Casey demands improvement from London Irish

London Irish captain Bob Casey has demanded an immediate improvement from his team after they slumped to a 35-22 defeat at home to Bath in the Guinness Premiership.


Last season’s Guinness Premiership runners-up paid for a string of first-half mistakes and were chasing a lost cause after gifting Bath three tries before the interval.

Casey said: “It was a very disappointing first-half performance. Since this group of players has been together that’s as bad as we’ve produced.

“It’s going to be a tough week and we’re going to have to ask questions of everyone and put it right for next weekend.”

“We pride ourselves on our defence and we didn’t make them work hard for some of their scores in the first half.” he said on the Guinness Premiership site.

The first-half lapses led to tries for prop David Barnes and wingers Matt Banahan and Joe Maddock, who added his second after half time to clinch the bonus-point victory which moved Bath up from 10th to seventh in the Guinness Premiership following their third successive league win.

Steve Meehan, the Bath head coach, admitted he is currently cashing in on England manager Martin Johnson’s decision to overlook Banahan, 2007 World Cup hooker Lee Mears and former rugby league centre Shontayne Hape.

“We’ve got the advantage at the moment where other sides are affected by international call-ups but it hasn’t affected our squad as much,” said Meehan, whose side appear to have put a poor start to the season firmly behind them.

“I’m certainly happy with that performance. It was probably our best performance of the season. But there are still things to improve on.”

“The first 15 minutes of the second half we seemed to lose our composure but I was very pleased with the way they turned it around again in the last 25. We’re playing with belief at the moment.”

His disappointed London Irish opposite number Toby Booth said: “It’s the first time in my tenure we haven’t got the minimum standard of at least a losing bonus point.”

Irish were without the England trio of brothers Delon and Steffon Armitage and scrum-half Paul Hodgson but Booth lamented: “That’s part and parcel of it but you have to play smarter and we just didn’t play smart enough. We played into their hands.”

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