What were Bath thinking about? They could and should have won this match by a distance but ended up losing it after having their captain, Isaac Fea'unati, sent to the sin-bin at a crucial time. Their England lock Danny Grewcock was sent to the same place just as the final whistle was about to be blown.
It was not Bath's day at all. From the start they objected to Wayne Barnes's refereeing. Barnes is a bright chap, a London barrister who spends some time in court. While the Bath forwards insisted on falling all over the place when trying to win the ball, he penalised them - giving Bruce Reihana three chances to kick three points, which he took.
Olly Barkley pulled three points back for Bath, but while Fea'unati was off the field, Northampton's prop Tom Smith grabbed a try. The wing Sean Lamont sprinted in for the next, which Reihana converted, and suddenly Saints were leading 21-3.
Andy Higgins scored one for Bath and Barkley converted, as well as kicking a penalty, but Robbie Kydd and Carlos Spencer took Saints to a precious four-try bonus point. Michael Stephenson's late try was all that Bath got by way of consolation.
Northampton: Tries Smith, Lamont, Kydd, Spencer; Conversions Reihana 2; Penalties Reihana 3. Bath: Tries Higgins, Stephenson; Conversion Barkley; Penalties Barkley 2.
Northampton: R Kydd (L Myring, 66); S Lamont, B Reihana (capt), D Quinlan, B Cohen; C Spencer, M Robinson; T Smith, S Thompson (D Richmond, 53), P Barnard (C Budgen, 75), M Lord, C Short (Damien Browne, 75), P Tupai (B Lewitt, 70), D Fox, Daniel Browne (M Easter, 68).
Bath: N Abendanon; A Higgins (M Stephenson, 55), S Berne, O Barkley ( R Davies, 70), J Maddock; C Malone, A Williams (N Walshe, 40); D Barnes (D Flatman, 50), L Mears (R Hawkins, 70), D Bell, R Fidler (J Fa'amatuainu, 70), D Grewcock, P Short, G Delve (C Goodman 15), I Fea'unati (capt).
Referee: W Barnes (Surrey).Reuse content