BATH rugby director Todd Blackadder declared himself proud of his team's performance in their 32-9 victory over Northampton Saints that moved them up to third in the Aviva Premiership table.

Wing Matt Banahan, replacement prop Nick Auterac and substitute hooker Ross Batty scored home tries, with fly-half Freddie Burns booting 17 points with five penalties and a conversion.

Northampton stand-off Piers Francis replied with three penalties but the Saints were off the ball in the second period as Bath turned on the heat at a cold Recreation Ground.

Blackadder said: "I am really proud of the guys. We have had an outstanding week and I thought it really transferred (to the game) tonight.

"We were probably a bit too aggressive in the first 20 minutes and I thought we just knocked the rust off. They came through with a strong performance.

"Our line-out was outstanding and we fought in the scrum and we won the gain-line battle which was the difference."

Centre Will Hurrell came into the team after signing on loan from Championship leaders Bristol and acquitted himself well.

Blackadder said: "He was outstanding. I love seeing players stepping up and, in particular, when we didn't have any go-forward, he just stepped up and got us going again."

But pride was not something that Northampton's technical coaching consultant Alan Gaffney had for the performance of the Saints.

Gaffney said: "We made breaks and tried to throw the impossible ball which we can't do.

"Our restarts were terrible and our kicking game was woeful and our management of the game was woeful. We have got to get better in those areas.

"There were some good things in the game and I thought our defence, generally, (was good) given we put ourselves under so much pressure.

"You just can't keep conceding as much ball as we did and giving so much ball up. We had an attacking line-out in the second half where we lost the line-out, lost the penalty and they knock it over for another penalty goal.

"We can't put mistake on mistake on mistake. We are just putting too much pressure on ourselves.

"We will take a lot of positives out of this but we also know the areas we have to improve on.

"The game management is just something we have not got much awareness of at the present time."