There were no travel worries for Bath in their trip to Italy and head coach Mike Ford declared “mission accomplished” at the end of their 55-8 win over Rugby Mogliano at Stadio Comunale Maurizio Quaggia.

The English Premiership high flyers were in cruise control from the moment lock Dom Day touched down for the first of his two tries in the fifth minute. The visitors had the bonus point in the bag before half-time and scored nine tries in all.

“A fully professional Premiership side should win home and away in games like these against a semi-pro Italian team, but there are two things you always look for. Firstly, you want a bonus point and the second is no injuries,” said Ford.

“On those two scores it was mission accomplished and we can now look forward to doing the same thing at home in round four. It Ws also good for us to be able to give some meaningful game time to players coming back from injury.

“We had Tom Heathcote playing at No 10, Gavin Henson coming back from injury and were able to give Rich Lane and Olly Woodburn a run. We were also able to give some time to international players coming back off duty in the autumn.

“That ws very important to us because we have two big games in the space of a few days next week before we have to face Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership. We are in the A League final against Northampton Wanderers on Monday, 16 December and so our selection over the weekend needs to be right.

“We also need to ensure that those players who haven’t played for a few weeks are given a chance to get up to speed ahead of the clash with the Quins.”

The bonus point win in Italy kept Bath three points clear at the top of Pool 3 of closest rivals the Dragons, who picked up a big home win over Bordeaux-Begles. A repeat in France in round four could keep them in the hunt for a quarter-final slot.

“We want to reach the quarter-finals again and a lot will depend on what happens when the Dragons go to France next weekend. Our game against them in round five will be our hardest game and they put on a great display against Bordeaux at home,” added Ford.

“But if we can get another bonus point victory at home over Rugby Mogliano and they lose in France we could be in a very strong position by the time we meet them at Rodney Parade. We just need to keep on winning.

“We were the No 1 seeds going into the quarter-finals last year, but that doesn’t guarantee you anything these days with the strength of the teams coming into the last eight from the Heineken Cup. You don’t even get guaranteed a home draw.”

Ford also had some special praise for hat-trick hero Rich Lane, who grabbed his opportunity with both hands. The 20-year-old former Millfield School product has been dogged by injuries since joining the Bath Academy, but proved what he is capable of in Italy

“I’m really pleased for Richard because he’s had a long time out with injury and there have been some dark days for him. He played extremely well and has showed great mental toughness to come through it all,” said Ford.