Bringing You the Daily Dispatch

Northampton 25-21 Bath: Premiership Rugby final – as it happened
Rugby union Sport

Northampton 25-21 Bath: Premiership Rugby final – as it happened

Premiership win goes on, but this is a side that is capable of ending the drought sooner rather than later. Credit to Bath’s supporters and their players. And a word for their South African coach, Johan Van Graan who has instilled belief throughout the organisation.Premiership champion. How does that sound?

It sounds pretty good, it sounds pretty good. I can’t complain at all.

To be honest I have no clue [on what he’s feeling]. A bit of everything. I really don’t know what to think to be honest.

[After the red card] we just tried to be us. We didn’t want to change how we’d played all season.

If you’d had told me how this season has gone – at the back of last season – I’d have bitten your hand off and called you a liar.

He’s the youngest player, and the only every replacement, to win the player of the match award in the Premiership final. What a story.

Bath. But they can be proud of themselves having gone down to 14 men with just over an hour left on the clock. This would have been the most remarkable victory but it wasn’t to be. Titanic performances from Russell, Underhill, Du Toit and many others.Northampton legends in Lawes, Waller and Ludlum, but it’s a 21-year-old who was the hero this afternoon!

With Saints struggling, George ‘Bendy’ Hendy blitzed through an ocean of defenders to set up Mitchell’s decisive score and then it was his final rip of the ball who secured the win and the official player of the match award.

Northampton are celebrating.

Bath spill the ball!Bath stick it?Bath. Oh but the ball is into touch as Bath can’t stick the final pass as Redpath tries to off-load. But no one is there to receive it.Bath need a try to get this back.

Bath territory. The most electric English team all season need to find a spark.Bath are getting closer.Bath defending for their lives and there’s a knock-on! Lawes spills it after getting thwacked.Bath have a penalty bang in front of the poles. Surely they have to go for poles. After an age Russell points to the sticks and a shot at an unlikely lead with just under a quarter of an hour to play.Bath player. This time it’s Redpath. Perfect technique over the ball, rolling Coles the ball carrier and picking his moment to pounce. Quality from the midfielder who also made the tackle on the rampaging second rower.Northampton.Northampton have the scrum in their own 22.Northampton have to sharpen up or a dream season could blow up in their faces.Bath still have it and are now having to regenerate from outside the 22. Gallagher carries but he has it pinched from him by Freeman. Oh my word, Saints have coughed the ball. Langdon – who was flattened by Underhill earlier on – can’t get his hands in order and knocks on. Saints had an overlap forming. Instead they’ll have to defend a scrum on their 22.Northampton look rattled. This is an astonishing performance from Bath.Bath are playing the game of their lives!

Northampton are defending well. Gallagher again – he’s everywhere – but this time he’s held up and smothered by men in green and black. Superb from Saints who win the ball back on their own 22.Northampton spill the ball so we’ll have a Bath scrum.Bath win the scrum penalty on their own line! My goodness, this team is refusing to lie down.Bath win a penalty on the deck. Should be an easy three for Russell.Bath score first and somehow get a lead. I fear if Saints add another try in quick time this could end in a rout.Premiership final has been a cracker. Three tries – two blistering moves by the Saints backline, one a muscular shove from a Bath forward – has provided talking points. But the headline goes to Bath’s prop Obano who was red carded for a dangerous tackle.

Northampton have bossed it but Bath have stuck in there. Can they pull off a miracle? We’ll find out after the break.

Northampton off their feet. Pearson the guilty party. Sloppy from Saints. They had all the momentum but lost their accuracy at a crucial moment.Bath so Saints have the scrum.Northampton knock-on as the blitz on defence so Bath get the scrum feed just outside the 22 in centre field.Bath get themselves up into Saints’ red zone and from close range the man they call the Tank punches past close-in tacklers and wrestles the ball over the line.

Russell makes it a five point game with a classy kick from the right. Game on!

Another beauty! The league’s leading try-scorer has scored in the final. Slick hands, lovely touches and he’s free down the left. His kick to himself was actually meant for Freeman running through the middle but he shanked it so had to chase it himself. There were questions over the grounding but I think it was fine. Smith misses the conversion.

Source: theguardian.com