Match Report | Bath Rugby 30-24 Northampton Saints

Bath Rugby 30 v Northampton Saints 24

Bath Rugby secured Heineken Champions Cup for next season with a bonus-point 30-24 win against Northampton Saints in front of fans at the Rec.

With the crowd’s roar behind them for the first time in over a year, Bath piled the pressure on Saints earning a penalty with just four minutes on the clock. It was the start of what became a hugely entertaining game full of big moments and unwavering passion.  

A Ben Spencer turnover and Beno Obano carry combination saw Rhys Priestland get his boot on the ball to deliver a superb high kick. Joe Cokanasiga received, hitting it back to Jonathon Joseph. The centre kicked in behind and Captain, Charlie Ewels brought down the covering Saints player. Relentless pressure followed, and the Blue, Black, and White won a penalty.

Skipper Charlie Ewels opted for Priestland to kick from the tee. The fly-half, who today ran out for the last time for the club, nailed his effort securing his side three points. [3-0]

The Blue, Black, and White remained a resilient force unsettling Northampton for a solid 15 minutes. 

The visitors got their first points of the game at the 20-minute mark via Taqele Naiyaravoro. A well-worked move saw the wing sprint over in the corner for the score. The home crowd thought they’d seen a forward pass as they shouted in unison. However, referee Ian Tempest called the try, and James Grayson neatly converted, taking Saints into the lead. [3-7]

Stuart Hooper’s side immediately hit back as Sam Underhill charged down a box kick in the Saints 22. The flanker, who returns to Eddie Jones’ England camp next week, remained composed and finished off his spectacular defensive work with a try in the corner. [8-7]

Just moments later, Bath’s two Lions combined, showing their class. Anthony Watson evaded three defenders to race into the backfield. The wing drew the Saints player in and sent the ball to Taulupe Faletau, who dived over under the sticks. Priestland added the extras. [15-7]

The two sides were entertaining the crowd, who had not been at the Rec for over 15 months. The energy was high, and 36 minutes into the first half, Saints went over in the corner.

Naiyaravoro punched a hole up the middle and offloaded to the onrushing Rory Hutchinson.

Bath’s powerful wing, Joe Cokanasiga, delivered his best efforts to bring him down. Still, he managed to ground the ball out wide. Grayson converted from the touchline, taking the scores to within one point. [15-14]

Just as the half was about to close, and despite several massive hits from a relentless Bath pack, Northampton managed to edge their way over the line through Naiyaravoro. The visitors remained patient and scored on the stroke of half-time. [15-19] 

The second half got underway, and within three minutes, Ben Spencer was over the line. However, Tempest went to TMO looking at a potential knock-on. The onfield decision was a knock-on, and there was insufficient evidence to prove otherwise. A no-try was ruled to the crowds’ dislike.

United and buoyed by the decision, the Blue, Black, and White faithful got behind their team and fuelled their fire. Within moments Bath’s were over again. Du Toit threw in, expertly, getting his hands on the ball at the back of the maul. He was marched to the line by the rest of the pack and several joining backs! Priestland converted, giving Bath the lead. [22-19] 

To the roar of the crowd, Zach Mercer made his way onto the pitch for his 100th appearance in the Blue, Black, and White as he replaced Sam Underhill on the 56th-minute mark. It looked like he would score within minutes as if written in the stars, but he was taken down just short of the line by Saints. 

From that moment, the visitors piled on the pressure and eventually won the field, going over on the stretch. It was Grayson with the score, but the fly-half missed the conversion. [22-24]

Five minutes later, Saints were pinged for offside from a kick, and Bath moved way up-field to the 22. Priestland slotted the penalty and put his side back into the lead! [25-24]

The game kept twisting and turning when Tom Doughty got over for what would have been his first score in club colours, but the TMO ruled a no-try. The crowd brought the energy lifting their team. To their delight, the young hooker broke away from the back of the maul, crossing again within moments. But, again and to the home crowd’s horror, it was ruled as another no-try. Tempest awarded a yellow to Saints Ehren Painter for his actions close to the line taking them to 14 men for the rest of the game. [25-24]

A nail-biting final ten minutes saw Bath Rugby hold out a rampant saints with discipline and belief to secure the win. Josh Bayliss finished the job with an inspiring 50 metre run to dive over the line as the clock went dead. His teammate, Priestland, converted with his last ever kick in Blue, Black, and White, securing Champions Cup rugby next season and a massive sense of pride. 


REACTION


Bath Rugby

15. Tom de Glanville, 14. Anthony Watson, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Max Ojomoh, 11. Joe Cokanasiga, 10. Rhys Priestland, 9. Ben Spencer; 1. Beno Obano, 2. Jacques du Toit, 3. Christian Judge, 4. Josh McNally, 5. Charlie Ewels ©, 6. Miles Reid, 7. Sam Underhill, 8. Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: 16. Tom Doughty, 17. Juan Schoeman, 18. Henry Thomas, 19. Will Spencer, 20. Zach Mercer, 21. Josh Bayliss, 22. Will Chudley, 23. Orlando Bailey

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS

15. Tommy Freeman, 14. Tom Collins, 13. Fraser Dingwall, 12. Rory Hutchinson, 11. Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10. James Grayson, 9. Alex Mitchell; 1. Alex Waller, 2. Mike Haywood, 3. Paul Hill, 4. Alex Coles, 5. Alex Moon, 6. Courtney Lawes, 7. Lewis Ludlam ©, 8. Tom Wood

Replacements: 16. James Fish, 17. Francois Van Wyk, 18. Ehren Painter, 19. Api Ratuniyarawa, 20. Ollie Newman, 21. Connor Tupai, 22. Tom Lichfield, 23. Josh Gillespie


 

Match details

Recreation Ground
Gallagher Premiership
12 June 2021
KO 15:00

Referee: Ian Tempest
Half Time score: 15-19

Bath:
Tries: Underhill (21), Faletau (24), du Toit (44), Bayliss (80)
Conversions: Priestland (25, 46)
Penalties: Priestland (3, 61)
Saints:
Tries: Naiyaravoro (19, 39), Hutchinson (35), Grayson (58)
Conversions: Grayson (20, 36)

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Matchday Centre Powered By Dyson

MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Bath and Saints.

4'

Penalty Goal! Bath 3 - 0 Saints

Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

20'

Try for Saints! Bath 3 - 5 Saints

Taqele Naiyaravoro scores for Saints.

21'

Conversion! Bath 3 - 7 Saints

James Grayson with a conversion for Saints.

22'

Try for Bath! Bath 8 - 7 Saints

Sam Underhill scores for Bath.

25'

Try for Bath! Bath 13 - 7 Saints

Taulupe Faletau scores for Bath.

26'

Conversion! Bath 15 - 7 Saints

Rhys Priestland with a conversion for Bath.

36'

Try for Saints! Bath 15 - 12 Saints

Rory Hutchinson scores for Saints.

37'

Conversion! Bath 15 - 14 Saints

James Grayson with a conversion for Saints.

40'

Try for Saints! Bath 15 - 19 Saints

Taqele Naiyaravoro scores for Saints.

41'

HALF TIME

Match score: Bath 15 - 19 Saints.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

45'

Try for Bath! Bath 20 - 19 Saints

Jacques du Toit scores for Bath.

47'

Conversion! Bath 22 - 19 Saints

Rhys Priestland with a conversion for Bath.

47'

Substitution

Henry Thomas replaces Christian Judge for Bath.

52'

Substitution

Juan Schoeman replaces Beno Obano for Bath.

52'

Substitution

Zach Mercer replaces Sam Underhill for Bath.

53'

Substitution

Api Ratuniyarawa replaces Alex Moon for Saints.

55'

Substitution

James Fish replaces Mike Haywood for Saints.

55'

Yellow Card!

Saints lose Taqele Naiyaravoro for ten minutes.

55'

Substitution

Francois van Wyk replaces Alex Waller for Saints.

55'

Substitution

Ehren Painter replaces Paul Hill for Saints.

56'

Substitution

Tom Litchfield replaces Rory Hutchinson for Saints.

56'

Substitution

Connor Tupai replaces Alex Mitchell for Saints.

59'

Try for Saints! Bath 22 - 24 Saints

James Grayson scores for Saints.

60'

Substitution

Josh Bayliss replaces Taulupe Faletau for Bath.

60'

Substitution

Tom Doughty replaces Jacques du Toit for Bath.

62'

Penalty Goal! Bath 25 - 24 Saints

Rhys Priestland kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

69'

Yellow Card!

Saints lose Ehren Painter for ten minutes.

72'

Substitution

Ollie Newman replaces Lewis Ludlam for Saints.

72'

Substitution

Will Spencer replaces Charlie Ewels for Bath.

72'

Substitution

Josh Gillespie replaces Tommy Freeman for Saints.

72'

Substitution

Paul Hill replaces Tom Wood for Saints.

76'

Substitution

Christian Judge replaces Henry Thomas for Bath.

78'

Substitution

Orlando Bailey replaces Tom de Glanville for Bath.

79'

Substitution

Tom Wood replaces Paul Hill for Saints.

81'

Try for Bath! Bath 30 - 24 Saints

Josh Bayliss scores for Bath.

83'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Bath.

Final score: Bath 30 - 24 Saints.