Premiership: Bath 32-9 Northampton Saints

Ross Batty was making only his second appearance of the season for Bath after a long injury absence
Ross Batty was making only his second appearance of the season for Bath after a long injury absence
Aviva Premiership
Bath (16) 32
Tries: Banahan, Auterac, Batty Con: Burns Pens: Burns 5
Northampton (6) 6
Pens: Francis 2

Bath extended their winning run to five games in all competitions with victory over Northampton.

Two Piers Francis penalties put Saints ahead, but Bath responded with three penalties from Freddie Burns.

Matt Banahan gathered a loose pass and raced over in the corner for the first try of the game to give the hosts a commanding half-time lead.

Bath dominated after the break, with Nick Auterac and Ross Batty going over and Burns adding two more penalties.

The result lifted Bath to third in the Premiership table, nine points behind leaders Exeter and three clear of fifth-placed Gloucester.

Northampton started strongly, but failed to create any sort of pressure in the second period as they fell to an eighth defeat in nine games.

The 2013-14 Premiership champions remain 10th in the table, 10 points outside the Champions Cup qualification places.

Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder:

"I am really proud of the guys. We have had an outstanding week and I thought it really transferred (to the game) tonight.

"We were probably a bit too aggressive in the first 20 minutes and I thought we just knocked the rust off. They came through with a strong performance.

"Our line-out was outstanding and we fought in the scrum and we won the gain-line battle which was the difference."

Northampton interim director of rugby Alan Gaffney:

"Our restarts were terrible and our kicking game was woeful and our management of the game was woeful. We have got to get better in those areas.

"There were some good things in the game and I thought our defence, generally, (was good) given we put ourselves under so much pressure.

"You just can't keep conceding as much ball as we did and giving so much ball up. We can't put mistake on mistake on mistake. We are just putting too much pressure on ourselves.

"We will take a lot of positives out of this but we also know the areas we have to improve on. The game-management is just something we have not got much awareness of at the present time."

Bath: Wilson; Banahan, Hurrell, Tapuai, Brew; Burns, Fotuali'i; Noguera, Dunn, Lahiff, Stooke, Ewels, Garvey (capt), Grant, Phillips.

Replacements: Batty, Auterac, Thomas, Charteris, Bayliss, Cook, Lewis, Atkins.

Northampton: Tuala; Pisi, Horne, Stephenson, Foden; Francis, Reinach; Ma'afu, Haywood, Brookes, Ratuniyarawa, Day (capt), Wood, Gibson, Harrison.

Replacements: Marshall, Van Wyk, Ford-Robinson, Ribbans, Nutley, Groom, Mallinder, Tuitavake.

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