Defeat at Bath was 'disappointing and frustrating', says Saints boss Dowson

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Phil Dowson labelled Saints' 43-12 defeat at Bath on Saturday afternoon as 'disappointing and frustrating'.

The black, green and gold shipped six tries as they ended the regular season with a loss at The Rec.

And Dowson said: "It was a bit disappointing and frustrating because we didn't perform as we wanted to in different facets of the game.

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"There's some good experience for us as a group and as coaches as well in terms of how we can be better.

Phil Dowson (photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)Phil Dowson (photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Phil Dowson (photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

"We felt we had enough quality (to win the game), we just didn't get it right today for lots of reasons.

"It's frustrating and disappointing, we've got to make sure we look at ourselves first.

"It was quite a chastening experience because were on the back foot for lots of it and we didn't fire a shot in the first 30 minutes.

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"At 17-5 down at half-time, we felt we were really in the game, but we conceded immediately after half-time.

"Small things in the game matter, and we didn't get those things right.

"Bath are a very good side, a semi-finalist as well, but I would never focus on the opposition, I'm focused on what we're trying to do, and we weren't good enough.

"It's frustrating."

Despite the defeat, Saints have finished top of the regular-season table for the first time since 2015.

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"It's testament to everyone involved in the organisation who have worked tirelessly over a very long period of time," Dowson said.

"We also know there's one more game definitely, hopefully two more, and we don't need to worry about the league table because there's no trophy for that.

"We need to focus on the next game."

When Saints last finished top of the table, they hosted Saracens in the play-off semi-finals - and they will do so again this season after Mark McCall's men finished fourth.

And Dowson says all roads now lead to that clash which will take place at a sold-out cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens on Friday, May 31 - the 10-year anniversary of Saints' Premiership final win against Saracens.

"It's very special," Dowson said.

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"Any of those sides we could have got: Sale, Bath and Quins or Bristol, who could have made it, are going to be a dangerous group.

"We know that Friday night is going to be bouncing at the Gardens and we've got two weeks to prepare for it.

"We've got to make sure all roads lead to that semi-final and that we put a performance together."

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