• Help Support The Rugby Forum :

Northampton Saints v Bath Rugby



Northampton Saints slipped up 20-32 at Sale last weekend but have not lost successive Guinness Premiership matches since last November-December. The Saints have lost two of their last three games at Franklin's Gardens but at least won 25-23 against Newcastle there on 3 September.
Bath's 43-25 win against Leicester at the Rec on Saturday was their biggest ever Premiership victory over their old rivals. Bath have lost their last three away games at Northampton, Sale and Gloucester.
Northampton have taken five of the last six meetings against Bath, whilst Bath have not beaten the Saints at Franklin's Gardens since 22 April 2000.

This is a toughie to choose, as both sides are strong, I could see this going to the home advantage for Northampton, but as I am a biased Bath fan I am going to go with my heart and say Bath by 6 points.
Bath beat Leicester, even though the scorline apparently flattered them somewhat, the result is still a result.

Northampton outscorred Sale in their own backyard, but their defencive hiccups and Champaigne Charlies boot cost them deerly.

If Saints keep their disapline, the home side by 15. :D

If not, Bath by 5. :(
Bath Rugby Teamsheet

15. Nick Abendanon
14. Andy Higgins
13. Shaun Berne
12. Olly Barkley
11. Joe Maddock
10. Chris Malone
9. Andy Williams
1. David Barnes
2. Lee Mears
3. Duncan Bell
4. Rob Fidler
5. Danny Grewcock
6. Peter Short
7. Gareth Delve
8. Isaac Feaunati (Captain)

Replacements: 16. Rob Hawkins 17. David Flatman 18. Chris Goodman 19.Jonny Faamatuainu 20. Nick Walshe 21. Ryan Davis 22. Michael Stephenson
Saints because we don't have Jonny Howard at 9.

8 point margin purely because that would be very annoying for Bath.
<div align="center">Bath: Abendanon; Higgins, Berne, Barkley, Maddock; Malone, Williams; Barnes, Mears, Bell; Fidler, Grewcock, Short, Delve, Feaunati (capt).
Replacements: Hawkins, Flatman, Goodman, Faamatuainu, Walshe, Davis, Stephenson.


Well as I am a non Biased fan, I would like to say well done the Saints...
Now I would like to know how well Bath played, and whether the backs were better than last season... so if there are any Saints fans who were at the game, it would be interesting to hear how we played.. so if you could write a review I would be very grateful..
<div align="center"> </div>
As you wish...

First let me talk about Saints.

The best aspects of our game today were defense and solidarity at the breakdown and set-pieces. Dave Quinlan was fantastic in midfield, didn't see him miss a tackle all day. Up front Tom Smith, Matt Lord and Christian Short were immense today. Smith was at his very best in the scrum and his loose pay around the ruck was first rate. Lord and Short both worked extremely hard all over the pitch, and our lineout functioned well compared to past efforts. Mention must also go to Thompson, whose throwing was top notch and his work around the pitch merited that of a hooker as opposed to a winger.

Thompson today outshone Mears, and showed that he is still the number one hooker in England.

I thought Carlos Spencer was disappointing today, although as we won I'm sure not many people will see this. He showed flashes of his usual brilliance. but just looked a bit off the boil. Reihana looks to be growing into his temporary role at 13 with a solid performance, while Cohen and Lamont did well with the ball they got. Kydd could well be pushing for the Scotland squad for the autumn internationals if he keeps this form up.

Now Bath.

Was somewhat suprised they did not outmuscle Saints up front. Despite having a few men missing in the pack, and loosing Delve early, I thought we would still need to move the ball around the pitch quickly and keep it away from Grewcock & Co. to get any joy. This didn't really happen, and while solid, the Bath 8 did not really start to impose themselves until it was too late.

I think the backs have suffered without Brian Ashton in charge. Malone was very poor today, on a couple of occasions Spencer waltzed past him as though he wasn't there, and his kicking game was fairly ineffective. Barkley at 12 was not significantly better, did not create like he can, and was clearly not kicking well as he gave those duties to Berne partway through the 2nd half. The Aussie was the best of the 3, and the only one who looked willing to use the space he found.

Higgins and Maddock did not receive much ball, although Maddock did spill a bouncing ball with the line at his mercy, which could have made the game very close. Higgins was brushed off far too easily by Cohen once in the first half, but generally he was solid without being spectacular. I didn't notice the fullback do much at all except throw a few long passes.

Overall, Bath had far more possesion, especially in the 2nd half, but Saints took their chances. Every time they broke away or got near the Bath line they scored points, which is what made all the difference.

Referee Wayne Barnes was awful, notably at the scrum. He clearly had no idea what was going on, almost every scrum having to be reset at least once, and kept penalising Saints near their own line when the Bath loose-head turned in more often than not. He also made some strange decisions in open play, awarding Bath a penalty when Maddock threw a bad pass behind him and turned over possesion. No idea what was going on with him.
Sounded like a pretty typical Saints-Bath game at the Gardens; Saints build up a lead, Bath came back with spells of possession but don't capitalise, Saints score with numerous moments of breakaway individual skill.

Barkley was carrying an injury through the second half, eventually forcing him off for Davis, which was why the kicking duties passed on to Berne.

Didn't sound like Malone had a very good game at all. All to often he was kicking ineffectively, although from the commentary it sounds like Maddock somehow managed to blow an absolute sitter.

On a plus point, it looks like our fitness has improved this season. If only we stopped giving teams twenty point leads, we wouldn't have to keep trying to claw them back in the last ten minutes.
My 15 point prediction was correct then. Still amazed that Tupai and Grewcock didn't have a tay-tar-tay though.


Latest posts