Planet Rugby

Saints snatch a late bonus

04th October 2009 17:04

Share:

Wasps v Saints tussle

Tussle: Paul Sackey and Ben Foden fight for the ball

A gruelling second-haf fightback from Northampton saw them snatch a late bonus point in a 20-15 defeat to Wasps in the Guinness Premiership.

Wasps lost their 100 per cent record when they were defeated by London Irish last weekend but they raced into a 17-3 half-time lead today thanks to Danny Cipriani's try and four Dave Walder penalties.

Northampton, overrun before the break, improved massively after it and they chipped away at their deficit through Shane Geraghty's four penalties.

Walder's drop-goal allowed Wasps to keep their noses in front but Bruce Reihana's injury-time penalty earned a bonus point for Saints, who were camped in opposition territory late on.

Wasps' victory, which puts them third, was marred by what could be a serious injury to substitute Lachlan Mitchell, who was carried off on a stretcher late on after appearing to be struck in the face tackling Chris Ashton.

Saints came into the match in a buoyant mood following resounding wins over Gloucester and Leeds but they were swept aside in the first half by the hosts, who dominated the set-piece and looked more dangerous in the loose.

Wasps also had a kicker in Walder who was in ruthless form. He kicked his first penalty in the fourth minute after Saints failed to retreat 10 yards at a penalty.

He followed that up with another, in the 18th minute, after Richard Birkett was hauled down in the air at a line-out and he booted his third eight minutes later to put his side 9-0 up.

Northampton were being picked off at the line-out on their own ball and Wasps were proving too powerful for them in the scrum.

The frustration of the Saints front row boiled over on the half-hour mark when there was a big dust-up after an aborted scrum. Wasps' Phil Vickery came off worst in the free-for-all, the England prop being withdrawn from the pitch with blood pouring from his eye area.

After seeing Geraghty skew wide a long-distance penalty, Ben Jacobs should have scored Wasps' first try when he ran onto fellow centre Dominic Waldouck's pass along the line. The try-line was inviting, with Tom Varndell also free outside, but the Australian fumbled 10 metres out.

In the 37th minute, Walder slotted his fourth penalty of the match but he missed the conversion after Cipriani's try.

The England fly-half, playing at full-back today, chased a speculative kick into space by the excellent Joe Simpson.

When Saints winger Ashton was deceived by the bounce, Cipriani steamed in to collect, breeze through Ashton's attempted tackle and go over with an extravagant swallow dive.

Geraghty kicked a penalty in first-half injury-time to finally get Saints on the board, and in the 42nd minute Chris Mayor barged over the line but the try was disallowed for an earlier Phil Dowson knock-on.

The second half was much more evenly balanced and Wasps' lead was whittled down further when Geraghty arrowed over a second penalty, in the 54th minute.

Geraghty's third, booted over four minutes later, made it 17-9 to gave Saints further momentum and the fly-half was starting to boss the game after finally being given a platform to show his silky skills.

Walder was off target with a relatively simple penalty attempt in the 64th minute to keep the visitors in the hunt, but he did then land a neat drop goal.

Reihana, who made a host of searing breaks throughout the game, then broke free, but with Saints just five yards from the line the ball was knocked on and a golden chance was lost.

Another went begging when Geraghty hooked wide what should have been a simple penalty in the 75th minute but he was successful with one moments later to make it 20-12.

Reihana's late long-range penalty brought Northampton to within five points but Wasps held on despite great late pressure from their opponents.

Mitchell's injury, which came as he heroically tackled Ashton on the right flank, meant Wasps' celebrations were slightly muted at the full-time whistle.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Try: Cipriani
Pens: Walder 4
Drop goal: Walder

For Northampton:
Pens: Geraghty 5

Wasps:15 Danny Cipriani, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Ben Jacobs, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Dave Walder, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 John Hart, 7 Serge Betsen, 6 Dan Ward-Smith, 5 Richard Birkett, 4 George Skivington, 3 Phil Vickery (c),2 Rob Webber, 1 Gabriel Bocca.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Ben Broster, 19 Dan Leo, 20 Will Matthews, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Eoghan Hickey, 23 Lachlan Mitchell.

Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Chris Mayor, 12 James Downey, 11 Bruce Reihana, 10 Shane Geraghty, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Mark Easter, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Regardt Dreyer.
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Soane Tonga'uiha, 18 Santiago Bonorino, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Neil Best, 21 Alan Dickens, 22 Stephen Myler, 23 Joe Ansbro.

Referee: Dean Richards

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs Leicester19:45
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton Treviso17:00
Glasgow vs Ulster19:35
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs Blues19:35
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954