Planet Rugby

Saints survive Treviso test

19th December 2009 16:41

Share:

SKY_MOBILE Courtney Lawes

Key score: Courtney Lawes

Northampton will be glad to escape Italy with four points in their Heineken Cup pocket after a nervy 21-18 victory over Treviso on Saturday.

A late penalty try from the hosts brought the Italians to within a score of their much-fancied opponents who were forced to close shop in the final minutes to hold onto the win.

Saints led 7-3 at half-time through Phil Dowson's try and scored twice more through Jon Clarke and Courtney Lawes but they were forced on the back foot by a score from Emiliano Mulieri and the late penalty try, with Neil Best in the sin bin.

However, the victory was still enough to send Northampton top of Pool One overnight before rivals Munster face Perpignan.

Saints were forced to work hard for their bonus point win at Franklin's Gardens last week but any thought of repeating that were put on hold during a highly competitive first half.

The tie was delayed for more than an hour while snow was shovelled from the pitch and the late change looked to have affected Northampton far more than there hosts, judging by their performance in the first half.

Fly-half Stephen Myler missed his first attempt at goal after eight minutes before Roger Wilson handed Marius Goosen the chance to take the lead, only for the Treviso fly-half to strike the posts.

Chris Ashton's error almost gifted Treviso a score but the Italians failed top make the most of their opportunity and the frustration soon spilled over when Lee Dixon and captain Dylan Hartley were both spoken to be referee Peter Fitzgibbon following a showing match in midfield.

However, Treviso continued to miss their chances as Goosen was wide with a drop goal and second penalty attempt before finally landing the opening points after 24 minutes after Ashton was robbed as he attempted to run out of defence.

The South African goal-kicker continued to let Northampton off the hook with another miss after 30 minutes and it was to prove costly as Saints struck just before half-time through Dowson.

Ben Foden looked Northampton's most dangerous threat and his break sparked a try against the run of play. Ashton was twice involved before Myler's clever cross-field kick was collected by Dowson who was awarded the score by the video official as Treviso protested. Myler converted to hand Saints a 7-3 half-time lead.

Foden should have doubled that score within a minute of the second half but after beating two defenders he lost control of the ball as he attempted to touch down with one hand and the score was ruled out.

Joe Ansbro also knocked on when handed half a chance but there was no mistake when James Downey burst through the Treviso midfield before handing the scoring pass to Clarke, who touched down under the posts.

Myler converted for 14-3 but again Treviso struck back when wing Mulieri won the race to touch down before a Tobias Botes penalty narrowed the lead to three points.

Northampton nerves looked to have been settled when Ashton's break sent Lawes over for their third score which Shane Geraghty converted.

But the home side produced a late rally and after Goosen was held up over the line, Best was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul and moments later, Treviso's scrum used the extra man to their advantage to gain a penalty try.

Botes converted but it was not enough to secure victory.

The scorers:

For Treviso:
Tries:
Botes, Penalty
Con: Botes
Pen: Goosen, Botes

For Northampton:
Tries:
Dowson, Clarke, Lawes
Con: Myler 2, Geraghty

Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Emiliano Mulieri, 13 Alberto Sgarbi, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Andy Vilk, 10 Marius Goosen, 9 Simon Picone, 8 Dion Kingi, 7 Alessandro Zanni, 6 Benjamin Vermaak, 5 Cornelius Van Zyl, 4 Antonio Pavanello (capt), 3 Ignacio Rouyet, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Diego Vidal, 17 Augusto Allori, 18 Pedro di Santo, 19 Enrico Pavanello, 20 Mauro Filippucci, 21 Fabio Semenzato, 22 Fraser Waters, 23 Toby Botes.

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Jon Clarke, 12 James Downey, 11 Joe Ansbro, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Neil Best, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Brian Mujati, 18 Santiago Bonorino, 19 Christian Day, 20 Courtney Lawes, 21 Alan Dickens, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Chris Mayor.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Alan Rogan (Ireland), Brian MacNeice (Ireland)
Television match official: Kevin Beggs (Ireland)

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