Planet Rugby

Sarries victorious in Northampton

12th February 2011 14:34

Share:

Schalk Brits saracens v northampton 2011

On the rampage: Schalk Brits

Matt Stevens scored a try as Saracens romped to a 29-15 win over Northampton in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday.

Saracens kept the pressure on tournament leaders Leicester as they fought back from behind - and with men in the sin-bin - to inflict a fourth league loss this season on Saints.

But the home side were left kicking themselves as their good start faded.

It was not the highest scoring first half but it certainly was a good one as Northampton went in only four points ahead and two men better off.

Both sides were willing to throw the ball around and play some open rugby, although the Saints had the upper hand territorially.

Saracens came within touching distance of the home line on a couple of occasions but could not find the killer touch to get over.

Fly-half Stephen Myler, for Northampton, and away full-back Alex Goode exchanged 30-metre penalties in the opening six minutes before Saints turned up the heat.

A lovely move, which was almost intercepted by Sarries as it reached the left wing, took Northampton to within a metre of the line but lock Dan Vickerman's roll over from a ruck was ruled out for a knock-on.

However, Saints did get the opening try when they pounded Sarries in the 22 for scrum-half Ryan Powell to spin the ball out and watch as centre Jon Clarke gave a deft dummy to Sarries centres Rodd Penney and Brad Barritt to open a gap and slip through.

Saracens responded by running the ball from halfway, with hooker Schalk Brits prominent.

But, with ten minutes to go to the break, Sarries were on the back foot again as prop Carlos Nieto was sin-binned for an illegal act at a ruck, bringing ex-England international Matt Stevens, in only his third week since returning from a ban for drugs offences, off the bench.

Sarries defended danger in the left corner well but soon found themselves with only 13 men on the pitch as fly-half Owen Farrell stupidly took former England fly-half Shane Geraghty out with a late tackle.

Northampton probably should have gone for the corner with the resultant penalty but decided that Myler should kick for goal.

He missed and, even with their numerical disadvantage, Sarries started scoring points. Goode kicked two penalties either side of half-time.

And he then converted a left-corner try, which went to the video referee, from Barritt after co-centre Penney had charged down a clearance inside the home 22.

It meant Sarries had scored 13 unanswered points while short-handed.

Northampton were at sixes and sevens and needed something to get themselves back into the match.

Just before the hour, the home side attacked into the Sarries 22 with relentless thrusts, notably from Paul Diggin, Soane Tonga'uiha and Bruce Reihana, but the pressure came to nothing.

Then, from nothing, full-back Greig Tonks found some space on the left and fed Diggin to go over in the corner, although Myler's touchline conversion went wide.

But after home number eight Roger Wilson was sent to the sin-bin for a high tackle, Saracens took the game by the scruff of the neck again.

Stevens went over for a try under the posts, converted by Goode, to put the visitors eight points ahead.

And, when Goode landed another penalty in the final 10 minutes, that was that. Barritt landed a 25-metre drop goal in the last minute just to rub salt into the Northampton wounds.

The scorers:

For Northampton:
Tries: Clarke, Diggin
Con: Myler
Pen: Myler

For Saracens:
Tries: Barritt, Stevens
Cons: Goode 2
Pens: Goode 4
Drop: Barritt

Yellow card: Nieto (Saracens - 30th min)

Northampton: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Bruce Reihana, 13 Jon Clarke, 12 James Downey, 11 Paul Diggin, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Ryan Powell, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Phil Dowson (capt), 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Dan Vickerman, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Brett Sharman, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Andy Long, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Mark Easter, 21 Stuart Commins, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Scott Armstrong.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 David Strettle, 13 Rodd Penney, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert (capt), 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Justin Melck, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Hayden Smith, 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Jared Saunders, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Hugh Vyvyan, 20 Andy Saull, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Michael Tagicakibau, 23 James Short.

Venue: Franklin's Gardens
Referee: Andrew Small

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs WaspsExeter vs Wasps Preview
London Irish vs BathLondon Irish vs Bath Preview
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Romania vs CanadaRomania vs Canada Preview
Ireland vs AustraliaIreland vs Australia Preview
Wales vs New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Preview
England vs SamoaEngland vs Samoa Preview
France vs ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Preview
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga 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
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre 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
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
Canada 13 - 23 SamoaCanada vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
More LV= Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton726
2Exeter724
3Bath724
4Saracens724
5Wasps720