RUGBY: Players know need for discpline, says Bath's Hatley

Neal Hatley

Neal Hatley

First published in Sport News
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BATH coach Neal Hatley has revealed the squad have been reminded about the need for discipline in the wake of their victory in last weekend's tempestuous west country derby at Gloucester.

The visitors had three players yellow-carded in the battle at Kingsholm - Carl Fearns, Matt Garvey and Dave Attwood - while full-back Nick Abendanon and prop Paul James received retrospective yellow cards but will face no further action after a match that saw Gloucester have two men sent off and end with just 11 players on the field.

Almost forgotten within the mayhem was that Bath earned a precious four points to maintain their Aviva Premiership play-off ambitions.

Forwards guru Hatley praised Kingsholm referee Tim Wigglesworth, whose handling of the match was criticised by Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies among others and revealed the Bath players had taken responsibility for ensuring the end of their campaign is not blighted by disciplinary issues.

"It's not great what happened at the end of the game, we just had ten minutes of madness at the end,'' said Hatley.

"It probably wasn't a great derby, but it was a really passionately contested derby at a vociferous Kingsholm, which is good for the game, bar all the stuff that happened at the death.

"I actually thought Tim Wrigglesworth, under extreme pressure, wouldn't be swayed. He made big decisions and he wasn't afraid to make them and I think he should receive big credit for that. He did a good job in very trying circumstances and that should be acknowledged.

"I think our disciplinary record is the best in the Premiership and it's something we're very proud of.

"We looked at our yellow cards (and) we were disappointed. We've only had four or five yellows the whole season and to have three in one game was a big blow.

"We've hammered it home, the importance of discipline. to play with 14 men for ten minutes is hard enough but to go nearly half the game is disastrous. Stu Hooper (club captain) has been outstanding. He led it on the boys' front, making sure the know their responsibilities to the other players and the coaching staff.''

He added: "We haven't won down there since 2006 so it's been a hard place for Bath to go and get a result. to do the double over your biggest rival and to get an away win was important.''

Bath could have centre Jonathan Joseph and hooker Rob Webber back from injury for Saturday's Premiership home clash with Worcester.

Meanwhile, a female fan has apologised to Bath-bound England rugby league forward Sam Burgess for attacking him with a stick.

Julie Burgess, mother of the former Bradford prop, complained after her 25-year-old son was hit over the head as he left the field after helping his NRL team, South Sydney, to an 18-2 win over Penrith Panthers.

Penrith held an investigation into the incident and say the fan came forward to the club at the morning after the match to offer an explanation.

A statement from the club said: "The fan has unreservedly apologised for causing any harm to the NRL and the Panthers. They have also offered an apology to Sam and the South Sydney club.

"Appropriate action has been taken against the fan and Panthers, Souths and the NRL are satisfied that the matter has now been resolved."

Burgess will cross codes to join Bath in October.

MORE FROM HATLEY, JONATHAN JOSEPH AND MATT GARVEY IN FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES

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