week will shape it (the competition). If you can win four out of the six games, you are in with a shout. There were a couple of individual performances which were good and we defended very well. When we look after the ball, there are opportunities that come along."
Ulster head coach Brian McLaughlin will take his side to The Rec confident of increasing the pressure on leaders Biarritz who surprisingly lost to Italians Aironi in the pool.
McLaughlin said: "There were a lot of mistakes in the first half but you can't fault the effort. The attitude the guys had on the field today was brilliant. You only have to look at the tackle of Andrew Trimble in the last play of the game to show what this competition means to us.
"Everyone fought tooth and nail for the pride of Ulster but we have to do the exact same thing again next week. We said last week that we needed a big game here - and we need another next week (at Bath). It's just the way the Heineken Cup is.
"We will check through how this game went during the week and put the wheels in motion for the return. It's just another game - but a huge game."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September