Planet Rugby

Saints take the sting out of Wasps

24th October 2010 16:59

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Soane Tongauiha saints

Soane Tonga'uiha: Burrows over for a Northampton try

Northampton moved to within a point of Aviva Premiership leaders London Irish after cruising to a 37-10 bonus-point victory against Wasps at Adams Park.

And the misery could be compounded for Wasps as England centre Riki Flutey had to be helped from the field, with his fitness for the autumn internationals now seemingly in doubt.

There was plenty more for Wasps to be concerned about as Saints prop Soane Tonga'uiha scored two tries, while Stephen Myler, Chris Ashton and Courtney Lawes also crossed the line.

Both of Tonga'uiha's scores and Lawes' try were the result of powerful drives through the heart of the hosts' pack, while Myler kicked 12 points as well as touching down.

Tony Hanks' side simply had no answer for the power game of Northampton, who added a creative flourish when needed in a dominant all-around display.

Wasps conceded a penalty in front of the posts in the early stages after collapsing a scrum and Myler duly stepped up to give Northampton the lead.

However, the fly-half then missed a second kickable penalty and the lead remained at three points.

The visitors were already successfully executing their gameplan, with their big forwards repeatedly breaking the gain-line, aided by weak tackling from their opponents.

The Saints then capitalised on the slack defending to score their first try as Myler side-stepped towards the line before powering his way over.

Another try quickly followed in the 24th minute when Tonga'uiha was shoved over the line after the Saints had gained 15 metres with a lineout catch and drive.

Myler slotted the conversion through the posts and then Wasps suffered a major setback when Flutey was helped from the pitch after being unable to put any weight on his right leg.

There was to be no relief for the hosts as Northampton surged into a 22-point lead when Ashton collected a Myler grubber kick and touched down, with a marginal offside decision going against Wasps.

Myler converted again and then restored the cushion with another three points after Dave Walder had finally got the home side on the board.

Northampton continued to pile on the pressure after the half-time break, with Wasps confusion clear when powerful number eight Andy Powell decided to chip ahead despite being on the charge.

The bonus point was secured when Tonga'uiha crossed for his second of the afternoon, as again the Saints' line-out catch and drive overwhelmed Wasps on their own try-line.

Myler nailed a tough conversion from the touchline and then another surge from the pack let Lawes grab Northampton's fifth try.

Wasps managed to salvage a consolation score as Ben Jacobs ran in a try after charging down a chip from Ashton but there was not much to celebrate after such a crushing defeat.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Tries: Jacobs
Cons: Walder
Pens: Walder

For Saints:
Tries: Ashton, Lawes, Myler, Tonga'uiha 2
Cons: Myler 3
Pens: Myler 2

Wasps: 15 Mark Van Gisbergen, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Dominic Waldouck, 12 Riki Flutey, 11 David Lemi, 10 Dave Walder, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Andy Powell, 7 Tom Rees (capt), 6 Joe Worsley, 5 Dan Ward-Smith, 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Zak Taulafo, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Ben Broster, 19 James Cannon, 20 Serge Betsen, 21 Nic Berry, 22 Steve Kefu, 23 Ben Jacobs.

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Jon Clarke, 12 James Downey, 11 Paul Diggin, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Regardt Dreyer, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Ryan Powell, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Joe Ansbro.

Referee: Greg Garner

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