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Amlin Challenge Cup
Hooper determined to take positives from defeat
ESPN Staff
May 25, 2014
Bath captain Stuart Hooper barks out his orders, London Wasps v Bath Rugby, Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final, Adams Park, April 27, 2014
Stuart Hooper is looking on the bright side © Getty Images

Stuart Hooper is determined to see the positive side to a disappointing season after Bath lost in the Amlin Challenge Cup final to Northampton Saints.

The West Country club were defeated 30-16 by the Saints in Friday's Challenge Cup final and also missed out on the Aviva Premiership play-offs after losing to Harlequins on the last day of the season. But Hooper insisted the squad could be proud of their achievements despite missing out on silverware.

"We can definitely look back on this season and take positives," Hooper told the Bath Chronicle. "It's difficult to try to think about them now but there's been huge improvement in the way we go about our work day to day.

"But the way you are judged in this sport is by winning trophies and we were desperate to get our hands on some silverware this year which hasn't happened.

"I think in the cold light of day, when we've had a bit of time off, we'll look back and say that we are pleased with the improvements we've made, the way we are learning, and the way the young guys are getting better. If we keep on doing that then I am sure we'll keep knocking on the door."

Bath led 13-6 going into half time at Cardiff Arms Park but their dreams of lifting the trophy were dashed as Northampton found their stride in the second half, crossing for two tries in the final ten minutes.

"I thought the way we played in the first half was perfect finals rugby," said Hooper. "We put the ball in behind them and put pressure on at the breakdown and came in up at the break. "It was positive up until then but then in the second half we went away from what we were doing. "Credit to Northampton, they are a great side and have contested every final they possibly can this year. Once they get some momentum they are a dangerous side, and they showed that in the second half.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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