Wasps win at Northampton

Date published: September 24 2016

Wasps moved to the top of the Premiership standings after they made it four successive wins with a 20-15 victory at Northampton.

Saints flew out of the blocks and George North's early try was just reward for early dominance.

However, Wasps grew into the match and the midfield combination of Jimmy Gopperth and Danny Cipriani worked well to create a marvellous levelling try which was scored by Gopperth.

The visitors took a slim advantage into half-time and in the new West Midlands derby nullified Saints' domination of possession throughout the match.

The final ten minutes saw a try and yellow card apiece for both sides as the hosts' Tom Kessell took advantage of Nathan Hughes' yellow card for Wasps.

Despite this, Wasps rallied and showed their clinical edge as Josh Bassett scored soon after with Ken Pisi sent to the bin for a trip in the aftermath. A disappointing end to his 100th Saints appearance as his side slipped to a 12-20 defeat.

Saints got the match off to a lightning start when, in the second minute, they found themselves with strength in numbers out wide on the left wing. The ball found its way to North who scored his first try at Frankin's Gardens in 18 months.

Wasps responded in scintillating fashion on 19 minutes. Cipriani started the move, showing great vision to kick the ball up the pitch from inside his own 22. Gopperth pounced onto the kick before running away from the hosts' defence to touch down under the posts. The New Zealander added the extras himself to take his side into a 5-7 lead.

After 33 minutes Gopperth added another three points to his personal tally, scoring a penalty to make the half-time score 5-10.

Gopperth was on target once more for Wasps in the 54th minute, scoring a penalty to take the score to 5-13.

In the 73rd minute, Hughes was sent to the sin-bin after multiple infringements at the maul from the visitors. Saints capitalised almost immediately as Kessell powered over the line from three metres out to score. Stephen Myler converted to make the score 12-13.

However, Wasps were in clinical form and were not to be beaten as Josh Bassett scored a counter-attacking effort in the 78th minute. Gopperth completed his man of the match display with a conversion before Myler salvaged a losing bonus-point for Saints.

The scorers:

For Northampton 
Tries: North, Kessell
Con: Myler
Pen: Myler

For Wasps
Tries: Gopperth, Bassett
Cons: Gopperth 2
Pens: Gopperth 2

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Harry Mallinder, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Tom Wood (c), 5 Sam Dickinson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements:16 Charlie Clare, 17 Campese Ma’afu, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Michael Paterson, 20 Teimana Harrison, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 Rory Hutchinson, 23 Ahsee Tuala

Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Guy Thompson, 6 Sam Jones, 5 James Gaskell (c), 4 Matt Symons, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Matt Mullan
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Marty Moore, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Kyle Eastmond, 23 Nick De Luca

Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Steve Lee, Andy Watson
TMO: Rowan Kitt