Dowson salutes Saints' 'energy and bravery' as they battle to beat Bath

Phil Dowson was delighted with the 'energy and bravery' Saints delivered as they bagged a bonus-point 45-26 win against Bath on Friday night.
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The black, green and gold bounced back from the humbling 62-8 defeat at Bristol Bears seven days earlier as they secured a crucial win at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens.

Saints scored six tries against Bath with their forwards coming to the fore as Robbie Smith scored twice, with Juarno Augustus and Angus Scott-Young also on the scoresheet.

The backs then came to play, with Tom Collins and James Grayson rounding things off, while Fin Smith produced a flawless kicking display.

Tom Collins was all smiles after scoring for SaintsTom Collins was all smiles after scoring for Saints
Tom Collins was all smiles after scoring for Saints

And Dowson said: "We talked about having a reaction and it showed in lots of different ways.

"It clearly wasn't perfect but the boys deserve a lot of credit for that week.

"We had to make sure last week was an anomaly and it wasn't the norm. We wanted to get back here and show what we were about.

"We've been working particularly hard because that forward area is vital.

"Clearly our maul defence still needs a lot of work because Bath got some entries in that way.

"I'm delighted for (coach) James Craig and all of the forwards because all that work on the back pitch kicking the... out of each other came to fruition and when it happens against a big pack in a game it's very positive.

"It would have been easy for us to go into our shells and there were some nerves around so the most pleasing thing was the energy and the bravery with which we played.

"We still tried things, we still tried to get the ball into space wherever that was.

"There's still things we need to work on in defence and in terms of the maul tries but overall it was great to see the hard work in training paying off."

Saints moved up to third in the Premiership table with three games to go.

They have next weekend off before a huge game at London Irish.

And Dowson said: "The table is ridiculous in terms of how tight it is.

"I had a quick look last night and quickly turned it off because it's too tight to make any predictions moving forward.

"We wanted a reaction from a performance point of view and now we've got two weeks to prepare for the game at London Irish.

"Our away form hasn't been up to scratch so that's what we're looking to improve.

"We were hoping to try to chase Sale down but then we had that result against Bristol.

"The table is so tight and it's all to play for.

"We've just got to make sure we focus on our performance."

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