Menu

Bath Rugby power to memorable win at Franklin's Gardens

Northampton Saints 14 v Bath Rugby 18

Bath Rugby, inspired by the boot of George Ford, powered to a 14-18 season-opening win against Northampton Saints this afternoon - ending a 16-year hoodoo at Franklin's Gardens in the process. 

Director of Rugby Todd Blackadder had spoken earlier in the week about this Bath Rugby team being unaffected by any historical hang-ups, and so it proved. 

Bath overcame the disappointment of losing new signing Taulupe Faletau to a leg injury in the opening quarter, although the brawn and energy of young Tom Ellis proved a fine replacement against the big Saints pack. 

Saints had territorial dominance for most of the first half - indeed, most of the match - without being able to break the watertight Bath defence, meaning it was up to Ford to finally break the deadlock in the 33rd minute with his penalty kick. 0-3. 

Bath's defence was typified by none other than ex-Saint Kahn Fotuali'i, who shone throughout the match with his fearless tackling and tactical awareness. The exemplary forwards set the stage for the half-backs to fly, and it was captain Matt Garvey, in blocking a Saints clearance kick in the home 22 that set in motion Bath's next points. 

Lock Charlie Ewels carried hard into the middle of the home 22, where the ball was recycled to Ford, already standing expectantly in the pocket, to kick a neat drop goal. 0-6. 

Northampton fly-half Mallinder missed his second penalty kick at goal just before 40 minutes to give Bath a decent, if slender, lead going into the half-time break. 

HALF TIME: Northampton Saints 0-6 Bath Rugby

Ford's boot had little time to cool before it was being called into action again in the second half; the England international kicking another penalty four minutes after their re-emergence from the changing room. 0-9. 

In the ensuing 17 minutes, both teams failed to capitalise on try-scoring opportunities (Bath's most notably via the always-standout Semesa Rokoduguni), but it was up to Ford again to keep the scoreboard ticking with another spectacular drop goal just after the hour. 0-12. 

On 63 minutes, Bath's fighting forwards won a scrum against the head in the home 22, which the metronomic Ford converted into points from out on the left. He then made it 0-18 with under ten minutes left to play when Saints were penalised for a no-arms tackle. 

Nobody ever said a visit to Franklin's Gardens was easy, and when replacement scrum-half Chris Cook was sin-binned for not retreating with seven minutes remaining, Northampton's fans rightfully went wild as debutant Nic Groom scored a brace of quick tries (both converted by Stephen Myler). 14-18.

Bath showed cool heads, even when many a supporter off the field might have been losing theirs, and composed themselves to keep the clock ticking down to keep hold of their four-point lead and secure a well-deserved and memorable victory. 

FULL TIME: Northampton Saints 14-18 Bath Rugby

Match details

Franklin's Gardens
Aviva Premiership
3 September 2016
KO 15:30

Referee: JP Doyle
Half Time score: 0-6

Saints:
Tries: Groom (73, 77)
Conversions: Myler (74, 78)
Bath:
Penalties: Ford (33, 44, 64, 70)
Drop goals: Ford (37, 60)

New to Bath Rugby?

Join Bath Rugby for:

  • Epic, elite entertainment
  • Passionate, family-friendly atmosphere
  • Email Previews & Post-match reports

Find out more or enter your email address to get started.

MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Saints and Bath.

12'

Substitution

Tom Ellis replaces Taulupe Faletau for Bath.

34'

Penalty Goal! Saints 0 - 3 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

38'

Drop Goal! Saints 0 - 6 Bath

George Ford scores for Bath.

39'

Substitution

George North replaces Ben Foden for Saints.

41'

HALF TIME

Match score: Saints 0 - 6 Bath.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

45'

Penalty Goal! Saints 0 - 9 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

52'

Substitution

Paul Hill replaces Kieran Brookes for Saints.

52'

Substitution

Teimana Harrison replaces Kieran Brookes for Saints.

57'

Substitution

Stephen Myler replaces George Pisi for Saints.

61'

Drop Goal! Saints 0 - 12 Bath

George Ford scores for Bath.

61'

Substitution

David Sisi replaces Matt Garvey for Bath.

61'

Substitution

Campese Ma'afu replaces Matt Garvey for Saints.

64'

Substitution

Chris Cook replaces Kahn Fotuali'i for Bath.

64'

Substitution

Jeff Williams replaces Matt Banahan for Bath.

65'

Substitution

Nic Groom replaces Dylan Hartley for Saints.

65'

Substitution

Charlie Clare replaces Dylan Hartley for Saints.

65'

Substitution

Nick Auterac replaces Henry Thomas for Bath.

65'

Substitution

Tom Dunn replaces Henry Thomas for Bath.

65'

Substitution

Kane Palma-Newport replaces Henry Thomas for Bath.

65'

Penalty Goal! Saints 0 - 15 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

71'

Penalty Goal! Saints 0 - 18 Bath

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

71'

Substitution

Sam Dickinson replaces Michael Paterson for Saints.

73'

Substitution

Rhys Priestland replaces David Denton for Bath.

74'

Yellow Card!

Bath lose Chris Cook for ten minutes.

74'

Try for Saints! Saints 5 - 18 Bath

Nic Groom scores for Saints.

75'

Conversion! Saints 7 - 18 Bath

Stephen Myler with a conversion for Saints.

78'

Try for Saints! Saints 12 - 18 Bath

Nic Groom scores for Saints.

79'

Conversion! Saints 14 - 18 Bath

Stephen Myler with a conversion for Saints.

82'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Bath.

Final score: Saints 14 - 18 Bath.

Saints Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
Nic Groom200010
Stephen Myler02004
Bath Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
George Ford004218
Saints v Bath
P D C T Pos Player   Player Pos T C D P
    PAlex
Waller
1Nathan
Catt
P    
    HDylan
Hartley
2Ross
Batty
H    
    PKieran
Brookes
3Henry
Thomas
P    
    LCourtney
Lawes
4Charlie
Ewels
L    
    LMichael
Paterson
5Dave
Attwood
L    
    FLTom
Wood
6Matt
Garvey
FL    
    FLJamie
Gibson
7David
Denton
FL    
    8Louis
Picamoles
8Taulupe
Faletau
8    
    SHLee
Dickson
9Kahn
Fotuali'i
SH    
    FHHarry
Mallinder
10George
Ford
FH  24
    WAhsee
Tuala
11Matt
Banahan
W    
    CLuther
Burrell
12Max
Clark
C    
    CGeorge
Pisi
13Jonathan
Joseph
C    
    WKen
Pisi
14Semesa
Rokoduguni
W    
    FBBen
Foden
15Tom
Homer
FB    
Replacements
    RHCharlie
Clare
16Tom
Dunn
RP    
    RFLCampese
Ma'afu
17Nick
Auterac
RP    
    RPPaul
Hill
18Kane
Palma-Newport
RP    
    RLSam
Dickinson
19David
Sisi
RFL    
    RPTeimana
Harrison
20Tom
Ellis
R8    
   2RHNic
Groom
21Chris
Cook
RSH    
  2 RCStephen
Myler
22Rhys
Priestland
RFL    
    RFBGeorge
North
23Jeff
Williams
RW