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Pack will have to be at Test standard to beat Leinster, says Bath’s Ewels

Bath second row Charlie Ewels has said the squad will have to hit its peak to walk off winners against Leinster when they visit the Rec this weekend in the Champions Cup.

Todd Blackadder’s side lumbered to a 7-7 draw against Sale Sharks on Sunday, a result which the Bath director of rugby said ‘let the supporters down’.

And Ewels admitted the squad knew the size of the task at hand to turnaround their form against a Leinster side who have put 50 points or more past their last two opponents in the PRO14, Ospreys and Dragons.

“It wasn’t good enough, that was a game that we targeted to win and we missed opportunities. We created chances to win the game, but in other areas we were poor. A draw is better than a loss, but that’s nowhere near where we want to be and where we should be,” Ewels told Bath’s official website.

“I think when you look back at games, it’s about finding ways to win however that may be. That’s where we have to get better as a squad – when we have those experiences we then learn from them the next time we are in that situation, we capitalise on it.”

Led by Champions Cup and PRO14 masterminds Stuart Lancaster and Leo Cullen, Ewels said he was under no illusion about the challenge facing a Bath pack that failed to fire on all cylinders last time out.

“We’re hugely excited – when the fixtures first got announced at the start of the year, that was one that was highlighted. We want to test ourselves against the best in Europe and that’s where we want to go as a club.

“Some people may think our league position is quite false in terms of what we have delivered this year. However, as a playing group and as a management group, the ambition of this club is to be the best in Europe. The only way we are going to get there is by testing ourselves against the current best, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

He continued: “The set-piece is going to be massive as it is in every game, but even more so in Europe. It’s also just going to be about taking our opportunities and recognising that these European matches against the top sides become more and more like Test matches. You don’t get four or five opportunities in a game, you get one or two and you either take them or you don’t.”

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