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Bath Rugby succumb to savvy Saints

Bath Rugby were unable to see off the advances of first-placed Northampton Saints at a sold-out Rec this afternoon, losing 13-21 to the East Midlands outfit.

Bath burst into life from the opening whistle, Kyle Eastmond receiving the ball outside the Saints 22 and appearing to fumble possession before offloading to Semesa Rokoduguni. The winger was caught in the corner, but the ball was quickly recycled to Tom Homer in midfield, and the fullback slung a long pass to Olly Woodburn. The winger showed remarkable balance to stay in touch before jogging over for the score, which Homer converted. 7-0.

Homer then kept the score ticking over with a good penalty kick after some devastating scrummaging by the home side, which gave Bath a 10-0 lead.

Saints struck back almost half an hour in, some frantic phases of attack leading to fullback James Wilson diving over in the left-hand corner. Myler missed with the conversion attempt. 10-5.

Mike Haywood, the Saints hooker, was then the beneficiary of some simple ball-through-the-hands work from his teammates, cutting back inside for the try. Myler made no mistake with his conversion this time.

Half time: Bath Rugby 10-12 Northampton Saints

Myler extended Saints' lead to five points with a penalty in the 48th minute, after the visitors had gone close to a score after a Wilson grubber forced Rokoduguni to run the ball into touch.

The Saints fly-half kicked another penalty in the 52nd minute to make it 10-18.

Not long after, Homer made amends for an earlier penalty miss with a good three-pointer to draw the scores closer. 13-18.

The statistics will show that it was Myler who made all of his penalties count, and he did so again in the closing stages of the match to give Saints an unassailable 13-21 lead from which Bath disappointingly failed to recover.

Full time: Bath Rugby 13-21 Northampton Saints

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