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'I've never known anything like it' - Hooper fronts up after latest Bath loss

By PA

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Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper bemoaned Bath’s bad luck after Northampton Saints claimed a 40-19 Gallagher Premiership win over his side.

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The Saints ran in six tries at Franklin’s Gardens, managing to secure a bonus point before the break.

Juarno Augustus and Courtnall Skosan both scored twice, but Bath managed to stay within touching distance for most of the game.

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The visitors were forced into multiple changes both before and during the first half due to illness and injury.

As they were struggling for rhythm, the Saints took full advantage, racking up a 28-12 half-time lead before condemning Bath to a ninth loss in nine Premiership games this season.

“I’ve never known anything like it – there’s bump after bump,” said Hooper. “We lost Josh McNally in the warm-up and then lost our nine and 10 in the first half of the game.

“It’s too early to tell how they all are and we’ll wait to see how they are through the week. We had a huge list of people who weren’t available to play.

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“Northampton got a couple of early tries, it was a couple of poor moments from us and it put us on the back foot.

“What I won’t question is the fight and determination of the guys. I can’t speak highly enough of players like Tom De Glanville, Max Ojomoh, Sam Underhill.

“There was an opportunity to come here but it changes when we lost players. There were moments when we could have got close but it wasn’t to be.”

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Opposite number Chris Boyd channelled Forrest Gump and described Northampton’s performance as “like a box of chocolates”.

While Boyd was pleased with some areas of the home side’s display, his overall reaction was mixed.

“I’m happy with the five points,” he said. “But it was a bit like the old box of chocolates: some of it was good and some of it was atrocious. There was the odd sour lolly in there.

“The whole game was frustrating. The crowd were getting frustrated with how slow the set-pieces were to get formed.

“I don’t think Bath were in any particular hurry to play the game.

“We try to play the game with tempo but we were guilty of giving away penalties in that middle third that led to us conceding a couple of soft tries that we’re pretty grumpy about.”

And Boyd believes there is plenty to improve on despite the victory.

“There’s plenty of work to do,” he added. “If people are going to score tries against you, you want them to have to earn them.

“We gave them let-outs through the middle third into our defensive area and it was too easy for them to score.

“It’s an area of our game that we need to work on.”

 

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