Brad Davis: Bath Rugby need to look at discipline
First-team coach Brad Davis says Bath must improve their discipline to ensure it does not cost them any future matches.
Both Francois Louw and Matt Banahan were sent off as Bath surrendered the lead in their Aviva Premiership defeat at Leicester last Saturday, while Simon Taylor and Stephen Donald had spells in the sin-bin.
Lee Mears was also cited following the game and he and Banahan will be suspended for the upcoming Amlin Challenge Cup double-header against Calvisano.
Banahan’s spell on the sidelines, for a dangerous tackle on Anthony Allen, will extend to a third week, ruling him out of the Premiership clash with Saracens on December 22, although Louw escaped the RFU’s Disciplinary Panel without punishment.
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With suspensions and a lengthy injury-list to contend with, a much-changed Bath side is expected to take to the field at The Rec on Saturday for the first of the clashes against the Italian outfit.
“Whether you win games or lose games, you need to look in your own back yard and sort your own affairs out. We need to look at our discipline first and foremost,” said Davis.
“The referee made his recommendations on the day and there’s definitely areas in our game we need to clean up on.
“You have to take charge of the affairs that you can control and improve on them. Discipline is one of those aspects because we don’t want it to affect us this weekend.
“This gives a chance for players who have just been on the periphery and pushing hard in training week in, week out to get to get their opportunity.”
With two bonus-point wins already in the bank, Bath have a good chance of taking control of Pool 4 and a big step towards the knockout stages.
After hard-fought Premiership games against Harlequins and Leicester, Davis says Calvisano will offer a revitalising break from the rigours of domestic competition.
“I think we can see against two of the best teams in the competition, we’ve been ultra-competitive,” said Davis.
“The team have definitely stepped forward in that they’ve pitched up in both those games, which is a measure of how far we’ve come.
“It’s quite easy to get motivated for games against the champions and your arch enemies, but the key test is having that mentality and physicality in games you’re expected to win.
“The real measure of the good teams is that, in the games they are expected to win, they still deliver at that level. That’ll be the test for us moving forward.
“We are going into a new competition, playing against opposition who we don’t know too much about. I think that is something refreshing because your focus comes back onto what you are doing.
“Sometimes we get caught so caught up with the opposition and what they are doing, having the opportunity to focus on yourselves is a good thing.With most teams in the Premiership you know their style and can plan accordingly, but this will be pretty much a completely new set up.
“It’s a test of your players’ intelligence out on the field as well because they have to react to a different game which they haven’t seen before, so it’s quite exciting.”