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 , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00