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RUGBY: Booth upbeat despite Saints loss
9:00am Monday 25th February 2013 in Sport
BATH Rugby first team coach Toby Booth praised his side's despite falling to a narrow defeat at the hands of Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens.
Trailing 11-9 at the interval despite creating a number of try-scoring opportunities, three quick penalties from Saints fly-half Stephen Myler seemed to put the game beyond Bath going into the last quarter.
But a penalty try and an interception score from Semesa Rokoduguni put the visitors within minutes of a famous turnaround, only for Jamie Elliott to plunge over the whitewash late on and break Bath hearts as Saints ran out 25-23 winners.
But Booth refused to be downhearted, saying: "We had a couple of opportunities that we left out there in the first half in particular.
"We could have made life easier for ourselves and when you are playing sides towards the top of the table you have to make sure you take your chances and we were probably guilty of not doing that in the first half.
"More importantly it was a great test of character. We were 20-9 down and rolled our sleeves up at a really difficult place and showed a massive amount of character.
"That is going to serve us well because we are on a longer journey and that sort of desire to play for your teammates is going to serve us well going forward.
"From the scrum point of view, they are a good scrummaging side and so are we. It was a very good contest and from a lineout point of view we went very well and put them under massive pressure. These are the margins we try and live in and that is where we are going. We have got a lot to be pleased about but we are disappointed with the result."
Bath had taken the lead through one of three Tom Heathcote penalties, only to be pegged back by Elliott's first half score.
But they fought back after the interval and looked the more likely winner's until Elliott's intervention with seven minutes remaining ensured the points stayed in Northampton .
"It was good, we scored two good tries in the outside channels and I'm pleased with all of the team," said Saints backs coach Alan Dickens.
"The desire and commitment from our lads to get back, make that extra pass to score was a credit to the boys. They made the opposition make a mistake.
"Nothing was changed much at half-time. We were 11-9 up so we were in a position and it was just about building on that.
"You go through periods when it's tough, not just in terms of how we play, but in terms of the conditions.
"At Worcester last weekend we played the conditions. The backs put the forwards in position and the forwards finished the job off.
"Jamie (Elliott) has been really good. All the young boys who have come in this season have done really well and they've been a credit to the squad.
"They've been assets to the team and that's a credit to the squad strength as well."
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