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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins vs LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Preview
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs Sale15:00
Bath vs Worcester15:00
Wasps vs Gloucester15:15
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London Irish14:00
Newcastle vs Saracens15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , April 18
Leinster vs Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Glasgow vs UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Preview
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs Edinburgh14:30
Connacht vs Munster18:15
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets14:00
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys16:45
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Melbourne Rebels vs Western ForceMelbourne Rebels vs Western Force Preview
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Preview
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
Ospreys 25 - 19 LeinsterOspreys vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 22 - 29 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 23 - 11 CastresClermont Auvergne vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers1963
4Bath1959
5Harlequins1954