Aviva Premiership round-up: Jamie Elliott pulls the plug on Bath hopes
Sunday 24 February 2013
Jamie Elliott scored two tries as Northampton resisted a brave Bath fightback to complete a 25-23 win in a thrilling Aviva Premiership encounter at Franklin's Gardens yesterday.
The victory extends Saints' advantage over their mid-table rivals to six points and leaves Bath still winless at Northampton since 2000.
Stephen Myler, the Saints fly-half, and Tom Heathcote, his opposite number, exchanged early penalties before Elliott's first helped the hosts to an 11-9 lead at half-time.
Myler, who finished the game with 15 points, then kicked three unanswered penalties to put Saints in control before Bath battled back and took a narrow lead following a penalty try and an interception effort from Semesa Rokoduguni, which were both converted by Heathcote.
Elliott, however, crossed over in the corner for his second try with seven minutes remaining and although Myler missed with the conversion, Saints' defence stood firm in the face of late pressure.
London Welsh remain deep in relegation trouble after Exeter Chiefs condemned them to a sixth successive defeat.
Rob Baxter's side cut loose in the second half at Sandy Park and scored five tries in total to claim a bonus point with a 47-16 success. After a tight first 30 minutes, tries from Jack Yeandle, Damian Welch and Jack Nowell put Exeter in a commanding position, while an outstanding kicking display from Gareth Steenson cemented their advantage.
The Chiefs fly-half claimed 22 points – successful with nine from nine attempts: four penalties and five conversions. Tom Hayes and Sireli Naqelevuki added the other tries to seal the Devon side's first league win since November.
Phil Mackenzie replied with a try for the Exiles and Gavin Henson was on form with the boot early on, but the visitors faded badly in the second half.
The Chiefs stay in eighth place and the Exiles are only three points above Sale Sharks, the Premiership's bottom side.
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