Aviva PremiershipNorthampton (12) 24Tries: Lawes, Ribbans 2, North Cons: Mallinder 2Bath (6) 6Pens: Priestland 2
Northampton made it two wins from two at home this season with a bonus-point victory over Bath.
Tries from Courtney Lawes and David Ribbans bookended the first half to give Saints a 12-6 half-time lead.
Ribbans crossed again soon after the break as Bath struggled to gain momentum at Franklin’s Gardens.
George North secured the bonus point with the fourth try five minutes from time, and injuries meant Bath finished with 14 men.
Jim Mallinder’s side went into the game without club and England captain Dylan Hartley, but Lawes proved a fine deputy.
The England international set the tone physically alongside his partner in the second row, Ribbans, who deserved his man-of-the-match award on his first start.
Saints, who in their opening game, next face a London Irish side that suffered a heavy defeat to Sale.
Bath were unbeaten going into the game but struggled to set a platform for their lively backs.
Sam Underhill, capped by England in the summer, impressed with his work-rate and endeavour on his debut, but he left the field late on after a nasty collision.
Earlier, club captain Matt Garvey was also forced off to add to Bath’s injury list.
Northampton boss Jim Mallinder: “Yes, Saracens two weeks ago seems a long time ago, but you remember what people say. You read things and hear what people say and it hurts. And it hurts the team.
“We needed a reaction last weekend and we got that. We needed to back up and we continued in that vein.
“We’ve shown that when we get it right, we’re a difficult team to beat. Winning at home is very important and we’ve done that in these two games.”
Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder: “Sam just walked past and he’s okay. It’s just a shame because he was getting stuck in and certainly put himself out there.
“Take nothing away from Northampton, that was an outstanding performance from them and it shows how tough the competition is going to be.
“I’m disappointed when we don’t perform but when you’re beaten by a better side you can accept that, and we can accept this.”
Northampton Saints: Tuala; North, Horne, Burrell, Collins; Mallinder, Groom; Waller, Haywood, Hill, Paterson, Ribbans, Lawes (capt), Gibson, T Harrison.
Replacements: Marshall, Ma’afu, Brookes, Day, Ludlam, Reinach, Grayson, Foden.
Bath: Watson; Rokoduguni, Joseph, Tapuai, Banahan; Priestland, Fotuali’i; Obano, Dunn, Perenise, Ewels, Stooke, Garvey (capt), Underhill, Faletau.
Replacements: Walker, Auterac, Andrews, Phillips, Grant, Allinson, Burns, Clark.
Referee: Thomas Foley