Saints click to see off Worcester

Date published: February 27 2016

Northampton recovered from a 12-15 half-time deficit to beat Worcester 38-18 in their Premiership clash at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday.

It was a very entertaining first-half with both sides playing some good attacking rugby.

Worcester led at half-time with tries from Val Rapava-Ruskin and Wynand Olivier. Tries from Harry Mallinder and Tom Collins kept Saints in the match.

Saints rallied and ran away with the game in the second half. Collins scored two further tries to complete his hat-trick while Lee Dickson and George Pisi added scores of their own to secure an emphatic bonus-point victory.

This was yet another disappointing second-half collapse for the Warriors who remain in eleventh place in the Premiership. Meanwhile, Saints rise into the play-off places with the bonus-point victory ahead of next weekend's tough trip to Allianz Park to face Saracens.

Tom Heathcote was the hero when the sides last met at Sixways in October and opened the scoring in this one with a tenth minute penalty.

The Warriors scored the first try of the match in the 28th minute, Rapava-Ruskin running straight through Dickson to round off a good move and take the score to 8-0.

Mallinder cut the gap with a try for Saints in the 30th minute. Ken Pisi showed excellent acceleration before offloading to Mallinder who beat the last defender to score.

In the 36th minute the home side got their noses in front with a try from Collins who latched onto a good offload from Ben Foden to score. Stephen Myler converted to establish a 12-8 lead.

Worcester re-established a lead in the final minute of the half, Olivier splitting the Saints defence and powering through to score. Heathcote converted to make the half-time score 12-15.

One minute after the break a moment of magic saw the home side take the lead. Luther Burrell produced an absolute peach of a pass to find Collins on the wing who powered over to score his second try.

Worcester took the lead in the 52nd minute, Heathcote slotting home a penalty from in front of the posts. This lead did not last as Nothampton scored their bonus point try on 57 minutes, Dickson the man to touch down after being smuggled over the line by his forwards. Myler converted taking the score to 24-18.

Collins had his hat-trick in the 65th minute, sliding over on the end of a Jamie Gibson pass to score Saints' fifth try of the match. Myler kicked the extras to open up a thirteen-point lead.

With a minute to go replacement Pisi rounded off victory for the hosts by touching down in the corner. JJ Hanrahan kicked the conversion to make the final score 38-18.

The scorers:

For Northampton:
Tries: Mallinder, Collins (3), Dickson, G Pisi
Con: Myler 3, Hanrahan

For Worcester:
Tries: Ruskin, Olivier
Con: Heathcote
Pen: Heathcote 2

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Harry Mallinder, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson (c), 8 Teimana Harrison, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 James Craig, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Reece Marshall, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Sam Dickinson, 20 Jon Fisher, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 George Pisi

Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 GJ van Velze (c), 7 Carl Kirwan, 6 Dewald Potgieter, 5 Darren Barry, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Val Rapava Ruskin
Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Na'ama Leleimalefaga, 18 James Johnston, 19 Dan Sanderson, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 Luke Baldwin, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Andy Symons

Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank, Nigel Carrick
TMO: Stuart Terheege