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RUGBY: Attwood ready to tackle Sharks task
A SPOT of DIY allowed Dave Attwood to take out some of his frustrations from Bath’s LV= Cup exit a fortnight ago, but the giant lock forward still has some left over for tonight’s Aviva Premiership opponents Sale Sharks (8pm).
As Bath’s squad scattered far and wide to enjoy a few days off last week after their semi-final loss at the Twickenham Stoop, Attwood attended to domestic matters before turning his focus to this evening’s visit to the City of Salford Stadium.
The former Gloucester man is convinced the Quins reverse was a bump in the road – but a dejecting one nonetheless – after a promising prio run of one defeated in eight league and cup games.
“It was thoroughly disappointing for all of us involved, especially after the disappointment of last year (the lost to Leicester in the semi finals of the same competition),’’ said Attwood.
“We felt like we’d learned some lessons there but I think we hadn’t learned them quite severely enough.
“We came into the game on a good run of games and we really let ourselves down organisationally.
“There was nothing surprising with what was thrown at us. Everything happened as our homework said it was going to and we didn’t quite get ourselves in the right frame to deal with.
“We had a week off which is the silver lining on a rather unfortunate exit for us. A few of the boys have been away doing various bits and pieces, but it’s nice to have the squad back together.
“I did a bit of maintenance around the house. That is a holiday for me. I was fitting cupboard doors for three days and digging foundations for another two and doing those not so wonderful things. It was a bit of a ropey week off.
“I did a lot of hammering on those days, swinging a shovel around.
“We can’t dwell on it too long. Everyone took some time to personally reflect on the game and we had a squad review, very much player-led. The thing about professional rugby is it’s not very long before you get the chance to right the ship.’’
Tonight’s appointment is followed by a home meeting with struggling London Welsh, two matches Bath will be expected to claim victories from.
Attwood, who this week agreed a two-year contract extension with Bath, added: “It’s very high on our agenda to start climbing back up the Premiership table and we’ve still got good run of form behind us.
They (Sale) are a dangerous team, lurking at the bottom of the Premiership and people would say that they are starting to hit their straps a little bit.
“It’s going to be a big game for us, but we’re definitely smarting from the week before so there is going to be a bit of a backlash from us hopefully.’’
He added: “The first ten minutes will determine to a very large extent the outcome. If we get the things right we have been doing for the last eight or nine weeks, we’re going to get the right result.
"They’ve for some dangerous players who can win a game and we can’t overlook that and have our foot off the gas.’’
Attwood’s new deal with the club was recognition of the progress he had made this season, as one of Bath’s outstanding performers.
He said: “I’m really pleased to be staying here. There are a lot of factors involved when you start thinking about where you are going to play your rugby and thankfully the club were interested and that suited me down to the ground.
“With everything we’ve got here, we’re in the right place to do really good things and it’s not long before that’s going to come to fruition.
“This club is going through a transition, when that transition finishes I’m not sure because it’s much longer term than that.
“I feel like I’m playing quite well at the minute and that was a key motivator to stay here at Bath.
“It was widely agreed that last year wasn’t my best. There were some games towards the end of the season where I managed to get into my stride and play the best rugby I have for a long time and thankfully this season I’ve been able to kick that on.’’
Bath are offering a two wickets for £40 offer for the home Premiership clash with London Welsh - their penultimate home game - on Saturday, March 30 (2.15pm).
This offer is restricted to bronze and blue areas of the Rec only. Group and family tickets can be booked online, however the offer of two tickets for £40 is not and can be booked over the phone on 0844 448 1865 or in person at the Ticket Office on Pulteney Bridge.
NEWS FROM TONIGHT'S CLASH AGAINST SALE AT WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT AND MORE BATH RUGBY NEWS & REACTION IN FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES
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