LV= Cup exit has hurt Bath Rugby's Heineken Cup hopes, says coach Neal Hatley
Neal Hatley admits missing out on a place in the LV= Cup final is a “really big blow” to Bath Rugby’s Heineken Cup ambitions.
The tournament winners are handed a place in European rugby’s premier competition next season and head coach Gary Gold had targeted it as a way of returning to the continent’s elite after a season in the Amlin Cup.
Instead, however, Bath’s weekend conquerors Harlequins will battle it out against Sale Sharks in Saturday’s final at Sixways, meaning Gold’s side will have to focus their efforts elsewhere.
“We are massively disappointed. We want to play in the Heineken Cup next year and this was not the easiest route but the quickest route,” said forwards coach Hatley, following the 31-23 semi-final defeat at The Stoop.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
“It puts the spotlight straight back onto the Premiership. It’s a really big blow because we said earlier on that it’s two games to win as opposed to slogging it out for another two to three months.
“We’ll go back and have a long, hard look at ourselves. We felt we had good momentum coming into the game, so we’re really disappointed with the way it panned out.”
The Premiership is allotted six places in next season’s Heineken Cup, one of which will be taken by 11th-placed Sale if they lift the LV= Cup this weekend.
Should that happen, Bath - who currently sit seventh - would have to finish in the top five or hope they win the Amlin Cup in order to reclaim a place at Europe’s top table.