RUGBY: Caldwell looking to raise game
ANY team in Europe would be happy with five straight victories in the Amlin Challenge Cup but with a quarter-final berth secured, Ryan Caldwell believes Bath must start thinking about performances as well as points.
The Irish lock helped Bath to a 19-16 win over French Top 14 side Agen last weekend, with the elements making running rugby a virtual impossibility.
Yet despite grinding out the victory - largely thanks to the boot of young fly-half Tom Heathcote - Caldwell insists there is more to come from Bath, starting with Saturday's final group game against Bucharest Wolves on Saturday.
"After the match we were pleased with the win but came back in on Monday and reviewed the video and there were a lot of areas we can improve on," admitted the 28-year-old former Ulster forward.
"The set piece worked well for us, which is a good indicator for us of how we are performing, but round the pitch and at the breakdown we weren't where we should have been, but in those conditions it was hard to string more than a few phases together.
"We haven't been firing on all cylinders recently and we're concentrating on our performances - we want to win but we want to perform well at the same time, starting this week."
Bath have stumbled in the Aviva Premiership in the last few weeks, losing 22-0 to Saracens and 29-15 to Wasps although they did hold West Country rivals Exeter to a draw at Sandy Park.
However, Caldwell believes more performances from talented young stars like Heathcote - set to star for Scotland at the upcoming RBS 6 Nations - and the return of some of Bath's walking wounded will get the club back on track in their assault on Europe and the Aviva Premiership.
"Tom Heathcote is obviously a young guy with ability," said the twice-capped Irishman. "He's been selected in the squad for the Six Nations and has all the attributes to be a world-class ten. He has such an old head on his shoulders and has everything need to go all the way and be a big asset to this club.
"Everybody is singing from the same hymn sheet and we've got a few boys coming back from injury now like Carl Fearns and Rob Webber which is pretty exciting, and I'm looking forward to seeing Rob in a Bath shirt.
"We're in a good position now in the Amlin Cup, having won five out of five and we're looking to go out this weekend and build on that and pick up some momentum that we can carry into the Premiership.
"We give the Amlin and the LV=Cup a lot of respect as we want to be a successful team in all competitions and we've underachieved a little bit in the Premiership. The Amlin is definitely a big competition for us because we know it offers qualification for the Heineken Cup."
MORE BATH RUGBY NEWS IN FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES, PLUS NEWS FROM THE MATCH AGAINST BUCHAREST TOMORROW AT WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT