Premiership: Bath Rugby 32 Northampton Saints 30
|Bath (19) 32|
|Tries: Grant, Rokoduguni, Penalty, Cook Cons: Priestland 3 Pens: Priestland 2|
|Northampton (9) 30|
|Tries: Foden, Ratuniyawara, Gibson Cons: Myler 3 Pens: Myler 3|
Rhys Priestland's dramatic last-minute penalty earned Bath victory over Northampton Saints in a thrilling Premiership match at The Rec.
The hosts led 19-6 at half-time thanks to tries from Paul Grant, Semesa Rokoduguni and a penalty try.
Jamie Gibson thought he had won it when he bundled over, soon after Chris Cook's superb solo try for Bath as the lead ebbed back and forth late on.
But Priestland's nerveless kick lifted Bath up to third.
An outstanding final 10 minutes saw Fijian Api Ratuniyarawa barge through to put Saints 23-22 up, having been 13-points behind early in the second half.
Replacement winger Cook then scored one of the tries of the season as he latched onto the ball on halfway, chipped it up and then kicked the ball over the try-line to touch down for the bonus point.
Northampton complained Ben Tapuai's pass to Cook had gone forward, but referee Wayne Barnes allowed the try.
Bath's joy was short-lived when Gibson finished off a driving maul and the flawless Stephen Myler converted to put Northampton back in front by a point.
However, seconds from full-time, indiscipline at the ruck gave the hosts a close-range penalty which Wales fly-half Priestland slotted through just inside the post.
The win ends a run of three straight Premiership defeats for Bath, while defeat ends Saints three-match league winning streak.
Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder:
"To get five points is huge for us. I'd take that any day. The learning for us is that we let them back into the game. We've got to learn to shut teams out.
"We let them back in through our indiscipline. Their line-outs were hard to stop. I have to say, if anything, there are a few demons running through people's heads."
Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder:
"I think Bath were the better team in the first half and put us under pressure. We conceded a couple of weak tries.
"Certainly the Rokoduguni try, there was poor defending there, but we came back into it and played well.
Bath: Homer; Rokoduguni, Clark, Tapuai, Wilson; Priestland (co-capt), Fotuali'i; Catt, Dunn, Lahiff, Stooke, Ewels, Ellis, Louw (co-capt), Grant.
Replacements: Batty, Obano, Palma-Newport, Denton, Mercer, Cook, Hastings, Davies.
Northampton Saints: Tuala; K.Pisi, Tuitavake, Mallinder, Foden (capt); Myler, Groom; A.Waller, Haywood, Brookes, Paterson, Day, Gibson, Harrison, Dickinson.
Replacements: Clare, E.Waller, Hill, Ratuniyarawa, Clark, Dickson, Hutchinson, Wilson.
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