Gary Gold: Bath Rugby owe fans a performance against Sale
Gary Gold has demanded that Bath use Saturday’s Aviva Premiership clash with Sale to apologise to their supporters after a below-par showing at London Irish.
Irish picked up their first points of the campaign with a 29-22 success at the Madejski Stadium and Bath face winless opposition again this weekend when bottom side Sale visit The Rec (2.15pm).
The Sharks’ early-season troubles were compounded by the sacking of forwards coach Steve Scott earlier this week but, after suffering back-to-back defeats themselves, Gold knows Bath must not waste the opportunity to return to winning ways.
“We want to pay back the supporters, who have been great so far this season and deserve to see the team turn the corner,” said Gold.
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“If we can do that on Saturday and put in the massive performance that is required to right the wrongs from one week to another, then we will progress in the right way.
“Against Irish we should have understood what an unbelievably tough task it would be against a side who hadn’t won a game.
“It was a team who had their backs against the wall and we had an opportunity to go there and exert the maximum amount of pressure.
“We let ourselves down and I think we were responsible for our own downfall. Those are the days we want to get rid of as quickly as we possibly can.
“We are going to be presented with the same thing this weekend, so we’ve got an opportunity to rectify that and I really hope we do.
“It’s not much in terms of respite, but the important thing is how we react to adversity. We can’t get the win from last weekend, but we can learn some vital lessons.
“It’s irrelevant what has happened to Sale this season, what we saw at the weekend is that we can only influence our own performance.”
Bath will continue to be without Francois Louw following his call-up to the South Africa squad for their final two Rugby Championship fixtures at home to Australia on Saturday and New Zealand the following weekend.
Ben Williams – who, like Louw, pulled out in the lead up to the Irish clash – is injured, but there is some good news as Michael Claassens and Dan Hipkiss’ citings from the match have been dismissed.
Davey Wilson, this week promoted to England’s elite player squad following Matt Stevens’ international retirement, is also expected to return.
“Francois has been called up for South Africa, which basically means he has been gone for five weeks,” said Gold.
“Davey is hopefully okay, but Ben has tweaked his groin and is still out.
“It will be a depleted squad because Matt Banahan and Rob Webber are still out and Tom Heathcote’s not ready yet. It’s frustrating, but there are no excuses – that’s why we have a squad system.
“Every unfortunate situation for one player means someone else will get an opportunity. Everyone has put their hand up and there is no one in the squad I have been disappointed with or felt let down by their performances.”
Former Northampton Saints hooker Brett Sharman signed for the club last week and will provide cover at hooker while Webber is sidelined.
“Brett has come in, with the reason being that the regulation from the ERC is we have to register ten front-row forwards and we didn’t have ten fit ones,” added Gold.
“We have cover in the shape of Lee Mears, Ross Batty and Will Tanner, so (Sharman) is the fourth hooker that we have to register for Europe.”