Saints see off dogged Bath

Date published: September 27 2014

Northampton made a statement as they saw off leaders Bath with a bonus-point 31-24 win at Franklin’s Gardens.

Two tries during the early stages of the second half proved the difference for Northampton despite a fightback from the visitors.

Bath were looking to kick on following a fantastic victory over Leicester Tigers a week earlier and added Alafoti Fa’osiliva and Olly Woodburn to their squad.

Northampton, meanwhile, had shown good form in the previous to comfortably beat Newcastle Falcons away from home but were dealt a blow when Tom Wood and Courtney Lawes pulled out before kick-off.

Northampton hit the front in the seventh minute when a penalty try was ruled following an early period of Saints pressure.

Stephen Myler added the conversion and he was on target again as the hosts doubled their lead through Calum Clark’s well-taken score.

But Bath quickly pegged the Saints back and were within a converted score when David Wilson charged over the line following good work at the line-out.

George Ford added the conversion and hammered over a penalty on 34 minutes after Myler had edged the hosts further in front with the boot.

Northampton struck a hammer blow at the start of the second half with two quick tries.

First, Christian Day touched down after a smart touch from Ben Foden before George Pisi slid over in the corner.

Myler converted both scores to make it 31-10 but Bath scored two tries in response to mount a decent fightback in the final quarter.

Gavin Henson’s break created the chance for Woodburn to score, and then Nick Auterac was behind the pack at the right time to get another for Bath.

Ford converted the both tries to make it 31-24 with ten minutes still to play.

But the visitors were unable to complete what would have been a famous fightback following last week’s heroics against Leicester.

The scorers:

For Northampton:
Tries: Penalty, Clark, Day, G Pisi
Conversions: Myler 4
Penalties: Myler

For Bath:
Tries: Wilson, Woodburn, Auterac
Conversions: Ford 3
Penalties: Ford
Yellow Cards: Arscott

The teams:

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Jon Fisher, 6 Calum Clark , 5 Christian Day, 4 James Craig, 3 Salesi Ma’afu, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Teimana Harrison, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Will Hooley, 23 James Wilson.

Bath: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Kyle Eastmond 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 George Ford, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Alafoti Fa’osiliva, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Charlie Ewels, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Gavin Henson, 23 Ollie Devoto.

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth