Northampton 25 - 23 Bath

Match info: Premiership at Franklin's Gardens

Date: 23/02/2013 KO: 15:00 Att: 12,291

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Northampton

TriesElliott (20, 72)PenaltiesMyler (9, 32, 49, 54, 58)

25
vs
23

Bath

TriesHeathcote  (60) Rokoduguni (66)ConversionsHeathcote  (60, 66)PenaltiesHeathcote  (4, 26, 37)

FT (ht: 11-9)

  • Last Updated: February 23 2013, 23:23 GMT

Post-match reaction to Northampton's 25-23 victory over Bath at Franklin's Gardens.

Ben Foden: Impressive performance
Ben Foden: Impressive performance

Northampton coach Alan Dickens says England discard Ben Foden is getting back to his best after he set up the winning try against Bath.

Foden has struggled to regain his top form since needing an operation on an ankle injury earlier in the season and he was rested by England two weeks ago.

But he returned against Worcester and looked somewhere near his best as he fizzed around the Franklin's Gardens pitch.

Dickens, acting backs coach and academy manager, said: "Ben is better, he is looking after himself during the week and was good today.

"The backs looked better today, the pitch was hard, it was a good surface and that is what backs like.

"Ben is training, but he is looking after his ankle as well. He is looking good, but I think it is one of those injuries that has needed managing along the way."

The four points keep Northampton's challenge for a Premiership play-off place intact and after losing at home to Gloucester last week, Dickens was pleased with how the side have responded, following up last week's win at Worcester with victory over an in-form Bath team.

"We scored two good tries in the outside channels, so I am pleased," said Dickens. "But I was pleased with all the team.

"I am looking after the backs and the attack as well at the moment, but the defence was good as well. The desire and commitment from our lads to get back and make Bath make that extra pass or force a mistake was superb.

"I don't think the backs have been playing with a lack of confidence, but you go through periods in a season when it is tough, not just in terms with how we played, but with the conditions.

"Last week at Worcester we played the conditions, the backs put the forwards in the right part of the field and then they finished it off really.

"Jamie has done really well, he has definitely made that number 11 shirt his own. He works hard, he is committed as he is every single week and is definitely a plus for us.

"The crowd were immense and got behind us and I am sure it was a real lift to the lads on the pitch. It was a pivotal game, we identified that during the week, so it was great to win."

Bath defence coach Mike Ford was pleased with how his side came back from 20-9 down to lead with 10 minutes to and felt the spirit was tremendous in an exciting finish.

"We were 20-9 down but the lads never gave up," said Ford. "We knew the players wouldn't stop fighting and we got two tries to go in front.

"It was pretty disappointing to concede a second, but it was a great game, the breakdown was a real contest and it is small margins in the end."


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