Meehan just happy to win
January 8, 2011
Jack Cuthbert takes on the Leeds defence © Getty Images
A relieved Bath coach Steve Meehan admitted his side had won ugly in their narrow 16-13 win over Leeds at the Rec on Saturday afternoon.
Nick Abendanon's try scoring moment of magic aside, Bath were uninspiring in victory and needed an Olly Barkley penalty to see them past a Leeds side who were denied their second win on the trot after beating Gloucester last week. And while Meehan praised the struggling visitors, he was delighted that his out of sorts charges got the points.
"I'd rather win ugly than lose ugly," he said. "We've said it before. They are a side that work very, very hard for one another and you've got to take your opportunities. We made life difficult for ourselves. Leeds displayed great spirit and character and were very much up for the match.
"We had three very obvious opportunities to clear our lines after defending very well. But we didn't take any of them and we allowed Leeds to come back and put pressure on us and they ended up levelling the scores. Then we had to fight back over those last 15 minutes."
Meehan, whose preparations were disrupted when he lost Luke Watson before kick-off, was happy with his side's efforts.
"I was really, really pleased with some of the attacking endeavour today," he said. "Some of the moves were as good as anything in the last few years so we're not far away, that's for sure. And our set piece over the last two weeks has been far, far better. Scrum-time was excellent too so I'm delighted the way the forwards are going.
"We're now away from this competition for five weeks and a lot can happen in that time, not just at Bath but everywhere, but it is terrific to start the New Year with two out of two. The teams just above us will start to take notice - they know we've got a couple of games in hand. We're in a good position, if we can keep sneaking up on people."
Leeds director of rugby Andy Key was upbeat about his side's prospects, despite the defeat and he was delighted with the performance of flanker Hendre Fourie against England skipper Lewis Moody.
"We thought we had done enough in this game to come away with a win," he said. "If we replicate the performance today in the next 11 games we will avoid relegation, definitely. We're only going to see better performances from this side. We've left it a bit late but it's about looking forward, not back."
"(Fourie) sent out a very positive message to the England selectors about what a dangerous player he is," Key said. "He contributed massively - he was immense today, unbelievable."
© 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