Planet Rugby

Northampton seal play-off berth

05th May 2012 15:57

Share:

Chris Ashton

Chris Ashton: Scored in his last game for Saints at Franklin's Gardens.

Chris Ashton marked his final game in a Northampton shirt at Franklin's Gardens with a try as the Saints overcame Worcester 42-14.

The Saints will travel to Harlequins in the Premiership semi-final after what turned out to be a comfortable win against a depleted Warriors outfit but they didn't have it all their own way, coming up against more resistance than expected at times.

Ashton opened the scoring inside five minutes with a try on his final appearance at Franklin's Gardens after England team-mate Ben Foden had cut the Worcester defence to ribbons down the left wing and provided the killer inside pass to the Saracens-bound winger.

Just as most were expecting the floodgates to open for the hosts though, Josh Drauniniu levelled the scores for the visitors, exchanging passes with full-back Tom Arscott in the midfield on his way to scoring underneath the posts.

Although the Saints spent large periods of the first half camped in the opposition twenty-two, it took them until just before half-time to hit the front with a hamstring injury to try-scorer Ashton midway through the half not helping their momentum either.

But they kept banging on the door and, after Shaun Perry was sin-binned and Stephen Myler had knocked over a simple penalty, Foden smashed through the tackles of Alex Grove and Danny Gray to score a crucial try and make it 17-7 at the break.

Myler was successful with another penalty at the start of the second half but again Worcester refused to play the role of disinterested opponents and hit back with a short-range try from Kai Horstmann after a good burst from replacement scrum-half Jonny Arr.

Ryan Lamb came on for Myler soon afterwards and slotted another three points to stretch the lead to nine points and then the replacement fly-half floated a superb wide pass to George Pisi, who put the ball on a plate for winger Paul Diggin to score in the corner.

With the win almost in the bag, replacement Teimana Harrison secured a bonus point with his first ever Premiership try after James Craig had stolen a Worcester lineout just metres from the try-line.

Alex Waller added a bit of extra gloss with a late pushover try as well to boost the Saints' confidence ahead of a tricky trip to Twickenham to face Harlequins in the semi-final.

The scorers:

For Northampton:
Tries: Foden, Ashton, Diggin, Waller
Cons: Myler 2, Lamb 3
Pens: Myler 2, Lamb 2

For Worcester:
Tries: Drauniniu, Horstmann
Cons:Gray 2

Yellow cards: Perry, Shervington (both Worcester)

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 George Pisi, 12 James Downey, 11 Paul Diggin, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson (capt), 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 James Craig, 5 Christian Day, 4 Mark Sorenson, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Andy Long, 1 Soane Tonga'Uiha.
Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 Ben Nutley, 20 Teimana Harrison, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Tom May.

Worcester: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Miles Benjamin, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Ravai Fatiaki, 11 Josh Drauniniu, 10 Danny Gray, 9 Shaun Perry (c), 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Neil Best, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 James Percival, 3 Bruce Douglas, 2 Chris Fortey, 1 George Porter.
Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington, 17 Ryan Furniss, 18 Ceri Jones, 19 Ben Gulliver, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Joe Carlisle, 23 Charlie Hayter.

Referee: Greg Garner

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks15:15
Castres vs Leinster13:00
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Preview
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Brive vs Zebre18:30
Grenoble vs London Irish18:30
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs Lions17:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs Tasman19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615