Planet Rugby

Saints deny Wasps at the death

23rd March 2013 17:13

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George Pisi Northampton Saints v Wasps Aviva Premiership Adams Park

Northampton: Enhance their Aviva Premiership play-off aspirations

Northampton snatched a last gasp 26-24 Aviva Premiership victory over London Wasps at Adams Park on Saturday.

Wasps were looking to end a run of two consecutive defeats, while Northampton were keen to continue their charge up the table following a run of three wins.

The Saints made the perfect start to the game and found themselves seven points up after being awarded a penalty try as Wasps' T Rhys Thomas was sent to the sin-bin.

The visitors continued to dominate the forward battle, but their indiscipline afforded Elliot Daly the opportunity to cut the deficit to four points.

More dominant forward play from Northampton opened the door for Lee Dickson to cross and increase the cushion, though Stephen Myler was wide with the conversion.

The concession appeared to spring Wasps into life and they found a response when Christian Wade and Billy Vunipola combined to send Tom Varndell over for a try which Stephen Jones converted.

Jones' penalty then edged Wasps a point in front, but they continued to struggle to cope with the Saints' forwards, to the extent that they lost their lead when Dylan Hartley barged over for a converted try just nine minutes later.

There was still time for Jones to strike a penalty goal on the stroke of half-time, but it was the Saints who held a 16-19 lead.

The beginning of the second half was less incident-packed and it wasn't until the hour that more points were added, when Jones' penalty goal was quickly followed by Wasps' second try, scored by Daly after a passage of mesmerising play down the left flank.

But, crucially, the conversion was missed, and when Christian Day crashed over in the final minute for Myler to convert to make it 24-26, Wasps' hopes were shattered.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Tries: Varndell, Daly
Cons: SM Jones
Pens: Daly, SM Jones 3

For Northampton:
Tries: Penalty try, Dickson, Hartley, Day
Cons: Myler 3

London Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Chris Bell 11 Christian Wade, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Jones, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsey, 17 Zak Taulafo, 18 Will Taylor, 19 James Haskell, 20 Joe Launchbury, 21 Stuart Cummins, 22 Nick Robinson, 23 Andrea Masi.

Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 James Wilson, 13 George Pisi, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 GJ van Velze, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Samu Manoa, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Tom Wood, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Tom May.

Referee: David Rose

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