Planet Rugby

Scintillating Scarlets stun the Saints

18th November 2011 22:02

Share:

Liam Williams scarlets

Scarlets: Sound out a warning to their Heineken Cup rivals

Northampton suffered their second Heineken Cup defeat on the bounce after losing to the Scarlets 28-23 at Franklin's Gardens on Friday.

The Welsh outfit ensured they headed home with a bonus-point win thanks to first-half tries by Liam Williams, Aaron Shingler and Matt Gilbert while Rhys Priestland grabbed another after the break.

The Wales fly-half also kicked four conversions in a virtuoso display, with his boot causing the Saints no end of problems throughout the match.

Last season's beaten finalists managed to secure a bonus point in defeat, courtesy of late tries to George Pisi and Tom Wood. But that will be of little consolation to director of rugby Jim Mallinder, who was this week linked with the England job.

The visitors took the lead with barely two minutes up on the clock when scrum-half Gareth Davies made the break before feeding to full-back Williams, who kicked ahead and grounded the ball. Priestland added the extras.

Northampton got themselves on the board when Ryan Lamb slotted over a simple penalty after the Scarlets were penalised at the breakdown.

However the men in red struck again straight from the restart as flank Shingler picked up a loose ball and scored in the corner with Priestland once again converting.

Lamb knocked over another penalty in the 23rd minute but it was the Scarlets who continued to come forward as the match approached the half-hour mark.

The hosts did come into their own towards the end of the half and a Lamb penalty after a scuffle at a lineout cut the gap to five.

But one more lapse at the back from the hosts would cost them dear as full-back Pisi spilled a high kick from Priestland and the visitors pounced, with Gilbert eventually crossing for try number three.

Priestland converted to make it 21-9 at the break.

Northampton needed a fast start to the second half but were instead forced to soak up more pressure in the opening stages, with Priestland continuing to test the Saints' back three with booming kicks.

The Scarlets suffered a blow when flanker Jonathan Edwards was shown a yellow card for slowing down the ball, but Lamb hit the upright with the insuing penalty.

And moments later the contest was effectively killed off as a knock-on from England wing Chris Ashton was kicked ahead by Priestland and then again by rampaging George North, with the former touching down to complete an incredible break.

Pisi got one back in the 68th minute to give Northampton a faint glimmer of hope, but the deficit proved far too much to overcome.

The match did end on a slightly concerning note for the Scarlets, however, as North hobbled off after being manhandled in a ruck by Ashton and Wood scored a breakaway try under the posts.

The scorers:

For Northampton:
Tries: Pisi, Wood
Cons: Lamb 2
Pens: Lamb 3

For Scarlets:
Tries: Williams, Shingler, Gilbert, Priestland
Cons: Priestland 4

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Jon Clarke, 12 James Downey, 11 Vas Artemyev, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Samu Manoa, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Steve Myler, 23 George Pisi.

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 George North, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Jon Edwards, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Sione Timani, 3 Rhys Thomas, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Iestyn Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Phil John, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Matt Gilbert, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Stephen Jones, 23 Daniel Evans.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (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
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
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
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
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia 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
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys 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