Brian Smith: London Irish boss backs side to bounce back

Brian Smith
Brian Smith's London Irish are 10th in the Premiership table

Director of rugby Brian Smith has backed London Irish to bounce back this weekend after suffering their heaviest Premiership defeat of the season.

The Exiles face Bath on Saturday having lost 36-8 to Sale last weekend.

"We got a good old fashioned hiding but we've got a chance to bounce back. That's the beauty of sport," Smith told BBC Radio Berkshire.

"We've got a chance to bounce back against a very tough team and we wouldn't want it any other way."

He continued: "If we get the performance right, we've got a great chance to get a result."

Heavy defeats for the Exiles
London Irish have lost five of their seven Premiership fixtures this season. The first three were by a margin of seven points or less, but then they lost by 20 points at Exeter and 28 at Sale.

Smith admitted his side had been hurt by their surrender at Sale, but added they were using it as motivation ahead of their clash at the Madejski Stadium.

"There was a lot of disappointment, but a fair bit of fuel," he said.

"We have channelled it in the right way, have had the big review and it's important we bounce back. If we can bring the right level of intensity and execute the game plan, we will give ourselves a very good chance of winning the contest."

Smith says he will resist the chance to drop several players after an under-par performance and has urged his side, who conceded five tries last weekend, to focus for 80 minutes against Bath - who have only lost twice this season.

"I am not going to throw the baby out with the bath water, we have to trust the squad and give the boys an opportunity to right the wrongs," he said.

"We need to make sure we are consistent throughout 80 minutes.

"They are a threat across the park, but I think we are a good side. It's an unforgiving league and if you lose control of a contest for 10 or 15 minutes, then the contest can be over so it's important we don't fold at any stage."