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Bath Rugby succumb to late Saints penalty

Bath Rugby 11 v Northampton Saints 13

Bath Rugby narrowly lost 11-13 this afternoon to Northampton Saints in a tight encounter in front of a record 13,506 strong crowd.

The first half started tentatively with both teams coming into this game having only won two of their opening five fixtures, and it was clear from the start neither team wanted to lose.

The only points to come in this half were from the boot of Saints fly-half JJ Hanrahan after he converted one of several penalties Bath were to give away in the first act. It was a scrappy first half, with both teams making errors, the scrum count was mounting and frustratingly for the home supporters it was Bath giving away the lion’s share.

An exaggerated amount of scrums were causing the game to slow down and lose much-needed momentum before it had a chance to gather.

There were some glimmers of hope with the return from injury of England centre Jonathon Joseph, who linked well with Anthony Watson and Matt Banahan. Semesa Rokoduguni stood out for his hard running – and equally hard tackling.

Bath tighthead Henry Thomas saw yellow at a collapsed scrum with five minutes of the first half remaining. Saints pressure grew but the Bath back line held strong and the score stayed 0-3 when as the half time whistle blew.

Half time: Bath Rugby 0-3 Northampton Saints

Bath came out for the second half rejuvenated and looking strong. Northampton prop Ethan Waller was lucky to escape any punishment after a high tackle on scrum-half Chris Cook which drew boos and jeers from the home faithful.

Two minutes in, George Ford drew Bath level with a penalty after some good pressure forced a Northampton mistake, and the atmosphere around the ground began to grow. However, the hope was short-lived: Ford, caught in no-man’s land in his 22 by a Northampton blitz and unable to clear, opted for a looping pass that Saints centre Luther Burrell read and intercepted to run in under the posts. Hanrahan converted and gave Saints a 3-10 lead.

Ford added another penalty to make it 6-10 soon thereafter, and Bath then managed to take the lead with less than 20 minutes remaining. The forwards worked hard and patiently through numerous phases to get the ball to Joseph who found Watson, who in turn found Rokoduguni, the winger gathering a head of steam to run through the gain line and give a stiff hand-off to the oncoming Saints defender. Rokoduguni then sprinted over to touch down and give the home crowd something to cheer about. Ford missed the touchline conversion but Bath held a slender 11-10 lead.

With eight minutes remaining in the match, Bath gave away another penalty at the scrum and, seizing the opportunity, Hanrahan went for the posts and gave saints a two-point lead. 11-13.

Despite a resilient attempt to swing the momentum back in their favour, Bath were unable to capitalize on any more (admittedly dazzling) play and the Saints turned the ball over to allow replacement fly-half Stephen Myler to kick to touch and in the process bring the curtain down on a frustrating afternoon for the home side.

Final Score: Bath Rugby 11 – 13 Northampton Saints

Report by Samual Sims

Match details

Recreation Ground
Aviva Premiership
5 December 2015
KO 15:15

Attendance: 13,506
Referee: Craig Maxwell-keys
Half Time score: 0-3

Bath:
Tries: Rokoduguni (62)
Penalties: Ford (42, 50)
Saints:
Tries: Burrell (46)
Conversions: Hanrahan (47)
Penalties: Hanrahan (23, 72)

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MATCH STARTS

Match underway between Bath and Saints.

24'

Penalty Goal! Bath 0 - 3 Saints

JJ Hanrahan kicks a penalty goal for Saints.

35'

Yellow Card!

Bath lose Henry Thomas for ten minutes.

37'

Substitution

David Wilson replaces Tom Ellis for Bath.

41'

HALF TIME

Match score: Bath 0 - 3 Saints.

SECOND HALF STARTS

We’re underway again.

43'

Penalty Goal! Bath 3 - 3 Saints

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

45'

Substitution

David Denton replaces Matt Garvey for Bath.

45'

Substitution

Tom Ellis replaces David Wilson for Bath.

47'

Try for Saints! Bath 3 - 8 Saints

Luther Burrell scores for Saints.

48'

Conversion! Bath 3 - 10 Saints

JJ Hanrahan with a conversion for Saints.

51'

Penalty Goal! Bath 6 - 10 Saints

George Ford kicks a penalty goal for Bath.

51'

Substitution

Alex Waller replaces Ethan Waller for Saints.

52'

Substitution

Matt Garvey replaces David Denton for Bath.

56'

Substitution

David Wilson replaces Henry Thomas for Bath.

56'

Substitution

David Denton replaces Leroy Houston for Bath.

59'

Substitution

Nikola Matawalu replaces Chris Cook for Bath.

59'

Substitution

Victor Matfield replaces Christian Day for Saints.

59'

Substitution

Lee Dickson replaces Kahn Fotuali'i for Saints.

63'

Try for Bath! Bath 11 - 10 Saints

Semesa Rokoduguni scores for Bath.

65'

Substitution

Paul Hill replaces Kieran Brookes for Saints.

65'

Substitution

Tom Dunn replaces Rob Webber for Bath.

65'

Substitution

Max Lahiff replaces Nick Auterac for Bath.

66'

Substitution

Stephen Myler replaces George Pisi for Saints.

70'

Substitution

Guy Mercer replaces Tom Ellis for Bath.

73'

Penalty Goal! Bath 11 - 13 Saints

JJ Hanrahan kicks a penalty goal for Saints.

75'

Substitution

Rhys Priestland replaces Ollie Devoto for Bath.

76'

Substitution

James Craig replaces Teimana Harrison for Saints.

82'

FULL TIME! It’s a win for Saints.

Final score: Bath 11 - 13 Saints.

Bath Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
George Ford00206
Semesa Rokoduguni10005
Saints Player Scorecard
NameTriesConvPenDropPts
JJ Hanrahan01208
Luther Burrell10005
Bath v Saints
P D C T Pos Player   Player Pos T C D P
    PNick
Auterac
1Ethan
Waller
P    
    HRob
Webber
2Mike
Haywood
H    
    PHenry
Thomas
3Kieran
Brookes
P    
    LDave
Attwood
4Michael
Paterson
L    
    LCharlie
Ewels
4Michael
Paterson
L    
    LTom
Ellis
5Christian
Day
L    
    FLMatt
Garvey
6Jamie
Gibson
FL    
    FLFrancois
Louw
7Teimana
Harrison
FL    
    8Leroy
Houston
8Sam
Dickinson
8    
    SHChris
Cook
9Kahn
Fotuali'i
SH    
2   FHGeorge
Ford
10JJ
Hanrahan
FH 1 2
    WMatt
Banahan
11George
North
W    
    COllie
Devoto
12Luther
Burrell
C1   
    CJonathan
Joseph
13George
Pisi
C    
   1WSemesa
Rokoduguni
14Jamie
Elliott
W    
    FBAnthony
Watson
15Ben
Foden
FB    
Replacements
    RHTom
Dunn
16Reece
Marshall
R    
Replacements
    RRoss
Batty
16Reece
Marshall
R    
    RPMax
Lahiff
17Alex
Waller
RP    
    RLDavid
Wilson
18Paul
Hill
RP    
    RFLDavid
Denton
19Victor
Matfield
RL    
    RLGuy
Mercer
20James
Craig
RFL    
    RSHNikola
Matawalu
21Lee
Dickson
RSH    
    RCRhys
Priestland
22Stephen
Myler
RC    
    RTom
Homer
23Ken
Pisi
R