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Bath renewal proving just the ticket for fans

LANSDOWNE ROAD is filling up rapidly for Leinster's Heineken Cup clash against Bath next Saturday, with nearly 42,000 tickets already sold.

The fans will arrive expecting back-to-back wins after Leinster's 18-13 victory at The Rec on Sunday, which would have been a much more comprehensive result had Joe Schmidt's men not butchered several try-scoring opportunities.

Schmidt has called for greater accuracy this weekend, while Bath coach Brad Davis says his players will relish the chance to take on the champions in front of such a large crowd.

"I can't think of anything better to get up for than a match in front of 40,000 to 50,000 Irishmen and hopefully a few thousand Bath supporters at the Aviva, and neither can the players," said Davis.

Bath have struggling for form this season but were encouraged by a much-improved display against Leinster that saw them pick up a losing bonus-point and Leinster prop Mike Ross is expecting Bath to put it up to them again.

"We expect nothing less than another hard-fought game against them on Saturday," said Ross. "English clubs turn up whatever their position in the Pool and Bath will be no different. It was tough work last weekend and although we probably left a few tries behind, getting the win was vital.

Meanwhile, Ulster prop John Afoa has praised his young front-row colleague Paddy McAllister for his performance in the 31-10 bonus-point win over Aironi at Ravenhill.

The World Cup-winning All Black believes McAllister has a big future.

"Paddy is a real talent," said Afoa. "We put a lot of pressure on him during the week and he had to step up. He did that and we were very happy with how it went -- he really delivered and put the pressure on the rest of the pack."

Irish Independent