Planet Rugby

Saints get a reality check

16th October 2009 21:50

Share:

David MArty v Saints

David Marty heads away for the killer try

Northampton's Heineken Cup dream was rudely interrupted by Perpignan on Friday, with the Catalans cruising to a 29-13 win.

From the off the home side, roared on by a vocal home crowd, dominated the collisions, eking out an early penalty try with some magnificent scrums and then opening up a healthy half-time lead with a peach of a try from David Marty.

For Northampton, the game was in stark contrast to their opener, when they lowered the colours of two-time European champions Munster.

However Perpignan had lost just twice in 28 Heineken Cup games at Stade Aime Giral and were hurting following their 9-8 defeat at Treviso, and they made a lively start as they looked to get their European campaign back on track.

Northampton's Lee Dickson saw his kick charged down and Dylan Hartley threw an unnecessary pass that eventually allowed Porical the first score with a penalty.

More points could have followed but Jean-Pierre Perez dropped a pass with the try line at his mercy while Neil Best managed to hold up Julien Laharrague over the line.

However Perpignan had a clear edge in the scrum and after Saints prop Santiago Bonorino was warned for collapsing the scrum for a third time, Welsh referee Nigel Owens awarded a penalty try after 15 minutes at the fourth time of asking.

Porical converted and then exchanged penalties with Shane Geraghty before Ashton went over after 26 minutes, winning the race for his own kick as the bounce evaded two defenders.

However Geraghty missed the conversion and Perpignan struck for a second time just before half-time.

Laharrague's kick split Northampton's defence, and was collected and shipped on in one move by Maxime Mermoz to leave Marty with a straight sprint for the line from 40 metres to open a convincing lead at half-time.

Tuilagi thought he had extended the lead but his try was ruled out for a forward pass from Perez and Northampton were forced into a desperate defensive stand on their own try line.

However Ashton and Jon Clarke combined with Bruce Reihana to launch a stunning counter-attack that ended with Soane Tongauiha's scoring pass to replacement prop Mujati.

However Geraghty was again off-target and despite Best and Phil Dowson going close, it was the right boot of Porical that produced the only further points, kicking three more penalties to complete a comfortable win.

Man of the match: Ben Foden and Chris Ashton covered themselves in glory for the Saints, but for a constant attacking thorn in a side, you could look no further than Perpignan wing Farid Sid, who broke the line at every step.

The scorers:

For Perpignan:
Tries: Penalty try, Marty
Cons: Porical 2
Pens: Porical 4

For Northampton:
Tries: Ashton, Mujati
Pen: Geraghty

Perpignan: 15 Jérôme Porical, 14 Farid Sid, 13 David Marty, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Julien Candelon, 10 Nicolas Laharrague, 9 Nicolas Durand, 8 Henry Tuilagi, 7 Jean-Pierre Perez, 6 Gerrie Britz, 5 Robins Tchale Watchou, 4 Rimas Alvarez Kairelis, 3 Nicolas Mas (capt), 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Perry Freshwater.
Replacements: 16 Marius Tincu, 17 Jérôme Schuster, 18 Kisi Pulu, 19 Guillaume Vilaceca, 20 Ovidiu Tonita, 21 Steve Meyer, 22 Florian Cazenave, 23 Christophe Manas.

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Jon Clarke, 12 James Downey, 11 Bruce Reihana, 10 Shane Geraghty, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Neil Best, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Santiago Bonorino, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Soane Tongauiha.
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Regardt Dreyer, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, 20 Mark Easter, 21 Alan Dickens, 22 Steve Myler, 23 Chris Mayor.

Date: Friday, October 15
Venue: Stade Aime-Giral
Kick-off: 21.00 (20.00 BST)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: David Bodily (Wales), Hugh Watkins (Wales)
Television match official: Derek Bevan (Wales)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411