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Northampton bounce back with bonus point win over Bath

Tom Collins scores for the Saints. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Northampton recovered from last week’s embarrassing result at Bristol to pick up a bonus-point 45-26 victory over Bath at Franklin’s Gardens.


Last Friday they suffered their record Premiership defeat by losing 62-8 but the five points obtained here moved them back on track for an end-of-season play-off spot.

Saints now find themselves third in the league table with fixtures against London Irish, Saracens and Newcastle still to come.

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Robbie Smith scored two tries, while Juarno Augustus, Angus Scott-Young, Tom Collins and James Grayson also crossed, with Fin Smith converting all six and adding a penalty.

Tom Dunn registered two tries for Bath and Tom de Glanville and Tom Doughty were also on the try-scoring sheet with two conversions from Orlando Bailey and one from Ben Spencer.

On his 100th appearance for the club, Fraser Dingwall led them out and it was his run that should have seen Saints take an early lead.

Deep inside his own half, the centre stepped past two defenders on a 45-metre run. Number eight Augustus was up in support to collect Dingwall’s pass but Sam Graham knocked on to blow a golden opportunity.


Almost immediately, Bath made them pay by taking an eighth-minute lead when back-rowers Miles Reid and Josh Bayliss combined well to send De Glanville on a 30-metre run to the line.

Northampton’s response was swift with first Robbie Smith finishing off a line-out drive before Augustus broke away from another to give them a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Saints lost prop Paul Hill to a yellow card for a deliberate offside with their opponents quickly capitalising when Dunn crashed over from a line-out.

The hosts then suffered a further blow when centre Matt Proctor was helped off with a leg injury to be replaced by Rory Hutchinson.


Hill returned from the sin-bin with no further damage done to the scoreboard and in time to see Bath lose centre Jonathan Joseph to a shoulder injury.

Northampton regained the lead with a straightforward penalty from Fin Smith to leave them with a 17-14 advantage at the end of a keenly-contested first half.

The home side began the second half strongly. A burst from Alex Waller took them close to Bath’s line and the pressure was maintained for Scott-Young to force his way over.

Bath’s woes continued when first Bayliss was yellow carded for his team’s persistent offsides before Robbie Smith scored his second try from another line-out drive.

Bayliss returned from the sin-bin and his side were immediately rewarded with a second try for Dunn but Saints sealed victory by scoring the best of the night when they broke out of defence for Collins to win the race to touchdown Tommy Freeman’s kick ahead.

With five minutes remaining, Doughty scored Bath’s bonus-point try which saw them draw level with Newcastle on 27 points as the two clubs battle to avoid finishing bottom of the Premiership table but Saints had the final say with their sixth try scored by Grayson.


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RUGBYPASS+ The major Six Nations concern for Wales and England ahead of RWC 2023 The major Six Nations concern for Wales and England ahead of RWC 2023