Northampton Saints were able to grind out a hard-fought 24-16 win over Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park on Sunday.
The Saints got their Anglo-welsh Cup campaign off to a great start which sees them top Pool 1. While Newcastle Falcons leave the game with no points and are third in Pool 4 by points difference.
Newcastle opened up the scoring through a penalty from fly-half Mike Delany when two Saints players were penalised for breakdown infringements. Four minutes later though Saints got on the score board through number 10 Sam Olver after he was high tackled.
After a fairly quiet twenty minutes Saints really grabbed the game by the jugular with another penalty from Olver and a try through winger Tom Collins. The flyer was able to score after outside centre Luther Burrell broke the line superbly before off loading to Collins to score which was converted by Olver. The combination of points gave Saints a comfortable 10 point cushion.
Newcastle would then have the final say in the first half after Delany closed down the score gap with a penalty. Saints had the advantage at half time with a 13-6 lead.
Olver wasted no time in the second half after grabbing a three pointer in the third minute which Newcastle promptly replied to with a penalty of their own making the score 16-9 56 minutes in.
Newcastle finally put some points pressure on the visitors when Falcons skipper Alex Tait scored after Sam Egerton took a quick tap and sent Tait over for a try which Delany made no mistake in converting.
Falcons were now hot on Northampton's trails with 10 minutes to go. But Saints pulled away at the right time with a Rory Hutchison try in the 76th minute to secure Saints the away win.
For Newcastle Falcons:
Tries: Collins, Hutchison
Pens: Delany 3
Pens: Olver 4
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait (c), 14 Marcus Watson, 13 Fred Burdon, 12 Craig Willis, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Michael Young, 8 Callum Chick, 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Ally Hogg, 5 Andrew Davidson, 4 Will Witty, 3 David Wilson, 2 Ben Sowrey, 1 Sam Lockwood
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Rob Vickers, 18 Jon Welsh, 19 Glen Young, 20 Joshua Chisanga, 21 Sam Egerton, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 Dominic Waldouck
Northampton Saints: 15 James Wilson, 14 Howard Packman, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Sam Olver, 9 Tom Kessell, 8 Lewis Ludlam, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Jordan Onojaife, 5 Christian Day (c), 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 3 Paul Hill, 2 Charlie Clare, 1 Ethan Waller
Replacements: 16 James Fish, 17 Matt Beesley, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Alex Moon, 20 Devante Onojaife, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Juan Pablo Estelles, 23 Jamie Elliott
Referee: Greg Macdonald (England)