Planet Rugby

Saints slip and slide towards trap door

25th March 2007 18:02

Share:

david hilton

Try time!: David Hilton scores for Bristol

Northampton remain rooted to the bottom of the Guinness Premiership table after a 31-19 defeat at Bristol on Sunday.

Bristol ended a run of four straight defeats to keep alive their hopes of a top-four finish and complete a league double over rock-bottom Saints.

Northampton remain rooted to the foot of the Guinness Premiership table as a result, after they were denied a try-scoring bonus point.

Bristol head coach Richard Hill made nine changes from the side that lost at Saracens a week ago, including rookie fly-half Danny Gray for his first Premiership start of the season in preference to former Wales A half-back Jason Strange.

Scrum-half Shaun Perry was back in the starting line-up after England duty to partner Gray while ex-Scotland prop David Hilton was making his 100th league appearance for the club.

Scotland winger Sean Lamont came straight into the Northampton line-up as one of two changes in personnel.

The Saints missed an early opportunity to get off to a flying start as fly-half Stephen Myler, with the wind at his back, was off target with a 40-metre penalty from the left touchline.

Bristol then got in to the game and were awarded a penalty from a five-metre scrum.

They opted for another scrum and worked the ball across the field with skipper Gareth Llewellyn coming close before it was worked back into the middle where centre Rob Higgitt, recalled to the starting line-up in place of Sam Cox, went crashing over to the line.

Gray added the extra points and a 25-metre penalty, from the left of the posts, after the Saints were penalised at the scrum.

But Saints came back midway through the half as Myler chipped across field to right wing Sean Lamont. He tapped the ball into the waiting arms of left wing Ben Cohen to score.

Myler missed the touchline conversion and was again off target on the half hour with a 30-metre kick after Bristol had failed to retreat 10 metres when Cohen took a quick tap penalty.

Gray had no such problems with a 30-metre kick after centre Carlos Spencer took Perry out at the base of the ruck.

Gray missed two drop-goal attempts before slotting his third attempt neatly through the uprights after full-back Bernardo Stortoni had made a storming break up the middle, shrugging off a couple of half-hearted tackles to give Bristol a deserved 16-5 interval lead.

Saints started the second half strongly with Spencer charging clear from the breakdown, before Lamont broke from a maul to catch the Bristol defence napping and score under the posts to ease the conversion kick for Myler, who took the visitors within four points.

But Bristol hit back quickly, mounting a series of drives until number eight Andrew Blowers, playing against one of his former clubs, picked up from a ruck 15 metres out before he slipped the ball to Hilton who crossed for Bristol's second try. Gray duly converted and added a penalty minutes later.

Reihana came close before Matias Cortese went over then line, but referee David Rose called on the match video referee David Matthews before awarding the try.

Spencer, who had taken over the kicking duties from Myler, added the conversion from out wide.

With less then 10 minutes remaining Bristol again applied the pressure and the forwards drove over the line with lock Roy Winters appearing to get the touchdown.

Northampton, searching for a much-needed bonus point, threw everything they could into attempting to breach the Bristol line, but all to no avail.

The Scorers:

For Bristol:

Tries: Hilton, Winters, Higgitt

Cons: Gray 2

Pens: Gray 3

Drop Goal: Lemi

For Northampton:

Tries: Cohen, Lamont, Cortese

Cons: Myler, Spencer

The Teams:

Bristol: 15 Bernardo Stortoni, 14 Craig Morgan, 13 Neil Brew, 12 Rob Higgitt, 11 David Lemi, 10 Danny Gray, 9 Shaun Perry, 8 Andrew Blowers, 7 Joe El Abd, 6 Alfie To'oala, 5 Gareth Llewellyn (c), 4 Roy Winters, 3 Darren Crompton, 2 Mark Regan, 1 Dave Hilton

Replacements: 16 Alex Clarke, 17 Scott Linklater, 18 Nathan Budgett, 19 Redford Pennycook, 20 Greg Nicholls, 21 Jason Strange, 22 Josh Taumalolo

Northampton: 15 Bruce Reihana (c), 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Carlos Spencer, 12 Robbie Kydd, 11 Ben Cohen, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Mark Robinson, 8 Christian Labit, 7 Darren Fox, 6 Paul Tupai, 5 Christian Short, 4 Damien Browne, 3 John Brooks, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Tom Smith

Replacements: 16 Matias Cortese, 17 Soane Tonga'uhia, 18 David Gerrard, 19 Ben Lewitt, 20 Mark Hopley, 21 Johnny Howard, 22 Vaughan Going

Referee: David Rose

Touch Judges: Stuart Terheege, Peter Huckle

Television match official: Matt Peters, David Matthews

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Preview
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 TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Glasgow vs UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Preview
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 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs BluesHurricanes vs Blues Preview
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