‘We were fortunate to beat Saints’ – Blackadder

Date published: February 11 2017

Bath boss Todd Blackadder admitted his side were fortunate to come away with the win against Northampton Saints at the Rec on Friday.

A last-second kick from Rhys Priestland secured Bath a hard-fought 32-30 victory.

Bath had lost their last three Premiership games but they consolidated their position in the top four with a try-scoring bonus point victory.

Semesa Rokoduguni, on his 100th appearance for Bath, was one of three first-half try scorers which helped them to a 22-9 lead before the Saints fought back.

Ben Foden, Api Ratuniyarawa and Jamie Gibson all scored second half tries, with Chris Cook’s solo effort keeping Bath in contention, before Priestland’s last minute penalty.

And while Blackadder conceded there was an element of luck in Bath’s success, he knows there are still areas to improve on for his side.

“We were fortunate to come out on the right side of the ledger,” he told the Premiership’s official website.

“I thought Northampton in the second half were outstanding. We were probably really lucky to get the win in the end but it was a great game of rugby.

“We talked about starting really well and I felt we did and we had the ascendancy, there were some concerning signs at scrum time we gave a lot of penalties away and let Northampton into the game.

“I thought our defence took a notch up today, we wanted to be really physical and we were.

“But it goes to show against a really good team that scrums really well and where those lineout drives are strong it’s hard to keep them out.”

Northampton’s Stephen Myler surpassed 2,500 points for the club as he converted all three of the visitors’ tries and slotted three penalties.

And Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder refused to criticise his side’s effort.

“It could have gone either way, it was one of those close games and its always decided at the end,” he said.

“Fair play to Priestland to nail that pressured kick but you don’t want to get into those positions, so big moments in the game, we’ll look at o our game some of our exits were really disappointed.

“I was absolutely delighted in terms of energy and effort from all of them, I think the bench came on and did a really good job, we got on the front foot and got some really good ball.

“The effort was absolutely fantastic just very very disappointing we couldn’t nail it at the end.”