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 , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821