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'Horrific' Bath got what they 'deserve'

By PA
Samuel Lewis of Worcester Warriors is challenged by Jaco Coetzee of Bath during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Worcester Warriors and Bath Rugby at Sixways Stadium on June 04, 2022 in Worcester, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

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Bath head coach Neal Hatley admitted a 43-27 Gallagher Premiership final-day defeat at Worcester was symptomatic of a “horrific” season for his rock-bottom side.

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The result saw Warriors leapfrog their visitors and consigned the blue, black and whites to the foot of the table, with Jamie Shillcock’s hat-trick leading the way for the Sixways outfit.

Bath led 19-10 at the break but a turnaround after the break led to an 18th defeat of an instantly-forgettable campaign which Hatley is determined to put behind him.

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“It’s horrific,” he said. “We’re so much better than that but you get what you deserve.

“If you’re in such control and then blow it, then you have to accept where you finish.

“To be 19-10 going in, I didn’t see them getting back in the game, our drive was all over them.

“But our discipline cost us. We go from complete control to conceding a penalty, a yellow card and a try from there. Our discipline let them back into the game.

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“The most frustrating thing is we said that at half-time and we haven’t delivered it.

“There are moments in games where we look really good, then we unravel everything with poor discipline.”

Will Muir’s double and one from Will Stuart had put the visitors into a promising position at the break, Bath responding well to Kyle Hatherell’s early score.

But Gareth Simpson, Joe Batley and a treble from the rampant Shillcock saw the tables turned after the break, leaving plenty in incoming Bath head coach Johann Van Graan’s in tray.

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“There are some great coaches coming in but as a group, we need to do better than we did today. That’s not going to change with the wave of a wand,” added Hatley, who will return to being the club’s forwards coach next season.

Hatley’s opposite number Steve Diamond was delighted to end the season on a high and has lofty ambitions for his side next term.

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“We’re going for the Heineken Cup, that’s the competition we want to be in, we want to be playing the big sides,” he said.

“The mindsets of the players over the last month has been really important, winning the (Premiership Rugby Cup) final was important for that but today was equally, if not more, important because a lot of friendships are ending.

“We had a chat at half-time about the psychology of what we’d do in the second half and it worked. They delivered a great second-half performance.

“Shilly (Jamie Shillcock) was brilliant. He showed what he can do and there was only one fly-half on the field in Fin Smith.

“The other kid (Orlando Bailey) gets all the notoriety with England but we know what goes on here with Fin.”

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