Planet Rugby

Saints march past Gloucester

01st March 2014 17:14

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Tom Stephenson in action for Northampton Saints

Scored: Tom Stephenson

Northampton extended their lead at the Premiership summit to seven points after beating Gloucester 39-13 at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday.

In a scrappy opening period, the Saints went into the interval 13-10 ahead through Ken Pisi's try and eight points from the boot of Stephen Myler.

Henry Trinder's touchdown and a Freddie Burns penalty was the Cherry and Whites' response in the first half before Burns levelled matters after the break.

However, Northampton only increased the pressure and Calum Clark, Tom Stephenson, Alex Waller and Will Hooley all went over to seal the win.

These sides have endured contrasting fortunes this season. While Northampton continue to advance towards a potential home semi-final place, the visitors currently reside in the lower reaches of the Premiership.

It was therefore no surprise to see the Midlands' outfit open the scoring when Pisi pounced on a loose ball to touch down.

Minutes later, Stephenson broke through the heart of the Cherry and Whites' rearguard and it looked as though they were going to extend their lead. Instead, the ball was intercepted by Trinder as the Saints' attempted to move the ball wide and the centre scampered over unopposed.

That try appeared to set the hosts back as the game became scrappy. Myler and Burns did trade penalties midway through the half, but both teams struggled to put phases together.

However, Northampton did end the opening period on the front foot and a second penalty by their fly-half took them 13-10 ahead going into the break.

Burns levelled the scores after 48 minutes, but Northampton had too much power for the Cherry and Whites in the second period.

Clark went over to regain the Saints' advantage before Stephenson's impressive solo effort gave them some breathing space.

They now went in search of the bonus-point try and it eventually came through Waller. Hooley then piled further misery onto Gloucester as the hosts moved back to the summit of the Premiership.

The scorers:

For Northampton:
Tries: KS Pisi, Clark, Stephenson, AM Waller, Hooley
Con: Myler 4
Pen: Myler 2

For Gloucester:
Try: Trinder
Con: Burns
Pen: Burns 2

Northampton: 15 James Wilson, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Tom Stephenson, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 GJ Van Velze, 7 Phil Dowson (c), 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Sam Dickinson, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Mike Haywood, 1 Ethan Waller.
Replacements: 16 Ross Mcmillan, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Samu Manoa, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Will Hooley, 23 Ben Foden.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Mike Tindall (capt), 11 Martyn Thomas, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Gareth Evans 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 James Hudson, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Yann Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Will James, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Jimmy Cowan, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Shane Monahan.

Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Assistant referees: Nigel Carrick, Simon Mcconnell
Television match official: Rowan Kitt
Timekeeper: Tony Turner

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