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Ribbans: Saints showed courage and character

Lock David Ribbans believes Northampton Saints demonstrated how far the side has come this season in getting over the line after a nip-and-tuck skirmish against Bath Rugby.

The men in Black, Green and Gold sent Franklin’s Gardens into ecstasy with a last-gasp 27-26 win over the West Country outfit on Saturday.

Saints went behind several times as Bath scored tries through Ruaridh McConnochie and Zach Mercer, but centre Rory Hutchinson and scrum-half Alex Mitchell kept the hosts within striking distance, with James Grayson also flawless from the kicking tee.

It was Ribbans’ tap-and-go penalty that saw him burrow over the whitewash at the death to seal a memorable triumph, and the second row was delighted that Saints showed to grit to turn a narrow defeat into victory.

“It was certainly a bit nerve-wracking at the end but it took a lot of courage and character to win that game,” said Ribbans. 

"It’s great for us going forward to win games like that."

David Ribbans

“You’re not going to win every game by 60 points, and I think a couple of years ago we would have struggled to get over that line – so it’s great for us going forward to win games like that.

“We will have to re-assess ahead of the Saracens game but we definitely let ourselves down a bit in attack. We came with good ideas against Bath, but we definitely didn’t execute as well during the match. 

“We showed a lot of character and courage to get that win. That’s another side of our game where we can hold our head high.”

The victory was Northampton’s seventh in a row in all competitions at home and saw the side move up to fifth in the Gallagher Premiership table. 

However, Ribbans insists the team is focused only on their performance and not looking at their position in the league. 

He added: “We know where we want to go and where we want to end up, but we’re just taking it game by game. Every week we come in and review, and look towards the next game.

“There’s no bigger game than Saracens away from home so we’ll come with good plans, structures and ideas.

“We’re going to need to execute better if we’re going to beat them away but we’re looking forward to it.”