Northampton edge out Gloucester

Date published: October 28 2016

Northampton claimed just their third victory of the Premiership season on Friday as they overcame Gloucester 23-20 at Franklin's Gardens.

The home side had gone into the break with a 10 point lead thanks to a Louis Picamoles try and some excellent kicks from fly-half Stephen Myler.

Second-half tries from Jacob Rowan and Charlie Sharples saw the visitors take the lead, but were unable to find a reply to Tom Kessell's late score.

Franklin's Gardens was roaring on 13 minutes as George North carried over, only to be brought back by referee Tom Foley who adjudged Harry Mallinder's pass to be forward.

The first score of the game took 27 minutes to arrive, as Ben Foden barraged his way through the visitors' defence to present Picamoles with the chance burrow over the line. Myler's kick made it 7-0 following a slow start to the game.

The second score was just around the corner though, as Myler slotted a simple penalty to take the Saints account in to double figures.

Gloucester's Greig Laidlaw finally opened his account from the tee on 35 minutes having missed two earlier opportunities, but Myler soon cancelled it out with a kick from distance.

The first second-half score went the visitors' way, as Mark Atkinson made a clean break through the lacklustre Saints defence before finding flanker Rowan to slide across the whitewash in the corner. Despite a questionable performance from the tee in the first-half, Laidlaw slotted the touchline conversion with aplomb before exchanging penalties with Northampton's Myler to make it 16-13.

Just before the hour mark stand-in fly-half Billy Twelvetrees found Sharples on the wing with a looping pass, allowing the English wing to reach for the corner, followed by Laidlaw's expert conversion from the touchline.

With ten minutes left on the clock, Northampton took the chance to kick to the corner in order to work a driving maul, which saw Kessell carry over to take his side back in to the lead. Myler's conversion took them three points clear, before James Hook's attempt to level the scores with a penalty from his own half fell short of the target.

The result saw Gloucester fall to defeat for the first time away from home this season.

The scorers:

For Northampton:
Tries: Picamoles, Kessell
Cons: Myler 2
Pens: Myler 3

For Gloucester:
Tries: Rowan, Sharples
Cons: Laidlaw 2
Pens: Laidlaw 2

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 James Wilson, 13 George Pisi, 12 Harry Mallinder, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Calum Clark, 6 Tom Wood (c), 5 Christian Day, 4 Michael Paterson, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Jamie Gibson, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 Rory Hutchinson, 23 Ahsee Tuala

Gloucester: 15 James Hook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Jonny May,; 10 Billy Twelvetrees, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Jacob Rowan, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Mariano Galarza; 4 Tom Savage, 3 John Afoa; 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paddy McAllister
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Salesi Ma'afu, 19 Joe Latta, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Henry Purdy

Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant Referees: Ross Campbell, Steve Lee
TMO: Stuart Terheege