Northampton picked up a priceless victory on the road on Saturday as they beat Worcester Warriors 27-18, boosting their play-off hopes.
Northampton picked up a vital Aviva Premiership victory on the road as they beat Worcester 27-18 at Sixways.
Neither side was in strong league form, and both had found tries hard to come by in recent weeks. It came as no surprise, then, when all of the points scored in the first half came from penalties.
A quickfire brace from Andy Goode within the first ten minutes put Worcester six points up, but the hosts' indiscipline cost them their lead in the minutes that followed, as Stephen Myler snatched the advantage for his side with a trio of penalties.
A second quickfire brace from Goode within the next ten minutes put Northampton three points ahead, but, though Dylan Hartley was then sin-binned, the hosts were unable to add to their lead.
With just three points between the two teams, the tie remained finely poised at the start of the second half, and Myler's fourth penalty of the game just two minutes after the restart put the teams back on level terms.
Myler then edged his side in front on 54 minutes with his fifth penalty of the day, and, though indiscipline once again cost them their lead, as Goode levelled, Samu Manoa's try from the maul with less than 15 minutes remaining provided the breakthrough the visitors needed.
The conversion was missed, but even though the irrepressible Goode was again on the spot to capitalise on more Northampton indiscipline to shave the deficit down to two, a Saints penalty try, converted by Myler, settled the ding-dong battle four minutes from time.
Pen: Goode 6
Tries: Manoa, Penalty
Pen: Myler 5
Worcester: 15 Errie Claassens, 14 Josh Drauniniu, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Jon Clarke, 11 David Lemi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Matt Kvesic. 7 Sam Betty, 6 Neil Best, 5 Dean Schofield, 4 James Percival (c), 3 Euan Murray, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington, 17 Ceri Jones, 18 John Andress, 19 Craig Gillies, 20 Jake Abbott, 21 Paul Hodgson, 22 Danny Gray, 23 Josh Matavesi.
Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 James Wilson, 13 George Pisi, 12 Tom May, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 GJ van Velze, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Samu Manoa, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 Rhys Oakley, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Dom Waldouck.
Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant referees: Kevin Stewart, Paul Burton
Television match official: David Hudson
Assessor: Christopher White