Banahan hat-trick sends Saints packing

19th Feb 2011, 21:22

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Three tries: Matt Banahan

Three tries: Matt Banahan

England winger Matt Banahan scored three tries as Bath romped to a 38-8 victory over Northampton Saints on Saturday.

Matt Banahan scored three tries and created another for Matt Carraro as Bath romped to a 38-8 victory over Northampton on Saturday.

Banahan returned from England duty to inspire Bath to a fourth straight league win.

Bath's willingness to run the ball at every opportunity was evident throughout against a Northampton side that was poor in every department bar the scrum.

Christian Day had a try disallowed for hands in the ruck in the 5th-minute, but after that it was all Bath who deservedly led 17-3 at half-time.

Quick hands put Banahan in for his first score on 18 minutes and then the giant wing turned provider with Saints down to 14 men after Greig Tonks was handed a yellow card for a high tackle on Tom Biggs.

Banahan bumped off Phil Dowson and put Carraro in under the posts for Bath's second with a beautifully executed offload.

Saints fly-half Stephen Myler atoned for two earlier misses with a penalty just before half-time. But the one-way traffic continued after the interval as Banahan latched onto a switch pass from Michael Claassens to score his second and then breezed through some suspect tackling for his hat-trick and Bath's bonus point try.

Tonks grabbed a consolation for Saints only for Sam Vesty to respond with Bath's fifth.

A memorable afternoon for Bath was capped by another flawless kicking display from Olly Barkley, who landed five conversions and a penalty for a 13-point haul, and the appearance off the bench just before the hour mark of fit-again England captain Lewis Moody.

The scorers:

For Bath:
Tries:Banahan 3,Carraro, Vesty
Cons:Barkley 5
Pens:Barkley

For Northhampton Saints:
Try:Tonks

Pens:Myler
Yellow cards:Tonks (Saints)

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Matt Banahan, 13 Matt Carraro, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Butch James, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Luke Watson (c), 6 Ben Skirving, 5 Danny Grewcock, 4 Stuart Hooper, 3 Duncan Bell, 2 Lee Mears, 1 David Flatman.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 David Barnes, 18 David Wilson, 19 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, 20 Lewis Moody, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Jack Cuthbert.

Northampton: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Bruce Reihana, 13 Joe Ansbro, 12 Jon Clarke, 11 Paul Diggin, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Stuart Commins, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Phil Dowson (c), 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Dan Vickerman, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Brett Sharman, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Andy Long, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Mark Easter, 21 Ryan Powell, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Scott Armstrong.

Venue: Recreation Ground