Francois Louw says Bath Rugby have learnt lessons ahead of LV= Cup semi-final
Francois Louw insists there will be no hangover from last year’s LV= Cup semi-final agony when Bath Rugby visit Harlequins in another last-four clash on Saturday.
Twelve months ago, Bath were handed a home tie against a largely second-Leicester Tigers side which should have yielded safe passage into the final.
That was far from the case, however, with Bath drastically under-performing and being handed a heartbreaking 17-16 defeat by a Tigers side who went on to lift the trophy a week later.
Louw – who captained the side that day – says that, under the stewardship of new head coach Gary Gold, Bath are a different team to the one that folded under pressure a year ago.
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“We take every year as it comes and every game as it comes,” said the South African flanker.
“This year is 2013, we are playing the LV= Cup semi-again and I don’t think we are going to hang on to what happened last year.
“It was very disappointing nonetheless but it’s a new era for us as a side and a club.
“There has been a lot of changes this year, with a new coaching set-up coming in and a couple of new players as well.
“But the guys have found each other and are starting to really complement each other. We are constantly building as a side and trying to improve.
“I think that’s been showing in the last couple of weeks. Barring a little speed bump against Northampton, I think we’ve been pretty consistent.
“The form is better and that says a lot about the character of the guys and where we are heading as a club. Hopefully we can carry that momentum through into this weekend’s game.”
Bath travel to The Stoop in their best form of the season, with Friday night’s defeat of Gloucester their seventh victory in eight games.
Louw does not want his team-mates to get carried away, however, and admitted they still have a long way to go before they can be deemed a success.
“We still need to prove ourselves – it is very important for us to achieve and get results,” said Louw, who returned to the side last week after missing Northampton defeat with a hip injury.
“I think the guys are confident and comfortable going into the game but we want to make this Bath’s era, so we there is a lot of hard work still to be done. There is no time to be complacent.
“Things are coming together but we want to constantly build and become a better side. We never want to get ahead of ourselves – a few wins doesn’t mean we are all good, all set and ready to go.
“This is a great opportunity for us and, hopefully, if we can make it all the way, it’s a back door into Europe.
“That’s in the back of our minds but our focus right now is on Harlequins this weekend and whatever we can do to turn that into a victory.”