Home team Away Team

Bath

  • Claassens (2), Banahan,
    Penalty goals: James (2),
    Conversions: James (2),
25 - 14

Northampton

  • Kruger,
    Penalty goals: Myler (3),
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 27th Dec 2008
  • KO 14:15
  • Ground: The Rec
  • Att: 10,600

Claassy Bath sink Saints

Meehan's men march back to the top after home victory

Last updated: 27th December 2008   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Claassy Bath sink Saints

Claassens: Two tries

Related links

Teams

Players

Also see

Two second half tries from Michael Claassens helped Bath climb back on top of the Guinness Premiership as Northampton were beaten 25-14 at the Rec.

In a tightly-contested and scrappy affair, a brace from the South African No.9 proved decisive as Bath leapfrogged both Sale and London Irish to claim top spot.

Saints enjoyed plenty of possession but did not possess a cutting edge sharp enough to open up the home defence until the final minute when lock Juandre Kruger crossed in the corner.

Bath's first try came in the second minute when wing Matt Banahan latched on to Butch James' grubber kick. The South African fly-half's accuracy was wayward with the conversion attempt though and Bath remained 5-0 ahead.

Stephen Myler sent a long-range penalty wide at the other end for the visitors but made amends with a more straightforward effort on 14 minutes, only for James to reply almost immediately.

Unforgiving

The lively Northampton pack, which included England international Dylan Hartley, was held just short of the line on 19 minutes but when Bath prop David Flatman was penalised at the resulting scrum, Myler made it 10-6 with his second penalty.

James responded with a penalty after the visitors were offside at a ruck but there was a scare for Bath when the Springbok had a clearance kick charged down at the other end.

It was only Joe Maddock's alertness that denied Myler a try as Saints began to threaten Bath's unforgiving defence.

Full-back Jack Cuthbert, struggling to field Myler's high kicks in the biting wind, fared no better when called up for a long-range kick on the half-time whistle.

Myler pulled the score back to 13-9 soon after the restart with a long-range penalty, but Bath latched on to a fumble by Saints skipper Bruce Reihana to work their way within striking distance of the visitors' line.

Consolation

Saints conceded two scrums and a free-kick before Claassens dived through a gap and stretched out an arm to score.

James could not convert but Myler was finding it no easier and missed a penalty, to leave his side nine points adrift going into the last 15 minutes.

After Bath introduced Justin Harrison and Daniel Browne off the bench they suddenly had the advantage up front and it was Northampton who were struggling for parity.

It was no surprise then that Claassens claimed his second try on 74 minutes off the back of a scrum, James converting.

The home supporters were urging their side on for the bonus point try, but Saints came back with a consolation for Kruger after he collected Myler's chip.

Sky Bet Odds:

Click Here for Your Free Bet
Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 28th November
Aviva Premiership
19:45Bath vs Harlequins
Saturday 29th November
15:00Leicester Tigers vs Wasps
16:30Exeter vs Saracens
Sunday 30th November
13:00London Irish vs Gloucester
14:30London Welsh vs Northampton
15:15Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks
Saturday 20th December
14:00Sale vs Exeter
15:00Gloucester vs Bath
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle
15:00Northampton vs Leicester
Sunday 21st December
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Sale vs Leicester
15:00Bath vs Exeter
15:00Newcastle vs Saracens
15:00Gloucester vs Wasps
15:00Harlequins vs Northampton
Saturday 3rd January
15:00Exeter vs Gloucester
15:00Saracens vs London Irish
15:00Leicester vs Bath
15:00Northampton vs Newcastle
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com