Rugby - Gold optimistic despite defeat

Bath head coach Gary Gold has not given up hope of reaching the Aviva Premiership play-offs despite Sunday's 29-15 defeat to Wasps.

Gold's troops have now gone four league games without a win and remain in eighth place after Christian Wade's try on the stroke of half-time changed the course of the game.

However, despite their forlorn second-half display, Gold was defiant in his belief that his players could respond in style. "I think the table is quite tight this year, if you look at it if you're a pessimist and see the glass half empty you could think [we're out of the top four contention]," he said.

He went on: "But we have a good group of rugby players, the attitude is right and I'm certainly not going to be giving up on the top four going forward.

Bath had taken the early initiative and led 12-3 after 20 minutes through tries from Nick Abendanon and Michael Claassens, but Wade's trickery, Stephen Jones' majestic right boot - which gathered 17 points in total - and Chris Bell's late effort proved too much for the visitors.

Gold said: "At 29-15 it doesn't look like we showed character but I think we did, we started off well and we put them under pressure, but that try just before half-time hurt us there's no doubt about it. I think we defended bravely for quite a number of phases at that stage and a piece of brilliance from their very good players led to them getting a try."

Wade's brilliant solo effort, his sixth try of the Premiership season, turned the tide in Wasps' favour but forward James Haskell insists they will not be getting carried away despite moving into fourth.

"It's exciting [that we're in the top four], but the good thing is that our feet will be firmly back on the floor [next week]," said Haskell. "We are pleased as a team but we know there's a lot of work to do. There's a long way to go.

"We've got a new team with a lot of young talent, with great new signings like Ashley Johnson. In the Premiership slow and steady wins the race and we've just got to keep going and look at our games and keep on improving.

"I think belief comes from doing a lot of hard work, sometimes in our review meetings you're not sure if you have won the game given the amount of scrutiny we are put under but everyone is working hard towards the same goal.