Planet Rugby

Saints clinch Midlands derby

06th February 2010 17:51

Share:

Paul Diggin try celebration

Paul Diggin celebrates his try with his team-mates

Northampton Saints all but ended Leicester's interest in the LV= Cup on Saturday with a 23-11 win and gave themselves a home semi-final.

Leicester's defeat probably extinguished their hopes of progressing in the tournament as they will need Saracens to lose at home to Newport-Gwent Dragons to stand any chance.

The game was entertaining with Northampton just about deserving their win due to their more clinical finishing.

Leicester were always playing catch-up following the home side's early score and the visitors gave away penalties at crucial stages.

Northampton got off to a blistering start opening the scoring within two minutes.

The Saints won a lineout 22 metres out from the Leicester line and the pre-planned move saw Stephen Myler pass inside to Paul Diggin.

The wing tore through the bemused visitors' defence to score near the posts for Myler to kick the simple conversion.

Leicester overcame that reverse to dominate the next period of the match. For the next 10 minutes they remained in the Saints' half but frequent turnovers stopped them from threatening the home line.

However Northampton were unable to clear their lines due to poor lineout work and some indifferent kicking from scrum-half, Alan Dickens.

The visitors eventually gained their reward when Billy Twelvetrees kicked a 45-metre penalty after seventeen minutes to reduce Northampton's lead.

Four minutes later Northampton were back in control when they scored another splendid try.

From a scrum 40 metres out Chris Ashton ran a delightful angle and his quick distribution broke the Leicester defence, with the excellent move culminating in Dickens's first try for his club, Myler converted with an great kick from the touchline.

The excitement was non-stop and back came Leicester with a quality try of their own.

A Myler up and under was fielded by Lucas Amorosino in his own 22 and the full-back then ran more than 60 metres, passing a number of Saints' defenders to provide Twelvetrees with the scoring pass. Sam Vesty missed the conversion.

Leicester should have scored again just before the interval but Alesana Tuilagi failed to pick up the loose ball close to the Saints' line which meant the visitors undeservedly trailed 14-8 at half time.

Northampton began the second half strongly and extended their lead when Myler kicked a 30-metre penalty after forty four minutes.

Almost immediately Twelvetrees had the chance to nullify this score but his kick from near half way fell narrowly short.

The home side continued to dominate the half and when Leicester were penalised for pulling down a maul Myler struck again with another penalty to put Saints 20-8 ahead after 52 minutes.

Eventually Leicester gained the first period of pressure of the second half thanks to some more elusive running from Amorosino.

Unfortunately the Argentinian full-back was injured after one such run and had to be carried from the field with a leg injury.

The visitors then reduced the arrears with a Twelvetrees penalty after 61 minutes and had more of the play thereafter - but could find no way through the resolute home defence.

Northampton sealed the victory when replacement Barry Everitt scored an easy penalty with the last kick of the match.

The scorers:

For Northampton Saints:
Tries: Diggin, Dickens
Con: Myler
Pens: Myler 2, Everitt

For Leicester:
Try: Twelvetrees
Pens: Twelvetrees 2

Northampton: 15 Bruce Reihana , 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joe Ansbro, 12 Chris Mayor, 11 Paul Diggin, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Alan Dickens, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Neil Best, 6 Mark Easter, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe (capt), 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Brett Sharman, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Andy Long, 17 Adam Parkins, 18 Alex Waller, 19 James Cannon, 20 Owen Giles, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Barry Everitt, 23 James Downey.

Leicester: 15 Lucas Amorosino, 14 Alesana Tuilagi, 13 Billy Twelvetrees, 12 Aaron Mauger (c), 11 Matt Smith, 10 Sam Vesty, 9 Harry Ellis, 8 Brett Deacon, 7 Ben Woods, 6 Ben Pienaar, 5 Ben Kay, 4 Dan Hemingway , 3 Julian White, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Boris Stankovich.
Replacements: 16 Joe Duffey, 17 Robbie Harris, 18 Ryan Bower, 19 Rob Conquest, 20 Matt Everard, 21 James Grindal, 22 Jeremy Staunton, 23 Geordan Murphy.

Referee: Dave Pearson

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs Toulon18:00
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs Pumas19:10
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 17
Southland vs TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Preview
Thursday , September 18
Northland vs Taranaki19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 MunsterBenetton Treviso vs Munster Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 15 - 17 Ospreys
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26