Opposition view: Bath boss Hooper hails his side's resilience after win at Saints

Bath boss Stuart Hooper saluted his side for the 'massive amounts of resilience' they showed in the 23-22 win at Saints on Sunday.

By Tom Vickers
Sunday, 28th February 2021, 5:03 pm
Updated Sunday, 28th February 2021, 5:04 pm
Bath boss Stuart Hooper
Bath boss Stuart Hooper

Bath recovered brilliantly as they roared back from a 19-3 deficit to secure a narrow Gallagher Premiership success at Franklin's Gardens.

It was hugely disappointing for Saints, who had raced ahead thanks to a Tom James double and a first Northampton try from Tommy Freeman.

But while Saints' four-game winning streak came to an end, Bath extended their winning run to three matches.

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And Hooper said: "It was a great game of rugby. I probably wouldn't have said that after 20 minutes but I enjoyed it, I thought it was great, and I think the lads enjoyed it as well.

"We showed massive amounts of resilience.

"It wasn't the prettiest rugby all the time but getting the job done away here is huge.

"Our plan was to come here and kick behind them, put the ball behind their wingers on the floor but we didn't quite do it well enough.

"When we did get it right and managed to shore up the set piece, it helped us in the second half."

Bath were under huge pressure in the scrum for long periods, but they managed to turn the tide late on to win a penalty that allowed them to escape five metres from their own line.

And Hooper, who replaced his entire front row little more than five minutes into the second half, said: "We talked about it before we got here that Northampton's scrum has been going really well.

"We saw that Exeter game and they won four penalties off the scrum so we knew it was going to be a massive focus for them.

"In the first half, they were in the ascendancy but we knew if we rolled a few guys on in the second half we could make a difference."

Hooper was delighted with how his side won the 'arm wrestle' at the Gardens.

He added: "As much as we didn't put our best foot forward in the first half, they (Saints) were good as well.

"When their offloading game gets going, they get their ball players in the game and they speed the game up, they cause you problems.

"It's an arm wrestle quite often.

"Of course we push ourselves to be what we were in the second half, but it's not always going to happen."