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'We start the game by giving away 5 penalties' - Hooper hopping over Bath

By PA
Stuart Hooper has begun to put his stamp on Bath. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

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Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper remained unhappy with his Bath side despite an improved performance in the 40-23 defeat to a George Ford-inspired Leicester.

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Ford helped himself to 25 points to become the first Premiership player to 100 points this season and in so doing condemned Bath to a seventh straight loss in the league with only three points to show for their efforts.

Matt Scott, Nic Dolly, Tom Cowan-Dickie and Ford scored tries for Leicester with Ford adding four penalties and four conversions.

Max Clark and Josh McNally scored Bath’s tries with Danny Cipriani converting both and kicking three penalties but they still came away with nothing from a whole-hearted effort.

Hooper said: “We start the game by giving away five penalties so we are immediately on the back foot.

“We then get right back in the game at 23-20 but ill-discipline and wrong choices result in us giving away another 17 points.

“Premiership rugby is all about little key moments and we could have won out there tonight. We didn’t but at the very least we should have got a bonus point. However we shot ourselves in the foot and came away with nothing.

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“We have two weeks off now from league rugby so we should be able to carry out a decent review and ask a few questions but losing from week to week is a tough place to be.”

Leicester flanker Tommy Reffell strengthened his case for a call-up to the Welsh national squad with a man-of-the-match display which saw him make 17 tackles and win four turnovers.

Reffell said: “Every time they come here they give us a hell of a game so all week we have been focusing on how we can undo them.

“Fair play to them, they were awesome tonight but when we look back at the game we will probably be disappointed with ourselves.

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“Bath beat us in the kick battle in the first half when we thought there was five or 10 per cent more in us so we needed to tidy up our set-piece, which we did after the interval.”

Despite Leicester extending their lead at the top of the Premiership to 13 points, their head coach Steve Borthwick believed his side were not at their best.

He said: “Bath put us under a lot of pressure and we conceded too many penalties to give them field position and try-scoring opportunities so we weren’t at our best tonight.

“We found a way to get a win and overall I’m pleased at the progress we are making.

“We are indebted to George (Ford) as he is a world-class player who has a great influence on all who are playing around him. He is fit and sharp after recovering from injury and is producing outstanding displays.”

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