SAINTS 43 BATH 25 As it happened

The outstanding George North wrapped up the Saints' win with try number six in injury time © Getty Images

Match Report SAINTS 43 BATH 25 As it happened

The Saints increased the gap between second and third with another maximum at the Gardens, coming from 0-13 down against Bath for a thumping win in front of a full house. Here's how it all unfolded.

KO
Ford gets the game underway, Saints playing towards the Sturtridge Pavilion…
SAINTS 0 BATH 0

1min
Bath stringing phases together and while the Saints are squeaky clean in defence, the whistle goes. That’s because of a collision between referee Pearce and Bath carrier Webber and the official is leaking a bit of claret too. There's going to be a break in the game, with Martin Fox taking over the whistle.
SAINTS 0 BATH 0

2mins
Not the most popular replacement referee with a full house at the Gardens… Bath have left the field during the break, the Saints stay out to choruses of ‘Come On You Saaaiiinnntsssss….’
SAINTS 0 BATH 0

2mins
Bath are back, followed by new referee Fox. The game restarts with a scrum for the visitors… and a penalty first up which Ford, after taking his time, kicks.
SAINTS 0 BATH 3

6mins
Saints get their hands on the ball but when possession is kicked away cheaply, Watson soars up the left flank and Eastmond is free to glide under the posts from the full back’s offload. Ford converts a score the Saints will be furious at conceding.
SAINTS 0 BATH 10

8mins
Far from ideal start from the hosts but with some penetration from North in midfield and a smart chip in behind from Fotuali’i, they’ve pegged Bath deep into their own 22. A scrappy lineout falls kindly but the Saints can run it back from Roberts’ box kick.
SAINTS 0 BATH 10

13mins
A Bath scrum takes an age to get right but at the third time of asking the ball is played and Ford tries to pick out Banahan with a cross kick. Elliott competes well though and Saints have the lineout on halfway.
SAINTS 0 BATH 10

15mins
Referee Fox rewards Bath at the scrum again and Ford has a long chance to extend the visitors’ lead. The fly half duly does.
SAINTS 0 BATH 13

17mins
North recovers Ken’s high kick and with Manoa and then Burrell treating Eastmond like a speed bump, Saints are within 10m of the Bath line. There’s a penalty too and Myler goes to the corner after a sweeping and bullish Saints move.
SAINTS 0 BATH 13

19mins
Bath are trying by any means to kill this maul - unsuccessfully - and when the move breaks up, Manoa goes round the side and stretches for the line. The players look convinced it’s a score after a couple of big screen replays but the TMO isn’t convinced. No try, but a penalty and a yellow card for Bath prop James as well. Back into the corner.
SAINTS 0 BATH 13

20mins
Another maul led by Manoa drops but when the ball comes back on the short side, Hartley flings it wide to send Day over. Referee Fox awards the score before changing his mind to ask the TMO about the scoring pass. No problems this time though and Myler fires over the touchline conversion.
SAINTS 7 BATH 13

22mins
Crucial Saints scored next in this game but Bath are quickly back in home territory with a Ford penalty to touch - Saints not retreating under a high ball. The resulting lineout is mauled but Lawes wrestles his way through the pack, wraps up the ball and wins his side a scrum as the visitors fail to get the ball back.
SAINTS 7 BATH 13

25mins
Seven-man Bath backpedal in the set-piece and after some front row handbags the penalty is sent upfield by Myler. Still a few minutes left on the James sin bin and more scrapping off the ball, this time Garvey and Wood. Back in play, kicks are exchanged, Fotuali’i finds touch and Clark steals a Bath lineout.
SAINTS 7 BATH 13

28mins
North goes airborne to brilliantly reclaim a Fotuali’i box kick but having been taking dangerously in the air, it’s only a penalty for the Saints. Looked like a clear yellow for Agulla but the Argentine gets off lightly. Bath may not if the Saints can make something of Myler’s penalty to touch.
SAINTS 7 BATH 13

29mins
..they certainly do! Bath cynically kill another maul and so with advantage playing, Myler hangs a 50/50 kick up for Elliott. The young wing towers above Banahan to gather and with Fotuali’i sniping around the base, George is over for a try on his return. Dead eye Myler lands another wide one and the Saints are in front.
SAINTS 14 BATH 13

31mins
The TMO is certainly earning his crust today, referee Fox going upstairs again on the advice of his touch judge. Clark was a little rough clearing Hooper out but there’s nothing doing - this is rugby!! Saints penalty stands for a Wood turnover and Myler puts Saints 15m from the Bath line yet again.
SAINTS 14 BATH 13

33mins
North and Manoa are popping up all over the place to take Saints over the gainline and now within 5m of the line, Ken goes agonisingly close. Bath commit too many to try and stem the tide and when it’s spun wide, Ken pops up again to scoop from his bootlaces and free Elliott, the winger scampering over for Saints try number three. The hosts are making the most of their time on top and Myler of course adds the extras.
SAINTS 21 BATH 13

37mins
You’d expect nothing less from a top of the table clash - this game is getting niggly! Louw and Ma’afu get well acquainted on the left and you have to say again, is this rugby or tidily winks?! No decision needs making and Saints will put into a scrum centre field.
SAINTS 21 BATH 13

HT
You’d think Hartley and Roberts know each other well enough after the scrum-half’s time at the Gardens but the pair are scrapping as the half comes to an end! It finished with a turnover after a huge hit from George on Eastmond and the Bath centre looked a little tender after as well.
SAINTS 21 BATH 13

HT
Well, after what can only be described as a horror start the Saints have dominated. Three tries made good use of forward power and in defence, only Eastmond’s counter try has given them something to worry about. It did serve notice of how dangerous these Bath backs are though and with the visitors maybe shading the scrum battle too, there’s still a long way to go at the Gardens.
SAINTS 21 BATH 13

40mins
Second half restarted by Myler, huge 40 coming up here at Franklin’s Gardens!
SAINTS 21 BATH 13

41mins
What an opportunity first up. Bath gather the restart safely but the clearing kick goes out on the full at the expense of a lineout on their own 22. A maul makes some ground, George sidesteps Joseph to make even more and Day forces his way over for try number two and the bonus point! Myler maximises.
SAINTS 28 BATH 13

43mins
Huge error from Bath and they’ve been punished to the full by the man who, often seen as an unsung hero in black, green and gold, has taken on a scoring role this afternoon from the second row! Huge cheer from the Saints faithful as his name is read over the PA system.
SAINTS 28 BATH 13

46mins
Bath respond well and fly into Saints’ 22, going through a couple of gaps, but when Eastmond spins it wide to Watson, the young full back finds the pass too hot to handle. His spill bobbles into touch and Saints clear from the resulting lineout.
SAINTS 28 BATH 13

48mins
Ken has left the field to be replaced by Collins as Bath put it through the hands. Next score is crucial here and with a huge overlap on the right, Eastmond kicks wastefully, North getting back in to hack the ball from Agulla’s grasp.
SAINTS 28 BATH 13

49mins
Bath still get the chance to put into a 5m scrum, after extensive treatment to Perenise on the other side of the field. The prop is ok to carry on and trots across to the set-piece. It’s another that takes several goes to get started - four to be precise - before Bath get the penalty.
SAINTS 28 BATH 13

53mins
Tries needed for Bath who are currently three scores back and Ford puts it into the corner. Mercey replaces Ma’afu for the Saints, Orlandi and Day come on for Bath before Webber throws into the line. The first shove back is good but Bath bide their time and the hooker is the man to get the ball down under a mass of bodies.
SAINTS 28 BATH 18

56mins
Chance for Saints to put some much needed points on the board straight away and Myler’s penalty goes into the Tetley’s Stand. It’s been a game of mauling and brawling but with this one well defended, Saints instead counter through North. Myler darts ever closer and with play switched back left, Elliott puts Manoa away for what is surely the killer score.
SAINTS 33 BATH 18

58mins
While Ford’s poor kick down North’s throat has hurt Bath, Myler has been supreme putting boot to ball this afternoon. This is another well struck wide conversion but the upright ends his 100% streak for the day.
SAINTS 33 BATH 18

64mins
Bath having to play from deep but Eastmond and Joseph combine brilliantly to slice Saints open. The latter hoofs upfield but Collins shows brilliant pace to beat the Bath midfield pair to the ball and ground. It’s cost the Saints a 5m scrum but anyone else chasing back and that would likely have been a seven-pointer.
SAINTS 33 BATH 18

66mins
Another penalty goes Bath’s way and they choose to re-scrum just to the left of the posts. There’s still a bit left in this game, especially if Bath score quickly and next.
SAINTS 33 BATH 18

68mins
That’s exactly what they do and with another scrum marching forwards, Houston grounds before Ford converts. Now only eight points, but crucially two scores in it.
SAINTS 33 BATH 25

69mins
Lovely injection of pace and pass from Collins as he returns a Bath kick with interest. Myler follows suit with a good nudge in behind and Saints have Bath where they want them, pegged inside their own 22. Hartley has departed for Haywood while double try scorer Day is replaced by Dickinson.
SAINTS 33 BATH 25

70mins
Pressure pays and Bath make a real mess of the lineout. Saints steal it but after a rare fumble from Myler, backwards, another goes forwards and Bath have the scrum.
SAINTS 33 BATH 25

71mins
Bath really have had Saints under the cosh in the scrum and another penalty is pumped up to halfway by Ford. It’s another poor lineout from the visitors though and Dowson hares away with the ball. Saints are turned over though and are knocked back outside the 22.
SAINTS 33 BATH 25

74mins
Saints penalty! Myler is lining up a crucial shot at the sticks as George hobbles off to be replaced by Dickson. It’s a crisp strike that doesn’t leave the the goal.
SAINTS 36 BATH 25

77mins
A scrappy passage of play as Bath recover their own restart but when Joesph kicks upfield and dead, Saints finally get a penalty from the scrum. Meanwhile, Day is a popular choice as man of the match.
SAINTS 36 BATH 25

79mins
Saints looking threatening once more but Lawes’ crushing carry ends in a turnover and the visitors can go looking for try number four - and two consolation points. Banahan isn’t getting around North though and the Welsh wing - who has been outstanding this afternoon - gets to his feet to win a penalty too.
SAINTS 36 BATH 25

80mins
One last chance for Bath to counter but Abendanon spills under a monster Manoa hit. Elliott picks up, Dickson spins it and North has a richly deserved try in front of the Burrda Stand. A performance from him that had everything but the try until the added time score and Myler caps his own excellent display with another two from the tee.
SAINTS 43 BATH 25

FT
And that’s that! Another big win for the Saints at home against one of their top four rivals but it maybe wasn’t quite as one-sided as the scoreline suggests. Even so, it’s another five-pointer at the Gardens and with Bath taking home nothing the gap between second and third grows.
SAINTS 43 BATH 25

TIMELINE
5mins BATH Pen Ford 0-3
7mins BATH Try Eastmond Con Ford 0-10
16mins BATH Pen Ford 0-13
19mins BATH Yellow James
20mins SAINTS Try Day Con Myler 7-13
29mins SAINTS Try G Pisi Con Myler 14-13
34mins SAINTS Try Elliott Con Myler 21-13
38mins BATH Miss DG Ford
HALF-TIME SAINTS 21 BATH 13
43mins SAINTS Try Day Con Myler 28-13
54mins BATH Try Webber 28-18
58mins SAINTS Try Manoa 33-18
68mins BATH Try Houston Con Ford 33-25
75mins SAINTS Pen Myler 36-25
80+2mins SAINTS Try North Con Myler 43-25
FULL-TIME SAINTS 43 BATH 25

SAINTS
K Pisi; Elliott, G Pisi, Burrell, North; Myler, Fotuali’i; A Waller, Hartley (capt), Ma’afu, Lawes, Day, Clark, Wood, Manoa

Reps - Haywood, E Waller, Mercey, Dickinson, Dowson, L Dickson, G Dickson, Collins

BATH
Watson; Agulla, Joseph, Eastmond, Banahan; Ford, Roberts; James, Webber, Perenise, Hooper (capt), Attwood, Garvey, Louw, Fearns

Reps - Guinazu, Catt, Orlandi, Day, Houston, Stringer, Heathcote, Abendanon

Aviva Man of the Match: Christian Day

Att: 13,475

Referee: Luke Pearce

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