In Focus: Northampton Saints (A)

25 August 2020

Bath Rugby travel to Franklin’s Gardens to face Northampton Saints on Wednesday evening looking to claim a third successive league double over their domestic rivals in as many games after securing wins over London Irish and Leicester Tigers recently (kick-off 19:45, live on BT Sport 2). 

Northampton Saints last four matches have all curiously been won by the away side on the day. The Saints have lost their last four Gallagher Premiership Rugby fixtures at Franklin’s Gardens and have only once before lost five in a row at the famous old venue, from September to November 2004. 

Bath Rugby have won both their matches since the restart with a try bonus point but have not gained three maximum point victories in succession in the tournament since April 2018. Bath have won three of their last five away games in Premiership Rugby. Bath have lost just two of their last seven fixtures against The Saints in Premiership Rugby but their only victory at Franklin’s Gardens since April 2000 was 18-14 in September 2016. 


LAST TIME OUT

Bath Rugby climbed off the bottom of the Gallagher Premiership table after a stoic and resolute 22-13 win saw them down league leaders Northampton Saints at The Rec in Round 4.

Saints got off to the perfect start as Rory Hutchinson profited from a James Grayson charge down on Rhys Priestland, kicking forward and crashing over within minutes of the first whistle.

But Bath responded, Will Chudley darting through a hole in the defence before a Rhys Priestland penalty gave them a 10-8 lead at half-time.

Aled Brew then saw red for the hosts after the break, but Bath went further ahead through a close-range Will Stuart try, only for Tom Wood to cross for Saints to make the score line close.

It looked as though the visitors held the momentum in the dying embers of the game, but Bath's resilience proved remarkable, with two Saints players sent to the sin-bin before Zach Mercer wrapped up the win with a try ten minutes from time.


MATCH DETAILS

Date: Wednesday, August 26th

Kick-off: 19:45

Competition: Gallagher Premiership

Where: Franklin’s Gardens 

Referee: Christophe Ridley (25th Premiership Game)

Assistant Referees: Paul Dix & Jamie Leahy

TMO: Wayne Barnes.

Citing Officer: James Hall

Media coverage: BT Sport 2 


CURRENT FORM

London Irish (A) – 3-27 (W)

Wasps (H) - 21-34 (L) 

Worcester Warriors (A) – 10-16 (W) 


WORD FROM THE NORTHAMPTON SAINTS CAMP

Sam Vesty said: "Bath are a difficult team to play against. They compete at everything and really try to make every breakdown difficult and hard to get some fluency into the game. 

"They bring their own way of playing with a strong set piece that they thrive off and they use it very well. They've also got some very dangerous individuals who can hurt you in the blink of an eye. Ben Spencer is a good player who's gone there and added to them as a team."


TEAM NEWS

Bath Rugby side to face Northampton Saints

15. Tom de Glanville, 14. Semesa Rokoduguni, 13. Max Clark, 12. Cameron Redpath, 11. Gabriel Hamer-Webb, 10. Josh Matavesi, 9. Will Chudley; 1. Beno Obano, 2. Jack Walker, 3. Christian Judge, 4. Will Spencer, 5. Elliott Stooke, 6. Mike Williams, 7. Josh Bayliss (C), 8. Zach Mercer 

Replacements

16. Tom Dunn, 17. Lewis Boyce, 18. Will Stuart, 19. Charlie Ewels, 20. Miles Reid, 21. Ben Spencer, 22. Rhys Priestland, 23. Ruaridh McConnochie


NORTHAMPTON SAINTS 

15. Harry Mallinder, 14. Ahsee Tuala, 13. Fraser Dingwall, 12. Piers Francis, 11. Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Henry Taylor; 1. Nick Auterac, 2. James Fish, 3. Owen Franks, 4. David Ribbans, 5. Api Ratuniyarawa, 6. Courtney Lawes, 7. JJ Tonks, 8. Teimana Harrison (c)

REPLACEMENTS 

16. Sam Matavesi, 17. Francois van Wyk, 18. Ehren Paintr, 19. Lewis Bean, 20. Tui Uri, 21. Tom James, 22. Rory Hutchinson, 23. Tommy Freeman


 

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