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Bath Rugby 17 - 15 Saints: Post denies Boyd's men a last-gasp draw

Northampton Saints were denied a draw against Bath Rugby with the last kick of the game as Dan Biggar’s conversion attempt to level the scores at the Recreation Ground hit the post.

Saints were behind for much of the second half but a Tom Collins try with just two minutes to play gave Biggar a chance to level and share the points.

But the Welsh International fly-half hit the woodwork and the bounce of the ball favoured the hosts to leave Saints with just a losing bonus point from what was a largely even Gallagher Premiership contest.

The damp and greasy conditions at the Recreation Ground made handling conditions tricky and unsurprisingly a nip-and-tuck opening 20 minutes was punctuated with errors.

Bath failed to capitalise on the game’s first opportunity to score from the tee after Saints were penalised at the scrum. Soon after the home side were forced into an early change too, substituting Max Wright for injured centre Aled Brew.

Despite the conditions Saints continued to try to play with ambition and it was the visitors who notched the first points of the game when Cobus Reinach weaved his way onto a kick through in the Bath 22 to score after pouncing on some loose play from the hosts. Biggar's conversion was good to make it 7-0.

Saints continued to pressure the home side, but with 10 minutes of the half left to play Bath fly-half Freddie Burns intercepted a pass from deep into his own half and had the legs to run the length of the field to touch the ball down.

A second missed penalty attempt from Bath meant scores were level 7-7 at the break. 

Bath poked their noses in front with a penalty after 10 minutes of the second half and increased their lead further when Joe Cokanasiga touched down to make it 17-7 with a quarter of the game to go.

A Dan Biggar penalty brought Saints back to within a try though as the visitors rallied, and when Alex Mitchell darted through to superbly release Collins for his first try of the season, the grandstand finale was set.

But while Biggar’s strike was sweet, the ball drifted agonisingly off target and cannoned into open play to leave a nervous home crowd celebrating.

Saints picked up a point in defeat and will be on the road again next weekend as they travel to Ashton Gate to take on Bristol.

Match

Bath Rugby vs Northampton Saints

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

Bath 7-7 Saints

FT ScoreFull Time Score

Bath 17-15 Saints

Attendance

14,150

Referee

Karl Dickson

Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby
17

Summary

Full Time

Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
15
Bath Rugby
T
C
P
T
C
T
KOHTFT
Northampton Saints
T
C
P

Biggar's last-gasp conversion hits the post and that's the game. So unlucky for Saints who leave with a bonus point for their trouble but will feel like it could have been more.

TRYYYY COLLINS

Tom Collins scores in the left corner after Mitchell puts him in!! Massive conversion now for Biggar from right on the touchline...

79

The lineout goes into a Bath hand but it's straight back out and Saints have another shot from the 22.

78

Bath are offside again and Biggs hits Saints right into the corner...COYS!!

77

Mitchell is hit unfairly at the back of a ruck and tempers flare for a moment. Biggar sends Saints over halfway with a lineout to come...

75

Huge break from Api!! Saints tails are up and they are getting the ball through the hands on halfway!

Penalty Biggar!

No mistake from Saints' No.10. He brings the men in red and white back within touching distance.

73

Saints build the phases but Bath's defence is proving stern until Ellis flies offside. Free play for Saints allows them to stretch their hosts but a knock on sees us back for the penalty and Biggar steps up for three...

70

Kellaway looks to chase his own kick, and while Bath recover a couple of big hits put them back under pressure. Brilliant kick over from Biggar is collected by Mallinder and Saints are within five of the line!!

Api Ratuniyarawa and Mitch Eadie will try to make an impact, replacing Ribbans and Harrison. 

67

Mallinder looks to have released Collins down the left but the pass is ruled to be forwards. We're back for the scrum.

Alex Mitchell is into the action now for Reinach, and Saints have plenty to do heading into the final quarter of an hour.

BATH CONVERSION

...and Burns' touchline conversion is good to open up a ten-point advantage for the hosts.

TRY BATH.

Referee checking for a knock-on in the build-up, but it's off a red shirt and the try stands.

63

Saints turn over a scrum but Reinach's pass with the wet ball is loose and Bath have a chance. Burns chips over the top and as he gathers there's space on the left for Cokanasiga who looks to have scored...but we're with the TMO.

Mike Haywood and Francois van Wyk into Saints' front row for Hartley and Waller.

61

Mallinder with a couple of good kicks from hand pins Bath back and Ludlam forces Mercer into touch to give Saints field position once again.

Another Bath change, Chris Cook replaces Max Green at scrum-half. And Zach Mercer is on for Sam Underhill.

Charteris and Dunn off for Stooke and Walker for Bath.

Harry Mallinder comes into the action in place of Naiyaravoro, who didn't get many opportunities to carry today in wet conditions.

Penalty Bath

Ribbans is off his feet and Burns gives Bath the lead for the first time in the match from the resulting penalty. 

54

Rokoduguni again chases his own kick to earn Bath a lineout inside the Saints 22. They've not had much ball here so far this afternoon, and while Saints come close to disrupting the lineout the hosts come out with the ball and are going through the phases.

Ehren Painter comes on for Franks to try and steady up Saints' scrum.

49

Hartley is penalised for a high tackle on Cokanasiga with Bath again struggling to clear, and Burns is able to clear his lines. First nine minutes much the same as the first half here with the error count high.

Andrew Kellaway is on for his Saints debut after half-time, he replaces Andy Symons who looked to take a knock before the interval.

Second-half underway

Burns hoists the ball high up into the gloomy sky to start the second 40.

Biggar clears into the stands to bring that first 40 to a close. Saints definitely on top for most of the half, but Burns' intercept try was a real sucker punch. Points look hard to come by in these conditions but Boyd and co can be happy with so far with Saints' ambition.

40

...but he slices well wide. We're just moments from half-time here.

39

Ludlam is harshly pinged for changing his bind and Burns has a shot at goal to put Bath ahead for the first time...

38

Bath force Saints right back and Burn's chip over has the visitors defending deep. Reinach clears well but the home crowd is making some noise as the hosts have a lineout on the 22 with half-time approaching.

34

Bath with the score out of absolutely nothing there, that was their first entry into Saints' 22. But the visitors respond well and Burns kicks out on the full again under huge pressure from Gibson.

Bath Conversion

Burns with the extra two from right in front of the posts to level the scores.

Try Bath

Biggar's adamant his opposite number is offside but the try stands as Burns finishes off under the posts.

30

Lawes gets stuck right in at the lineout drive and wins his side back the ball! But the England lock's work is for nothing as Freddie Burns picks off Reinach's pass and streaks up the field...

28

Great grubber from Reinach pins Bath back deep inside their own half again, approaching the half-hour mark and it's still the scrum-half's try that seperates the sides...

24

Saints back in possession and getting over the gain line with almost every carry. A knock on from the men in red and white hands back the ball, but Bath engage too early and Saints have a fantastic attacking opportunity from a scrum in the middle of the field.

conversion

...no mistake from Biggar, sweetly struck to add two points.

TRYYYY!!

...and it's given! No knock-on the build up and Saints draw first blood here!! Biggar over the conversion.

19

Carnage in midfield after Burns' high kick but it looks like Saints might have scored through Reinach!! It's with the TMO for now...

18

Great scrum from Saints in response to push back the hosts! Both sides just trading blows in midfield for now with the scoreboard still at 0-0, but Burns misjudges a kick and it goes out on the full. Saints with the lineout on halfway.

12

Saints making big metres with the ball in hand as they look to stretch Bath to both sides of the pitch. Big carry from Ludlam and great hands from Franks sees Boyd's men up to halfway, but the wet ball slips out of Francis' grasp and the hosts have the scrum.

10

...but the scores remain level as Burns' long attempt drifts wide right

Early change forced on Bath as Aled Brew is replaced by Max Wright. Bath scrum wins a penalty immediately afterwards and Burns has a shot at goal...

6

Great work from Jamie Gibson who wins his first penalty of the day at the breakdown. Biggar clears to halfway. Few handling errors in the early stages - to be expected in this weather!

3

Saints making yards again here through Gibson, Franks and Ribbans but the ball goes loose and Rokoduguni is able to clear, winning the ball back just over halfway off his own kick.

1

Bath clear their lines and Saints have an early lineout on halfway. The visitors put the ball through the hands and Biggar's grubber through has the hosts under pressure.

And we're off!

Bath Rugby v Northampton Saints is underway here at the Rec. COYS!!

-30

30 minutes to kick off here at the Rec...

T-minus 30 minutes to kick off here in Bath and the teams are in.

Check out Saints' team news and Chris Boyd's thoughts ahead of the game by CLICKING HERE.

Opposition LineupBath Rugby

15
Darren Atkins
14
Semesa Rokoduguni
13
Aled Brew
12
Jackson Willison
11
Joe Cokanasiga
10
Freddie Burns
9
Max Green
1
Nathan Catt
2
Tom Dunn
3
Henry Thomas
4
Dave Attwood
5
Luke Charteris
6
Tom Ellis
7
Sam Underhill
8
Taulupe Faletau

SubsBath Rugby

16
Jack Walker
17
Jacques van Rooyen
18
Anthony Perenise
19
Elliott Stooke
20
Zach Mercer
21
Chris Cook
22
Rhys Priestland
23
Max Wright
posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
6
Bath Rugby
Bath RugbyBAT9324189220-3122272119
10
Northampton Saints
Northampton SaintsNOR9306206214-826232317
Form Guide

Form

LWLLW

Last match

Beat Dragons 48-14

Past meeting

Lost 15-17
Full Time
Bath Rugby
Bath Rugby
17
Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
15