Smith's praise for lock Casey
By Tony Curtis
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Brian Smith singled Bob Casey out for praise after London Irish beat Bath 21-17.
London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith singled second row Bob Casey out for praise after his side came back from 17-6 down to win 21-17.
Casey, who has just returned to the Exiles side after a lengthy spell out injured, was one of five players sin-binned in a fiery confrontation but that did not overly bother Smith.
He said: "He's had two months out with an ankle injury but he's a very influential figure and contributed significantly. Bob's a big presence.
"November was good to us last year - and if we can make progress this month then we can really challenge.
"But with the Samoan boys and the Argentinians needed by their countries, we are as affected as anyone else this year."
While Smith could smile after seeing his side complete a superb comeback, Bath's acting head coach Steve Meehan admitted his side were left "shattered" by the defeat.
Having led through 12 points from Chris Malone and Isaac Feaunati's try, the Exiles hit back as Robbie Russell and Juan Manuel Leguizamon scored late tries to added to Barry Everitt's haul of three penalties and a conversion.
And Meehan said: "The guys are absolutely shattered.
"They put their hearts and souls into it and have done everything they were criticised for not doing last week.
"That's a positive, that they really put the effort in - I can't think that the supporters will be unhappy about that aspect.
"We did a lot of defensive work, and the guys did extremely well considering how much time we spent in our own half."