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- Aviva Premiership
- 24th Feb 2008
- KO 15:00
- Ground: Headingley
Meehan hails Barkley bite
Bath coach delighted after Olly's masterclass
Bath head coach Steve Meehan lauded the performance of Olly Barkley after the fly-half orchestrated a bonus-point 34-15 victory at Leeds.
The England international raised eyebrows this week after announcing he is to quit Bath this summer and join fierce west country rivals Gloucester in a two-year deal.
Despite the setback, Meehan insisted he has no fears about the England international's continued commitment.
"I was asked on Friday whether or not Olly might be thinking of other things," said Meehan.
"But he illustrated his ambition for the club for the remainder of the season and his professionalism was there for all to see.
"He could still feature for England this season and if there were any doubts about Olly then he answered them today."
The 26-year-old could hardly be accused of a lack of commitment to his current employers after kicking 14 of his side's 34 points in an outstanding individual performance at Headingley.
Barkley's departure will serve as a huge blow to Bath's aspirations for next season but Meehan is taking a philosophical stance.
"I was surprised that he made the decision to leave and it has been a long process - but it was purely a rugby decision and has nothing to do with anything else," said Meehan.
"I don't think his decision can be based on anything that has happened this season.
"This is the best season Bath have had for some time and it's the best rugby Bath have been playing for some time."
The defeat for Leeds was their 12th in 13 games leaving the Yorkshire club in dire straights at the foot of the Guinness Premiership.
Director of rugby Stuart Lancaster admitted he could have used a player of Barkley's ilk.
"He was exceptional and his kicking game was exemplary," said Lancaster.
"A player like that helps to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
"We were desperately disappointed to concede four tries but we weren't that far away. We've got to keep working and retain self-belief.
"We're in a tough run of games at the moment but self-belief is still high and the effort and application was outstanding."
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|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
|Saturday 4th October|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Northampton|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Leicester|
|Sunday 5th October|
|14:00||Sale vs Wasps|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Exeter|
|Friday 10th October|
|19:45||Leicester vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 11th October|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Saracens vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Irish|
|15:15||Northampton vs Sale|
|Sunday 12th October|
|14:00||Wasps vs Bath|
|Saturday 15th November|
|14:00||Sale vs London Irish|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Newcastle 18 - 20 London Irish|
|Wasps 20 - 16 Northampton|
|Saturday 13th September|
|Exeter 20 - 24 Leicester|
|Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale Sharks|
|Bath 53 - 26 London Welsh|
|Friday 12th September|
|Harlequins 0 - 39 Saracens|
|Sunday 7th September|
|London Welsh 0 - 52 Exeter|
|Saturday 6th September|
|London Irish 15 - 20 Harlequins|
|Leicester 36 - 17 Newcastle|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 29 Bath|
|Saracens 34 - 28 Wasps|
|Friday 5th September|
|Northampton 53 - 6 Gloucester|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com