Bath's coach did not think much of Leinster after his team's narrow loss
Could'a, would'a, should'a.
Bath's head coach Mike Ford lavished his team with praise after their 18-15 Champions Cup quarter final loss to Leinster at the Aviva Stadium today. As for the victors, 'experienced' and 'good' were the only complimentary words he had to say.
Ford's Bath are reminiscent of Leinster 2002-2005 - beautiful to watch it attack but lacking that winning mentality and grit to get over the finish line in front. Today, they made seven line breaks and beat 26 Leinster tackles but their scrum was moshed and they lacked composure in the final 15 minutes.
Ford commented, 'There is a little bit, well, a lot of disappointment. Certainly first half, I think we are a lot better than that, as a team. That's probably where we lost the game, the first half. We couldn't really control the ball and gave away some penalties.
'When we did control the ball, and got some shape in attack, I don't know how many line breaks we made. There were quite a few, but there is more than one way to win games. It is not just about scoring tries. They kicked their penalties; fair play to them.'
Ford was displeased, to say the least, at the final penalty, awarded Leinster's way despite Richardt Strauss being off his feet with hands on the ball. He said:
'Look, proud of the boys and the way... last 10, 15 minutes, I was pretty convinced we were going to win the game and that something would happen for us. I've looked at that last penalty. Dead-set a penalty for us. It's small margins.'
Asked if Leinster's experience won them the game, the former Ireland defence coach said, 'No, no. We wanted to play quick and have tempo, of course we did. They just picked us off. I don't know. Did Leinster make one line break today? I'm not so sure. We just needed to... first time we have been there [quarter finals] for a while but that is not an excuse at all.'
Ford is not convinced that his team lost to a side that will go on to win the Champions Cup.
He said, 'Look, they are a really good side, really experienced. I don't know. There's six or seven teams left, or whatever it is now. They are a good side, so, with their experienced, international caps in their side, they are always going to be there or thereabouts.'
There or thereabouts.
For the record, Leinster made two line breaks but they were fortunate bunnies.