Planet Rugby

Saints take all five points

04th October 2008 17:03

Share:

Lee Dickson break v Bristol

Lee Dickson breaks for Northampton's second try

Northampton Saints got a bonus-point 30-17 victory over Bristol in their opening EDF Energy Cup match at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday - the first of five matches between the two clubs this season.

The teams will meet in the Guinness Premiership and European Challenge Cup as well, and on this evidence, it is hard to see Bristol winning any of them.

Bristol new boy Mathew Turner gave the visitors the perfect start.

Turner, a South African U20 international who qualifies for England through an English mother, crossed twice on his debut to put Bristol ahead 10-5 midway through the first half.

But the home side went on to score 22 unanswered points after taking advantage when Bristol had Robert Sidoli and Kevin Maggs yellow-carded either side of the break.

Referee Nigel Owens brandished five yellow cards - two to Northampton and three to the visitors.

Saints were glad to be back at Franklin's Gardens, where they had not lost in 19 games since March 2007, having suffered defeats at Saracens and Leicester in the previous week.

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder made changes following the late defeat at Welford Road on Wednesday night.

Only three players kept their place and he brought in Nils Mordt and Rob Milligan for their first-team debuts at centre and number eight respectively.

Bristol went into the game desperate for a win. Head coach Richard Hill had seen his side lose their opening five league matches and he named a completely different starting XV following the midweek loss to Saracens.

Hill handed debuts to South Africa Under-20 international winger Mathew Turner - who qualifies for England through an English mother - and fly-half Chris Ashwin. He also included England international hooker Mark Regan in his starting XV.

Bristol got off to the perfect start with a try after just three minutes. Turner did well to gather Lee Robinson's pass and shrug off two challenges to touch down in the left-hand corner. Chris Ashwin missed the conversion.

Northampton were level in the ninth minute. Barry Everitt's long pass found Paul Diggin on the left. He had Sean Lamont outside him, but chose to cut inside and cross for a try that Everitt failed to convert.

Bristol were back in front in the 22nd minute. Vunga Lilo kicked through and Turner beat Lamont to the ball to touch down.

Ashwin's conversion sailed wide and Northampton were in front two minutes later. Lee Dickson capped a sweeping move by gathering Matt Lord's pass to touch down.

Everitt's missed the conversion, meaning the score stayed 10-10, but the Saints fly-half made amends in the 35th minute with a 40-metre free kick that put his side back in front.

He was off-target with another attempt from similar range two minutes later after Bristol lock Sidoli was yellow-carded for holding on.

Bristol were down to 13 men four minutes after the restart after Maggs was yellow-carded for not rolling away as Northampton twisted the knife.

Chris Ashton's try in the 48th minute and Everitt's conversion put the home side 10 points clear at 20-10.

Sidoli then returned for Bristol, but Saints piled on the misery with Chris Mayor crossing and Everitt's conversion made it 27-10.

Bristol were handed a possible way back into the game when Saints' Joe Gray was sin-binned and both sides had a player yellow-carded in the 64th minute.

Northampton's Ben Broster and Mark Irish were yellow-carded.

Lilo grabbed a consolation try for Bristol with nine minutes left and Ashwin converted - before Everitt's penalty with two minutes left completed the scoring.

The scorers:

For Northampton:

Tries: Diggen, Dickson, Ashton, Mayor

Cons: Everitt 2

Pens: Everitt 2

For Bristol:

Tries: Turner 2, Lilo

Con: Ashwin

Northampton: 15 Paul Diggin, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Chris Mayor, 12 Nils Mordt, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Barry Everett, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Rob Milligan, 7 Ben Lewitt, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Matt Lord, 4 Alex Rae (c), 3 Barry Stewart, 2 Paul Shields, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.

Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Jon Vickers, 18 Ben Broster, 19 James Cannon, 20 Liam Neale, 21 John Brake, 22 Nick Greenhalgh.

Bristol: 15 Vunga Lilo, 14 Lee Robinson, 13 Luke Eves, 12 Kevin Maggs, 11 Mathew Turner, 10 Chris Ashwin, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Iain Grieve, 7 Redford Pennycook, 6 Matt Salter (c), 5 Robert Sidoli, 4 Roy Winters, 3 Peter Bracken, 2 Mark Regan, 1 Mark Irish.

Replacements: 16 David Blaney, 17 Alex Clarke, 18 Dave Attwood, 19 Chevvy Pennycook, 20 Sam Alford, 21 Ed Barnes, 22 Greg Barnes.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

Touch judges: David Bodilly (Wales), Scott Fleming (Wales)

Television match official: Brian Abrahams (England)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Castres vs Bay Of Plenty18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western Province17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Preview
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
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
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00