Planet Rugby

Saints getting that sinking feeling

10th March 2007 16:21

Share:

Nick Abendanon

Nick Abendanon is congratulated on his try

Despite Robbie Kydd's late try which nicked a bonus point, Northampton Saints dropped to the bottom of the Guinness Premiership table after a 22-17 defeat to Bath on Saturday.

Given that Worcester were resurgent enough to win in Sale on Friday, it would appear that the Saints are fast becoming favourites for the drop, and this display did little to dispel that impression.

Bath's loss of control of the game - they were 22-3 up at one stage and cruising - took the edge off the victory for them but the win does take them out of the relegation dogfight - for the time being at least.

After a nervous start Bath had been quicker to settle and a Danny Grewcock drive forced Northampton to concede a penalty under the posts. Olly Barkley kicked the goal.

A series of penalties around the rucks and mauls by Northampton allowed Bath to maintain the pressure and Barkley added a second penalty four minutes later.

It was not just his goal kicking that was giving his side the upper hand though.

Saints were repeatedly forced back by his kicks to touch and he might have set up a try for Grewcock on 16 minutes only for Carlos Spencer to intercept before knocking the ball on.

Great defensive work by the Saints kept the home side out as the pressure built but the resistance came at a price when number eight Christian Labit was sent to the sin bin in the 19th minute.

It was no real surprise when Grewcock crashed over for the first try on 20 minutes having won the line out that initially set up the chance.

While Saints hooker Dylan Hartley was having trouble finding his line out jumpers Bath were enjoying plenty of possession although without the precision to finish off.

On 36 minutes however, full-back Nick Abendanon ran back a loose kick from his own 10-metre line, sprinting through a scattered defence until hauled down just short of the line by Bruce Reihana.

Bath kept possession and Abendanon was again on hand to stretch over for the unconverted try.

When Northampton did get a sniff of possession Spencer's passes repeatedly failed to find the right target.

One of the culprits was wing Matthieu Bourret but the Frenchman made amends three minutes into the second pass by putting Saints first points on the board with a penalty.

Barkley replied with his third penalty on 50 minutes after a punishing driving maul by the Bath back but the home side escaped shortly afterwards when Northampton thought they had scored until Kidd's pass to Paul Tupai was ruled forward

Barkley made it 22-3 on the hour but Bath then went on the defensive and Saints' scrum-half Mark Robinson stretched out to score on 68 minutes with Bourret adding the conversion.

As Bath lost their shape Northampton seized the chance of the losing bonus point when Spencer made space for Kydd to score on the left.

The scorers:

For Bath:

Tries: Grewcock, Abendanon

Pens: Barkley 4

For Northampton:

Tries: Robinson, Kydd

Cons: Bourret 2

Pens: Bourret

Yellow card: Labit (19, Northampton)

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Joe Maddock, 13 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 David Bory, 10 Chris Malone, 9 Nick Walshe, 8 Isaac Feaunati (c), 7 Michael Lipman, 6 Andy Beattie, 5 Danny Grewcock, 4 Peter Short, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Pieter Dixon, 1 David Barnes.

Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Aaron Jarvis, 18 Hottie Louw, 19 James Scaysbrook, 20 Chev Walker, 21 Shaun Berne, 22 Andy Williams.

Northampton: Northampton: 15 Bruce Reihana (c), 14 Matthieu Bourret, 13 Seamus Mallon, 12 Robbie Kydd, 11 Ben Cohen, 10 Carlos Spencer, 9 Mark Robinson, 8 Christian Labit, 7 Darren Fox, 6 Paul Tupai, 5 Christian Short, 4 Damien Browne, 3 John Brooks, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Tom Smith

Replacements: 16 Matias Cortese, 17 Soane Tonga'uhia, 18 Chris Budgen, 19 Matt Lord, 20 David Gerard, 21 Ben Lewitt, 22 Mark Hopley, 23 Johnny Howard, 24 Stephen Myler, 25 Vaughan Going

Referee: Roy Maybank

Touch judges: Ashley Reay, Stuart Terheege

Assessor: Ed Morrison

Television match official: Matt Peters

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821