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SAINTS 43 BATH 25 As it happened

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

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.

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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.

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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


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