Bath beat Saints with ease
PREMIERSHIP MATCH REPORT: Freddie Burns kicked 17 points as Bath Rugby earned a 32-9 win over Northampton Saints to move themselves up to third in the Premiership Rugby table.
Burns kicked five penalties and converted Matt Banahan’s first-half score with Nick Auterac going over after a lovely long pass from the Bath flyhalf.
Ross Batty added a third as Bath went in search of a bonus point while all Saints points came from the boot of Piers Francis.
The Northampton flyhalf kicked two penalties to put the Saints ahead but Burns replied from the tee with a pair of his own strikes to make it 6-6 after half an hour.
Burns added a third penalty to put Bath ahead for the first time and they received an extra bonus before the break, capitalising on a Saints error.
A fumble in the Saints midfield was collected by Banahan who raced beyond the scrambling Ben Foden and into the corner for the game’s first try.
Burns converted from the right touchline to push the hosts 16-6 ahead at the break and added three more points early in the second half after James Phillips was held up over the line.
Francis was able to reduce the deficit but his third penalty was soon cancelled out by Burns who made the score 22-9 after an hour.
And the result was sealed as, after a period of sustained pressure, Charlie Ewels’ clever offload found Burns who spun a long pass out to Auterac to crash over.
The prop was in acres of space to rumble over for his third Premiership Rugby try with Burns missing with a place kick for the first time in the match.
Batty then added a third after Ben Tapuai’s offload to Josh Lewis saw Bath break through with replacement scrumhalf Chris Cook firing out to the hooker to score.
Tries: Banahan, Auterac, Batty
Pens: Burns 5
For Northampton Saints:
Pens: Francis 3
Bath: 15 James Wilson, 14 Matt Banahan, 13 Will Hurrell, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 James Phillips, 7 Paul Grant, 6 Matt Garvey (captain), 5 Charlie Ewels, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Max Lahiff, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Lucas Noguera
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Josh Bayliss, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Josh Lewis, 23 Darren Atkins
Northampton: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Tom Stephenson, 11 Ben Foden, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Teimana Harrison, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Christian Day (captain), 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Campese Ma’afu
Replacements: 16 Reece Marshall, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 David Ribbans, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Harry Mallinder, 23 Nafi Tuitavake
Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant referees: Adam Leal, Peter Allan
TMO: Stuart Terheege