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Gloucester hold out Northampton

09th February 2013 14:17

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Samu Manoa Northampton v Gloucester 2013

Northampton's Samu Manoa clatters into Ryan Mills of Gloucester

Gloucester stayed in contention for the Premiership play-offs after clinching a deserved 27-11 win over Northampton at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday.

Jonny May was the visitors' hero, scoring a brace of tries.

May's first score and 12 points from the boot of Rob Cook gave the Cherry and Whites a 17-6 half-time lead, with Stephen Myler responding for the hosts.

The two sides then traded tries in the second half through the West Country outfit's winger and Northampton's Phil Dowson, but Cook's penalty sealed a comprehensive result.

Both of these play-off contenders were deprived of their international stars, but it was the visitors that initially reacted best in the opening period.

Although Myler opened Northampton's account with a penalty, Nigel Davies' men took control.

Cook levelled the scores with a three-pointer of his own before a second from the tee took Gloucester into the lead for the first time. And their dominance was rewarded with the opening try of the afternoon.

Off clean line-out ball, stand-off Ryan Mills off-loaded to May and the talented youngster weaved his way to the line.

Despite the Saints' fly-half briefly reducing the deficit, two further penalties from Cook eased the away side into a 17-6 advantage at the interval.

Northampton went into the second half a man down when Gerrit-Jan van Velze had been sin-binned just before the break.

And the Cherry and Whites capitalised when May scampered clear after George Pisi's pass failed to go to hand.

However, Jim Mallinder's team finally managed to build a period of pressure on the Gloucester line midway through the half.

May was yellow carded for a series of team indiscretions and Dowson touched down to give the hosts a glimmer of hope.

But their momentum was halted as Samu Manoa was sin-binned for a punch and Cook secured the victory with a late penalty.

The scorers:

For Northampton:
Ty: Dowson
Pens: Myler 2
Yellow cards: Van Velze (35th minute), Manoa (54th minute)

For Gloucester:
Tries: May 2
Con: Cook
Pens: Cook 5
Yellow Card: May (47th minute)

Northampton Saints: 15 James Wilson, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 GJ van Velze, 7 Ben Nutley, 6 Phil Dowson (capt), 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Mike Haywood, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 James Craig, 20 Rhys Oakley, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Tom May.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall (c), 12 Tim Molenaar, 11 Jonny May, 10 Ryan Mills, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Sione Kalamafoni 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Tom Savage, 5 Will James, 4 Lua Lokotui, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso d'Apice, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Yann Thomas, 19 Peter Buxton, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Jimmy Cowan, 22 Shane Monahan, 23 Martyn Thomas.

Referee: Martin Fox

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