Bath rue set-piece sorrow during slender Saints defeat
Bath Rugby's inability to control the set-piece cost them the chance to move to the top of the Aviva Premiership table when Northampton Saints' pack bludgeoned them to an 18-14 victory at The Rec.
Forwards coach Neal Hatley highlighted the area as where the match would be won and lost in the lead up to the contest. Bath did not heed the warning, however, and could not get to grips with the visitors' powerful scrum, slipping to a first defeat of the campaign.
The powerful Saints pack outmuscled their home counterparts, who continued to give away penalties through indiscipline. Northampton fly-half Steven Myler took full advantage and kicked the visitors to the head of the standings.
"If we are brutally honest we weren't accurate enough at the set-piece," said a disappointed Hatley after the match.
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"We went from scrums and lineout drives to penalties and they banged three points over. That's their bread and butter.
"As the game wore on we got more and more into it but consistency at the set-piece is where we need to improve. Northampton are one of the best around at the set-piece, so that's where we want to be."
Bath opted to replace their entire front-row at the same time midway through the second half, with the hosts hoping that fresh legs would boost their ailing scrum.
It failed to work, however, and with the pack failing to function for so long, Hatley suggested there could well be changes in personnel for next Saturday's trip to London Irish.
"We asked Davey Wilson to go hell for leather for as long as possible but it just so happened that all three blew up at the same time," said Hatley.
"We recognise that there's no way we can keep the same guys out and we will head down to London Irish next week and have one or two changes because we need to keep these guys fresh."