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Bath Rugby 32 Saints 9: Saints downed at the Rec

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Northampton Saints could not take their Cup form back into league action as they were beaten 32-9 by Bath Rugby at the Rec.

The visitors certainly had the best of the opening exchanges, Piers Francis kicking them into an early 6-0 lead, but they could not convert their pressure into tries and ill-discipline allowed Bath back into the game.

And when a loose pass on the stroke of half-time led to the first try of the night for Matt Banahan, the hosts had the wind in their sails at the start of the second period and crossed twice more through Nick Auterac and Ross Batty.

Bath enjoyed lots of phases early on but made little ground, and when Saints got the ball in hand they forced an early pen for a high tackle which Francis sent deep.

The hosts were the penalized at the resulting lineout maul and Francis took the first chance at points of the evening, his sixth-minute kick sliding inside the right post.

Saints continued to pile on the pressure in Bath territory, and a brilliant burst from Tom Wood after a well-worked lineout earned Saints another shot at goal with Bath not releasing.

Francis did the honours from in front of the posts to make it 6-0 on 18 minutes, but Bath pegged back the visitors seven minutes later as a side entry from Wood saw him pinged bang in front and Burns reduced the deficit to three.

The game looked as though it might become an arm-wrestle as both sides made steady progress before strong defence forced the errors, but Jamie Gibson went off his feet and Burns levelled the scores.

Saints discipline was now letting them down slightly and two quick penalties – the second for taking the man in the air from a lineout – allowed Burns another shot at goal and he made it three from three from the tee.

And while it looked as though the score would remain 9-6 until the interval, as Saints pressed forward a wayward pass in the Saints midfield saw Ben Tapuai latch onto the loose ball, and he offloaded for Banahan to run a good inside-out line into the corner.

A well-struck conversion from Burns made it 16-6 to the hosts and the Saints had work to do.

They rode more Bath pressure well in the first ten minutes of the second period, with Bath only coming away with another Burns penalty after coming within inches of the line.

Saints responded straight away with Francis striking over a penalty of his own to give his side a lifeline heading into the final 25 minutes.

But a high tackle from Kieran Brookes meant Burns’ fifth pen of the night sailed through the uprights, and the visitors now rolled the dice with half-backs Mallinder and Groom coming into the fray.

However it was Bath who struck the killer blow with just over ten minutes remaining, showing patience to go through the phases and with Saints’ defence stretched, Burns threw the ball wide for replacement Auterac to slide over in the left corner.

Burns’ conversion slipped wide of the mark but Bath still had time for one more score as Batty crossed the whitewash in the same place, leaving Saints with plenty to work on ahead of London Irish’s visit to Franklin’s Gardens next week.

Bath Rugby: Wilson; Banahan, Hurrell, Tapuai, Brew; Burns, Fotuali’I; Noguera, Dunn, Lahiff; Stooke, Ewels; Garvey (capt), Grant, Phillips
Replacements: Batty, Auterac, Thomas, Charteris, Bayliss, Cook, Lewis, Atkins

Saints: Tuala; Pisi, Horne, Stephenson, Foden; Francis, Reinach; Ma’afu, Haywood, Brookes; Ratuniyarawa, Day (capt); Wood, Gibson, Harrison
Replacements: Marshall, van Wyk, Ford-Robinson, Ribbans, Nutley, Groom, Mallinder, Tuitavake

TIMELINE
6’ SAINTS Penalty Francis 0-3
18’ SAINTS Penalty Francis 0-6
25’ BATH Penalty Burns 3-6
32’ BATH Penalty Burns 6-6
40’ BATH Try Banahan Conversion Burns 16-6
HALF-TIME Bath Rugby 16 – 6 Saints
50’ BATH Penalty Burns 19-6
54’ SAINTS Penalty Francis 19-9
58’ BATH Penalty Burns 22-9
68’ BATH Try Auterac 27-9
77’ BATH Try Batty 32-9
FULL-TIME: Bath Rugby 32 – 9 Saints

Match

Bath Rugby vs Northampton Saints

Player Stats

Bath Rugby
Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
TCDP
1Campese Ma'afu
2Mike Haywood
3Kieran Brookes
4Api Ratuniyarawa
5Christian Day
6Tom Wood
7Jamie Gibson
8Teimana Harrison
9Cobus Reinach
10Piers Francis3P
11Ben Foden
12Tom Stephenson
13Rob Horne
14Ken Pisi
15Ahsee Tuala
16Reece Marshall
17Francois van Wyk
18Jamal Ford-Robinson
19David Ribbans
20Ben Nutley
21Nic Groom
22Harry Mallinder
23Nafi Tuitavake

Match Details

FT ScoreFull Time Score

Bath 32-9 Saints

Attendance

13,105

Referee

Not available

Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby
32

Summary

Full Time

Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
9

Opposition LineupBath Rugby

15
James Wilson
14
Matt Banahan
13
Will Hurrell
12
Ben Tapuai
11
Aled Brew
10
Freddie Burns
9
Kahn Fotuali'i
1
Lucas Nogeura Paz
2
Tom Dunn
3
Max Lahiff
4
Elliott Stooke
5
Charlie Ewels
6
Matt Garvey
7
Paul Grant
8
James Phillips

SubsBath Rugby

16
Ross Batty
17
Nick Auterac
18
Henry Thomas
19
Luke Charteris
20
Josh Bayliss
21
Chris Cook
22
Josh Lewis
23
Darren Atkins
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
6
Bath Rugby
Bath RugbyBAT22110115725314163688456
9
Northampton Saints
Northampton SaintsNOR228014509645-13664805643
Form Guide

Form

LWWLW

Last match

Beat Worcester 32-24

Past meeting

Lost 12-13
Full Time
Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby
32
Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
9