Northampton came back from 0-13 down to overcome Bath 43-25 in an entertaining Aviva Premiership meeting at Franklin's Gardens.
Northampton came back from 0-13 down to overcome Bath 43-25 in an entertaining Aviva Premiership clash at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday.
The visitors, who had won their last five matches in the league and last eleven in all competitions prior to the game, made a flying start as two of their England hopefuls Anthony Watson and Kyle Eastmond combined and the latter crossed underneath the posts.
George Ford kicked the conversion and two penalties inside the opening 20 minutes as well to give his team a 13-0 lead but Northampton worked their way back into the match after prop Paul James was sent to the sin-bin midway through the first half.
A long spell of concerted pressure from the home side resulted in three tries before the half-time break and Stephen Myler was on target with all three conversion attempts as well.
Lock Christian Day got the ball rolling as he powered over in the corner before George Pisi was on hand to touch down a well-placed kick ahead from Myler and Jamie Elliott continued his good form by finishing off a flowing move involving a number of players.
It didn't take the Saints long to seal a bonus-point either as they scored their fourth try just a couple of minutes into the second half when a well-executed line-out resulted in Day's second try of the afternoon.
Rob Webber did give Bath some hope that they might be able to mount an unlikely comeback when he crashed over after a driving maul before the hour mark but Samu Manoa's try moments later put the result beyond any real doubt.
Leroy Houston did score a third try for the visitors after a powerful scrum as they went in search of a bonus point but they didn't even get that as George North completed the scoring in the dying stages to put some significant breathing space between the teams in second and third place.
Tries: Day 2, G Pisi, Elliott, Clark, North
Con: Myler 5
Tries: Eastmond, Webber, Houston
Con: Ford 2
Pen: Ford 2
Northampton: 15 Ken Pisi, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Kahn Fotual'i, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Alex Waller.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Sam Dickinson, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Glenn Dickson, 23 Tom Collins.
Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Eusebio Guinazu, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Leroy Houston, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Nick Abendanon.
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Paul Dix, Kevin Stewart
Timekeeper: Brian Abrahams
Television match official: Keith Lewis
Assessor: Tony Spreadbury