Planet Rugby

Saints fight back to deny Glasgow

14th October 2012 14:37

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Samu Manoa saints v glasgow

Bonus-point win: Northampton

Northampton scored 24 unanswered points to overcome Glasgow 24-15 in their Heineken Cup opening clash at Franklin's Gardens on Sunday.

The Saints, tournament runners-up to Leinster in 2010, trailed 15-0 before they turned the Pool Four clash on its head through three tries in six minutes either side of half-time.

Centre George Pisi touched down twice, while fly-half Stephen Myler's try just after the break nudged Northampton ahead for the first time before wing Vasily Artemyev's late effort sealed it.

Myler and Ryan Lamb each booted a conversion to help wipe out an alarming deficit as Saints conceded tries to Glasgow flanker Josh Strauss and wing Sean Lamont after centre Peter Horne kicked an early penalty and converted Strauss' try.

Myler, though, missed four shots at goal that could easily have proved costly, and there is a lot for Saints to work on before they tackle Castres in France next Friday.

The Saints have started the season well, but a 39-17 thrashing at the hands of London Irish last week gave them the worse possible preparation going into this encounter. And they were on the back foot immediately against Glasgow, who approached the match superbly and took a 3-0 lead through the boot of Horne.

Although the opening quarter had yielded just three points, both teams looked to move the ball wide. Northampton's centre Pisi was the next to go close, but some outstanding last-ditch defence prevented him from touching down.

They were made to pay for their profligacy as the visitors surged clear through a try from Strauss. The Warriors' centre then added the conversion before Glasgow extended the lead to 15-0. The Scottish outfit had shown intent throughout to attack and a sweeping backline move ended in Lamont crossing the whitewash.

However, the hosts battled back with well-taken tries from Pisi - the second being set-up by his brother Ken - as they reduced the arrears to three points at the break.

Despite their atrocious opening half-hour, the Midlands' side started to control the game just before the interval and the second period continued with Northampton dominating.

And they duly completed the comeback when Myler touched down after good hands from the Saints' front-row.

While the home team controlled majority of the half, they struggled to put away Glasgow with their stand-off disappointing with the boot, but the victory was sealed when Artemyev went over to gain the bonus-point, with Ryan Lamb converting.

The scorers:

For Northampton:
Tries: G Pisi 2, Myler, Artemyev
Cons: Myler, Lamb

For Glasgow:
Tries: Strauss, Lamont
Con: Horne
Pens: Horne

Northampton: 15 James Wilson, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Vasily Artemyev, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Rhys Oakley, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 GJ Van Velze, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Tom May.

Glasgow: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Peter Horne, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 John Barclay, 6 Josh Strauss, 5 Al Kellock (c), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Mike Cusack, 2 Dougie Hall, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Finlay Gillies, 17 Ofa Fainga'anuku, 18 Gordon Reid, 19 Tom Ryder, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 James Eddie, 22 Niko Matawalu, 23 Peter Murchie.

Referee: Romain Poite (France)

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