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Hill: Saints must nullify Bath's "punchy" pack

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Saints’ last home game of the season takes place on Saturday as Bath travel to Franklin’s Gardens. It is set to be an exciting match with Northampton looking to cement their place in the top six to secure European rugby for next season. Bath, meanwhile, will be looking to finish the season on a high.

With a number of the Bath back line in the England squad, fellow England player Paul Hill says that Saints must not just focus on the likes of Ford, Joseph and Watson: “I think everybody already knows that Bath have got a strong back line but they’ve also got some punchy forwards who are heavy, so it’s just about managing that. It’s about tying up their forwards and playing our own game.”

Despite a poor start to the season in which they only won three of their opening ten Aviva Premiership fixtures, Bath’s performances have started to improve and Hill believes that his side will have to be at their best: “Bath had a rocky start to the season but they’ve started bringing it back now. I think they’re starting to play better as a team so we definitely need to watch out for that this weekend!”

Saints’ last two matches have ended in narrow defeats to Saracens and Leicester but Hill is confident that Saints can take positives from their performances in those two tough contests: “They were definitely hard fought matches so it’s just about picking up what we’ve learnt from those games. 

With a place in the European Champions Cup still up for grabs, there is everything to play for against Bath: “We need to stay in the top six, so the season’s not quite finished yet,” says Hill.

“We still need to prove something in these last two games and it’s about throwing everything we’ve got at them.”

Tickets are on sale now at www.tinyurl.com/SAI-BAT-1516 and by using [email protected] supporters can beat the match day queues and save the admin fees. Groups of seats are available in the Barwell Stand, with places also available in a number of other areas of Franklin’s Gardens.