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Bath boss Johann van Graan: 'We’ve won nothing yet'

By PA
Bath v Sale Sharks – Gallagher Premiership – The Recreation Ground

Bath head of rugby Johann van Graan is determined to keep his side grounded after the 42-24 victory over Sale lifted them into second place in the Gallagher Premiership table.

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Joe Cokanasiga scored two of Bath’s five tries with Matt Gallagher, Tom Dunn and Ollie Lawrence also going over and Finn Russell’s boot accounted for 17 points from four conversions, two penalties and a left-footed drop goal.

Sale, trying to halt a run of six successive defeats in all competitions since Christmas, were level at 24-24 on the hour but faded in the last quarter.

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John Dobson on the Stormers’ loosehead crisis

Stormers head coach John Dobson confirmed that his team will be in the market for a loosehead prop in the coming days.

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John Dobson on the Stormers’ loosehead crisis

Stormers head coach John Dobson confirmed that his team will be in the market for a loosehead prop in the coming days.

Manu Tuilagi, Tom Roebuck and Sam Dugdale crossed the tryline for the Sharks with George Ford converting all three and adding a penalty.

“We’ve won nothing yet,” said Van Graan.

“This Premiership is so tight and there are nine teams that can qualify for a semi-final. We’ve got to keep improving our game. For us it’s a constant theme: to get better.

Fixture
Gallagher Premiership
Bath
42 - 24
Full-time
Sale
All Stats and Data

“This is new territory for this group of players – the fact that we are in the top four and want to stay there. Five rounds to go – two at home and three away. Who knows what is going to happen between now and May? We’ve also got Europe to deal with.”

Van Graan was happy to see his side refuse to panic with the game delicately poised with 20 minutes remaining.

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He said: “The first half wasn’t perfect but we just trusted our process and spoke about keeping our discipline. We conceded the try with that pass just after half-time but for me that’s the growth that is being shown in this group. We scored straight away and then we kept building the score.

“We were very good at scoring tries at close quarters last season but we are now scoring from a lot further out. I think it’s pretty difficult to read us.

“Our set piece is working well. We’ve got the ability to attack, defend and use our kicking game.

“The big moment was Sale losing a line-out. We got a scrum and a penalty from that scrum, then a maul penalty and scored in the corner. When we needed our set piece we used it. I thought we defended pretty well too and there were some lovely moments in attack.”

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Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson was frustrated to see his side wilt late on.

Points Flow Chart

Bath win +18
Time in lead
59
Mins in lead
9
73%
% Of Game In Lead
11%
89%
Possession Last 10 min
11%
12
Points Last 10 min
0

He said: “We were well in it. Five metres from their line. It was ours for the taking and it felt like we had the momentum.

“Then a couple of things happened that took away that momentum and our energy. It was a couple of little moments that accounted for the big margin in the scoreline. We never really got back into the game.

“Our intent is to win every game. You have to find form and go into the finals, if you get there, with momentum. The reality is, with everyone playing each other, you only have to win four. You can win your home games and snatch one away. That’s the reality of it.”

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