Planet Rugby

Saints go marching clear

17th September 2010 21:45

Share:

Phil Dowson Northampton Bath 2010

Phil Dowson: Try time!

Northampton ran four tries past Bath on Friday, winning 31-10 in a stunning display to take a clear lead in the Aviva Premiership standings.

Northampton are now the only unbeaten team in the Premiership after an emphatic bonus-point win over their previously undefeated visitors at Franklin's Gardens.

Bath had proved a match for the Saints in the first half but they trailed 11-3 at half-time after the outstanding Phil Dowson barged over for the hosts and Shane Geraghty kicked six points, Olly Barkley scoring Bath's points with his only successful penalty from three attempts.

But they were blown away in the second half as two tries from England wing Chris Ashton and a further score from Joe Ansbro sealed the bonus point for the hosts, Ben Williams getting a late consolation for Bath.

The visitors had started positively as a clever pass from Lewis Moody put Matt Carraro away on a 40-metre run but the wing's inside pass went astray.

The Saints gave away a number of penalties in the opening exchanges and from one of these Olly Barkley had a good chance to give his side the lead but his kick from 40 metres went wide.

The opening 15 minutes was hard fought but with neither side able to dominate proceedings, scoring opportunities were few and far between. However, when Bath offended at a ruck 35 metres out Geraghty stepped up to kick the goal to give the Saints a 3-0 lead.

Andy Beattie, the Bath flanker, was then penalised at a line-out and again Geraghty was successful, this time with a more difficult kick from an angled 45 metres.

Bath's worries were heightened after 25 minutes when the Saints scored the first try of the game. After a period of pressure the ever probing Geraghty was hauled down metres from the visitors' line and Dowson was on hand to pick up and score. Geraghty's conversion attempt hit the post.

Barkley hit the crossbar for Bath with a long-range penalty before they produced their best attacking movement of the first half.

Hooker Pieter Dixon began it with a smart break away from a ruck on halfway; Shontayne Hape was then brought down inches from the home line but the Saints' scramble defence held firm.

Bath were awarded another penalty and this time chose an attacking scrum but the choice proved a disastrous one as Northampton produced a monumental shove to wreck the opposition scrum and gain a penalty.

With the last kick of the half Barkley was given another penalty chance and this time was he landed it to make it 11-3 to the Saints at the interval.

Within 30 seconds of the restart Northampton were further ahead. Dowson broke away from a maul on halfway and sent Ashton racing away for a simple score.

Geraghty missed a simple conversion but made amends with a penalty soon aftarwards.

The Saints dominated the opening period of the half and after Bath prop David Wilson was sin-binned they took full advantage with a further try from Ashton, although there was another conversion miss from Geraghty.

Wilson returned for Bath to shore up/the visitors' under-pressure scrum that was in danger of totally falling apart, but Northampton still extended their lead with a try from replacement Joe Ansbro which replacement Stephen Myler converted.

With six minutes to go Bath collected a consolation try from replacement Ben Williams which Sam Vesty converted.

The scorers:

For Northampton:
Tries: Dowson, Ashton 2, Ansbro
Cons: Myler
Pens: Geraghty 3

For Bath:
Try: Williams
Con: Vesty
Pen: Barkley

Yellow card: Wilson (Bath - 50th min)

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Jon Clarke, 12 James Downey, 11 Bruce Reihana, 10 Shane Geraghty, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Regardt Dreyer, 18 Euan Murray, 19 Calum Clark, 20 Mark Easter, 21 Ryan Powell, 22 Stephen Myler, 23 Joe Ansbro.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Shontayne Hape, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Sam Vesty, 9 Mark McMillan, 8 Luke Watson (capt), 7 Lewis Moody, 6 Andy Beattie, 5 Danny Grewcock, 4 Stuart Hooper, 3 David Wilson, 2 Pieter Dixon, 1 David Barnes.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Duncan Bell, 19 Ben Skirving, 20 Josh Ovens, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Ben Williams, 23 Jack Cuthbert.

Venue: Franklin's Gardens
Referee: Chris White

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