Saints secure bonus-point win

Date published: January 23 2016

Northampton Saints secured a valuable bonus-point win in poor conditions against the Scarlets, winning 22-8 to give themselves a chance at a runners-up spot.

Northampton dominated the first half with two tries, one from George Pisi and a score from Harry Mallinder, son of head coach Jim and Man of the Match.

It was deja vu for the away side in the second half – two more tries from Sam Dickinson and George North, with the Scarlets grabbing a consolation try through Aled Davies.

After a demolition at the hands off Racing 92 last week, many expected an easy win for Northampton over a demoralised Scarlets side.

In a tightly contested opening ten minutes, Mallinder intercepted a loose Scarlets pass and sprinted through to the line uncontested.

The Saints scored the second try of the night a few minutes later. George Pisi powered over through several Scarlets players and the score was awarded after a review from the TMO.

On the half-hour mark, Scarlets opened their account with a penalty from Thomas after the Saints were penalised at the scrum.

It was more of the same after the break for Northampton when Dickinson crashed over the line from close range.

The situation worsened for the home side shortly after when Maselino Paulino was shown yellow for a dangerous tackle on England Six Nations hopeful Courtney Lawes.

And the bonus point was secured when Mallinder broke through the Scarlets line before throwing the ball wide to North. The former Scarlets man crossed the whitewash to secure the five-point win and keep them in contention for qualification.

Scarlets looked to restore some pride on the final ten minutes and pushed forward. Their pressure drew several penalties and a yellow card for Saints club captain Lee Dickson.

In the final minute, Scarlets eventually got their try when Aled Davies powered over amid some confusion on the Northampton try line; but the late score did not change the result.

The win leaves Northampton still in the qualification spots for the quarter-finals. However, the West Midlands side will be keeping a close eye on Stade Français and Clermont tomorrow.

The scorers:

For Scarlets:
Try: A Davies
Con: A Thomas
Pen: A Thomas
Yellow Card: Paulino

For Northampton:
Tries: Mallinder, G Pisi, Dickinson, North
Con: Myler
Yellow Card: Dickson

Scarlets: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Regan King, 12 Steven Shingler, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Morgan Allen, 7 Will Boyde, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Maselino Paulino, 4 Tom Price, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens (c),1 Phil John
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Dylan Evans, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 Tom Phillips, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Josh Lewis, 23 Steff Hughes

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Jamie Elliot, 13 George Pisi, 12 Harry Mallinder, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Tom Kessell, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Laws, 3 Paul Hill, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Michael Paterson, 20 Jon Fisher, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Luther Burrell

Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)
Assistant Referees: Maxime Chalon (France), Jean-Luc Rebollal (France)
TMO: Jean-Marie Piraveau (France)