Bath pick up bonus point but Meehan still not satisfied

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The Independent Online

Bath may have picked up five points on their trip to Italy on Saturday, but head coach Steve Meehan still wants to see more from his players. After last week's loss at home to Biarritz, a bonus-point win at Magners League minnows Aironi was the only outcome that would leave the West County side with a credible chance of advancing from Pool Four of the Heineken Cup.

And, although pleased with the 22-6 victory, Meehan believes his side should still have chalked up more points. "Winning quality ball gave us an opportunity to get into the game but we didn't make as much of those opportunities as we should have," he said. "But it was good to see the likes of Nick Abendanon and Tom Biggs running with ball in hand today.

"It was very important for us to win away from home after last week's result. We've got five points and that gives us a chance."

First-half tries from Matt Carraro, man-of-the-match Abendanon and the eye-catching Biggs, followed by a second-half touchdown from captain Luke Watson, gave Bath the spoils.

Of the performance of Abendanon, who delivered a fine display in attack and defence, Meehan said: "It doesn't do his international prospects any harm but there are a number of players doing well in his position at the moment. But he knows that and he knows he has to work and continue with his good form."

The Australian coach was also delighted for Biggs, who scored his debut try for the club he joined over the summer. "I was pleased to see him get his try because he's been working very hard for the club," explained Meehan. "A month ago we told him he had to be more confident and start trusting himself and pinning his ears back, and doing what we're aware he can do with his speed. We saw him using his speed in defence, too."

The celebrations were tempered by another injury to one of Bath's locks, Danny Grewcock joining Peter Short and Scott Hobson on the club's list of injured second-rowers. "Danny is probably the biggest concern at the moment with a rib injury," Meehan said. "There are a few knocks and niggles but not anything – with the exception of Danny – that's going to stand in anyone's way for next week."

Scorers: Aironi: Penalties Mercier 2; Bath: Tries Biggs, Carraro, Abendanon, Watson; Conversion Barkley.

Aironi: D Demas; G Toniolatti, R Penney, G Pavan (M Pratichetti, 56), G Rubini; L Mercier (R Bocchino, 56), P Canavosio (T Tebaldi, 58); N Williams, A Benatti, J Erasmus (S Favaro, 70), Q Geldenhuys (capt), M Bortolami, L Redolfini (C Del Fava, 56), F Ongaro (R Santamaria, 70), S Perugini (A De Marchi, 65).

Bath: N Abendanon; T Biggs, B Williams, O Barkley, M Banahan; S Vesty, M Claassens (M McMillan, 68); S Taylor, L Watson (capt) (B Skirving, 68), A Beattie, D Grewcock (I Fernandez-Lobbe, 31), S Hooper, D Wilson (D Bell, 51), P Dixon (R Batty, 70), N Catt (D Flatman, 51).

Referee: J Lacey (Ireland).