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Saints fall short of bonus-point

20th October 2013 14:35

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Christian Day after scoring for Northampton

Try and assist: Christian Day

Northampton missed the opportunity to pick up a try bonus-point but did claim a 27-16 win over the Ospreys at Franklin's Gardens on Sunday.

The Saints dominated the first half and touched down twice through Samu Manoa and Christian Day as they went into the break 17-6 ahead, with Dan Biggar responding via two penalties.

Although visiting ten Biggar went over to reduce the arrears in the second period, Ben Foden's try and Myler's second penalty sealed the win.

Despite hoping to repeat the feat of reaching the quarter-finals once more, having last qualified for the knockout stages in 2010, the visitors were dealt a blow with last week's defeat to Leinster. It was therefore a must win game for both teams after Northampton's 19-13 loss to Castres, but the Saints were the side that were on top early on.

Courtney Lawes was particularly prominent as the hosts controlled the forward exchanges, and their initial dominance was rewarded when Myler kicked a penalty after two minutes.

Poor defence from the Welsh region then allowed Manoa to run in unopposed as they opened up a 10-0 lead. And although Biggar scored successive three-pointers, a further period of pressure saw Day cross the whitewash from Lawes' pass as Jim Mallinder's men took a 17-6 advantage into the interval.

However, the Ospreys came out with far more intent and vigour in the second half and their fly-half went over after a number of phases close to the Northampton line.

But the Saints were soon in the ascendency again and it was no surprise to see them touch down for their third try through England international Foden.

The fly-halves then traded penalties and the hosts pushed for the bonus-point but the Welsh region resisted the barrage.

The scorers:

For Northampton:
Tries: Manoa, Day, Foden
Con: Myler 3
Pen: Myler 2

For Ospreys:
Try: Biggar
Con: Biggar
Pen: Biggar 3

Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Steve Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Alex Waller.
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 James Wilson, 23 Ken Pisi.

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tom Habberfield, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ryan Jones, 5 James King, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (capt), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Tyler Ardron, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Sam Lewis, 22 Tito Tebaldi, 23 Matthew Morgan.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Stuart Gaffikin (Ireland), Jonathan Peak (Ireland)
Television match official: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

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