RUARIDH McConnochie reckons a fast-paced game will give Bath the best chance of getting their Premiership Cup campaign off and running at Newcastle Falcons this evening.

Bath remain without a win so far in the competition, having lost their second Pool One game 25-18 at Exeter Chiefs last weekend.

Another defeat at Newcastle this evening would end their already slim hopes of reaching the knockout stages.

However, McConnochie says Bath must travel north full of belief – and believes injecting pace into the game on the 4G pitch at Kingston Park is their best hope of victory.

“Newcastle is always a hard place to go so we’ll travel expecting a tough game,” said McConnochie.

“They have got a lot of speed in their backs and some really quick wingers so we are expecting a fast game, especially with it being on a 4G pitch.

“We are hoping that plays to our strength too as if we can get on top of them, hopefully there will be space of us to exploit.

“This has been an opportunity for guys who haven’t played so much to get some minutes in a Bath shirt so it’s another chance to show what we can do before the Premiership comes back around.”

Although frustrated by the defeat against Exeter last Saturday, McConnochie felt there was a rise in standard from the manner of Bath’s 27-19 loss at home to Harlequins in their tournament opener seven days earlier.

“We spoke after the Quins game and on reflection, it wasn’t the performance we wanted. A loss is a loss, but you can play well and lose. However, against Quins, we didn’t feel we met our standards,” said McConnochie.

“There were massive improvements in that at Sandy Park and although we didn’t get the win, we felt like we’d learned from what we did the previous week.

“The game got away from us from too many handling errors and penalties but we felt like there were good things to take from it.”