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
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