Bath itching to set record straight

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 14:46
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Bath prop Paul James insists he and his teammates have got a long way to go to right the wrongs of the recent loss to Saracens.

Bath became the first side to escape defeat at Sandy Park in the Premiership this season when they ground out a draw against the Exeter Chiefs last time out.

But despite that positive result, prop Paul James insists he and his teammates have still got a long way to go to right the wrongs of the scarring loss to Saracens the week before.

Gary Gold's side's top four aspirations took a massive knock in that 22-0 defeat at the Rec and the Welsh international forward has not yet forgotten that reversal.

And the 30-year-old James is adamant that the seeds of recovery were planted in their battling draw with the Chiefs down in the South West and they will now head to Adams Park to take on Wasps on Sunday with their heads held high.

"We were really disappointed the week before with how we played against Saracens so the way we fronted up against Exeter was very pleasing," he said.

"To get a draw down there, in what is a very tough place to go, is a good result but we do feel that we might even have come away with the win.

"Gary mentioned to us during the week that we would need to front up against Exeter but we as players knew that we had underperformed against Sarries.

"We let ourselves, the coaches and the fans down with that performance so the response was pretty good.

"When you come across teams like Saracens you cannot afford to be making stupid mistakes or you will rightly get punished.

"They did not play that much rugby but in all honesty they didn't need to really because they got the job done anyway.

"Wasps is now a massive game for us if we want to maintain any realistic top four ambitions."

James has appeared in 11 of Bath's 12 Premiership games so far in his first season since making the switch from Ospreys.

And the 40-times capped prop insists that he is loving his time at the Rec where he gets to test himself against some of the best players in the world every week.

"I'm just enjoying my rugby at the moment, the week in week out competitive nature of the Premiership is a great test for any player," he said.

"Sometimes when I was at Ospreys you had weeks in the domestic league where players were rested or they were very weak opposition and it was a bit easier to get through the game with the win.

"But in the Premiership every game is incredibly tough, it's a massive challenge and a brand new one for me.

"Some of our results this season have been a bit disappointing, but we are going in the right direction and a good result against Wasps this weekend would be massive for us."

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Team P W D L Pts
Northampton Saints 22 16 1 5 76
Bath 22 16 0 6 75
Leicester Tigers 22 15 1 6 68
Saracens 22 14 1 7 68
Exeter Chiefs 22 14 0 8 68
Wasps 22 11 2 9 61
Sale Sharks 22 11 0 11 54
Harlequins 22 10 0 12 49
Gloucester 22 9 1 12 48
London Irish 22 7 1 14 40
Newcastle Falcons 22 5 1 16 34
London Welsh 22 0 0 22 1