Match Reaction: Bath Rugby 13 Northampton Saints 12
Fly-half Josh Lewis scored the Bath Rugby’s only points of the second half but it was enough to see them into the final of the Anglo-Welsh Cup at Kingsholm next weekend.
After moving 10-0 ahead thanks to Levi Douglas’ try, Stephen Myler moved Northampton Saints ahead with four penalties either side of the break.
Northampton’s Teimana Harrison, who was celebrating his 100th appearance for the Saints, was red carded just past the hour mark and Lewis’ penalty decided the semi-final.
Man of the match – Josh Lewis
Josh Lewis was the star of the show for Bath.
He marshalled his back-line expertly around the park in torrential rain in the South West and ensured his pack were always going forward with clever kicking from hand.
He also held his nerve off the kicking tee and scored the all-important penalty to win it for Bath late on.
Try of the match – Levi Douglas
In atrocious conditions, attacking rugby was not at the forefront as Bath’s semi-final with Northampton descended into an arm wrestle.
The game was decided by a moment of magic from Bath’s Levi Douglas, who produced an opportunist finish to swivel cleverly and score the game’s only try.
What they said
Bath No.10 Josh Lewis said: “It was a tough night and we knew the Saints were going to come out all guns blazing.
“We have worked all week on staying on top and playing territory and I think our game-plan worked well tonight.
“This is a great competition and it’s so important to us because Bath haven’t won any silverware for a while now. It’s a great achievement.”
Bath skipper Charlie Ewels said: “We spoke all week about the conditions meaning you didn’t really want the ball and so we kept putting it behind them.
“Josh Lewis kicked brilliantly all night and he ensured we were always in the right positions on the field and putting Northampton under pressure.
“We have spoken all week about the fact this club deserves to be winning silverware and regardless of what competition we are in, we want to do well and win it.
“We have produced a good performance and got ourselves into a final and also into a position to go on and win silverware.”
Northampton coach Alan Dickens added: “It was a tough one the red card, he had made contact and the referee has made a decision.
“I thought the effort from the players was fantastic, things happen in games and we will have to deal with that afterwards.”
Best of Social
Great work by the boys. Chuffed to bits for them. On to the final! 🔵⚫️⚪️
— Matt Garvey (@MattGarvey5) March 9, 2018
The biggest games are decided by the finest of margins. Congrats to @bathrugby, who progress to the Anglo-Welsh Cup final
— Northampton Saints (@SaintsRugby) March 9, 2018
A huge thank you to everyone at the Rec tonight. A bit of a monsoon out there, but you made the difference! See you next week for the Final 🏆 pic.twitter.com/lajnwRpmYI
— Bath Rugby (@bathrugby) March 9, 2018
Ben Foden doing the dirty work 👏
A great recovery in the mud. pic.twitter.com/8PghE344od
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) March 9, 2018