Saints secure Prem top spot

Date published: May 9 2015

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Northampton ensured they will finish top of the Aviva Premiership table as they handily disposed of London Welsh 46-0.

Lee Dickson and Luther Burrell grabbed two tries apiece, with Ahsee Tuala and Jamie Elliott, as the Saints hammered the Exiles at Franklin's Gardens.

The first half was littered with mistakes for the reigning champions despite opening a commanding 17-0 lead.

Dickson and Tuala crashed over for the only tries of the first half whilst Stephen Myler made it three kicks from three in an otherwise uninspiring half.

Saints turned it on for the second half with tries from Dickson, Elliott and a brace from Burrell earning the champions a much needed attacking bonus point which sees them secure top spot at the end of the regular season and a home semi-final.

Going into this match London Welsh had lost their previous 20 Aviva Premiership games including a 43-14 loss to Northampton last November.

London Welsh were resolute in defence from the off as wave after wave of the home teams attack attempted to crash over the Exiles try-line.

The visitors held out for as long as they could until Dickson went over for the game's first try after 14 minutes, Myler slotted the conversion to put the champions 7-0 in front.

Tuala scored a terrific solo try just before the half hour mark and Myler converted to double Northampton's lead. Myler made it three kicks from three just before half-time to leave the scores at 17-0.

Myler continued where he left off after half-time, opening the scoring for the home team via the boot. Dickson went over for his second try of the day after weaving his way through a shambolic Exile defence to make it 25-0.

Burrell snuck through for his fifth try of the season to earn Northampton a bonus point victory and a home semi-final, Myler was on target again to give Saints a 32-0 lead.

Burrell found space again and made it count breaking a number of tackles to crash over for the home side's fifth try of the match, James Wilson converted to make it 39-0 with 20 minutes remaining.

Elliot crossed over on the wing with eight minutes remaining to earn the champions a more commanding lead, Wilson converted to complete the convincing victory.

The scorers:

For Northampton:
Tries: Dickson 2, Tuala, Burrell 2, Elliott
Cons: Myler 3, Wilson 2
Pens: Myler 2

For London Welsh:
Yellow Card: Gilding

The teams:

Northampton: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Calum Clark, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Gareth Denman, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Corbisiero, 18 Salesi Ma'afu, 19 Sam Dickinson, 20 Jon Fisher, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 Tom Stephenson, 23 James Wilson

London Welsh: 15 Seb Jewell, 14 Alan Awcock, 13 Nic Reynolds, 12 Tom May (c), 11 Chris Elder, 10 Olly Barkley, 9 Paul Rowley, 8 Opeti Fonua, 7 Darren Waters, 6 Daniel Browne, 5 Matt Corker, 4 Ben West, 3 Ben Cooper, 2 Koree Britton, 1 Nathan Trevett
Replacements: 16 Nathan Morris, 17 Eddie Aholelei, 18 Jack Gilding, 19 James Down, 20 Josh McNally, 21 Jesse Liston, 22 Rob Lewis, 23 Will Robinson

Venue: Franklin's Gardens
Referee: Andrew Small 
Assistant Referees: Wayne Falls, Steve Lee
TMO: Stuart Terheege

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