Planet Rugby

Saints fall to Wilkinson

14th September 2008 16:58

Share:

Bruce Reihana Saints

Black Hole: Jamie Noon and Jonny Wilkinson shut down Bruce Reihana

Newcastle Falcons dealt Northampton Saints a Guinness Premiership wake-up call in the shape of a 32-22 defeat at Kingston Park on Sunday, with Jonny Wilkinson weighing in with 22 points.

The England star put in a superb 100 per cent kicking display on his return from shoulder surgery as the league's relegation favourites picked up their first win of the season.

The visitors held a deserved 12-6 lead at the break as they dominated territory and possession throughout the first half, skipper Bruce Reihana kicking three penalties and fly-half Carlos Spencer adding one of his own with Wilkinson kicking the home side's points.

But the Falcons hit back after the interval with lock Andy Buist and wing Ollie Phillips claiming tries and Wilkinson adding three penalties, two conversions and a drop goal. Scotland wing Sean Lamont got a try for the visitors and Reihana kicked five points but it was not enough for the Saints.

Northampton started the better of the two sides and a poor Wilkinson up-and-under gave skipper Reihana an early chance to open the scoring but his penalty attempt fell short of the uprights.

Wilkinson soon kicked two penalties, either side of a three-pointer apiece from Reihana and Carlos Spencer, to keep the Falcons level on the scoreboard as they kicked away what little possession they had.

Reihana missed a chance to put the visitors back in front when an ill-judged Wilkinson cross-kick saw wing John Rudd isolated on the edge of his own 22.

However he was soon able to make amends when Falcons wing John Rudd was adjudged to have deliberately knocked into touch a cross-field kick from Spencer, who put in a superb display of tactical kicking to terrorise the Newcastle back three.

And the full-back extended the visitors' lead to six points when he put the ball between the posts from halfway after Newcastle had failed to stay on their feet at a ruck, but missed with another long-range effort on the stroke of half-time.

The Falcons hit back on the resumption by stringing together their best passage of play on their first sustained foray into the visitors' 22.

A good surge by centre Jamie Noon put the hosts on the front foot and when the ball was moved right an inside ball from Alex Tait put second row Buist over in the corner. Wilkinson added the testing touchline conversion to give Newcastle a 13-12 lead.

Wilkinson then made it a four-point lead after Scotland prop Euan Murray was sin-binned for taking out a supporting runner when centre Spencer Davey made a purposeful surge.

Reihana's fourth penalty got the gap between the sides back down to a point but Wilkinson produced a superb give-and-take pass on the hour to send wing Phillips, a late replacement for Tom May, over in the corner. The British & Irish Lion once again adding the extras from the touchline.

Saints hit back from the restart with Lamont scything through from a maul to race 30 metres and score under the posts, Reihana converting.

Reihana then missed another penalty chance when Phillips was sin-binned for going to deck at a ruck before Wilkinson made sure of the victory as he added two more penalties and a long-range drop-goal.

The scorers:

For Newcastle Falcons:

Tries: Buist, Phillips

Cons: Wilkinson 2

Pens: Wilkinson 5

Drop: Wilkinson

For Northampton Saints:

Tries: Lamont

Cons: Reihana

Pens: Reihana 4, Spencer

The teams:

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Tom May, 13 Jamie Noon, 12 Spencer Davey, 11 John Rudd, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 James Grindal, 8 Phil Dowson (c), 7 Ed Wiliamson, 6 Adam Balding, 5 Andy Buist, 4 Mark Sorenson, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Andy Long, 1 Joe McDonnell.

Replacements: 16 Matt Thompson, 17 Micky Ward, 18 Andy Perry, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Hall Charlton, 21 Ollie Phillips, 22 Rory Clegg.

Northampton Saints: 15 Bruce Reihana (c), 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Jon Clarke, 12 James Downey, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Carlos Spencer, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Scott Gray, 6 Neil Best, 5 Christian Day, 4 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.

Replacements: 16 Paul Shields, 17 Barry Stewart, 18 Tom Smith, 19 Alex Rae, 20 Mark Hopley, 21 Ben Foden, 22 Stephen Myler.

Referee: Andrew Small

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs ToulonUlster vs Toulon Preview
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Bath vs ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Preview
Montpellier vs GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Preview
Northampton vs OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs ConnachtExeter vs Connacht Preview
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs LionsWestern Province vs Lions Preview
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615