Planet Rugby

Saints secure semi-final berth

20th April 2013 19:38

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James Wilson Northampton 2013

Got two: James Wilson

Northampton ran seven tries past Sale Sharks on Saturday to win 47-7 and claim a place in the Premiership semi-finals in the process.

The bonus-point win leaves Saints six points clear of fifth-placed Gloucester with just one round of the regular season left to play.

Northampton travel to Harlequins in a fortnight for a clash that will decided the semi-final fixtures, which are set to be hosted by Saracens and Leicester

The game got off to a slow start, until Stephen Myler opened the scoring for Northampton, converting a penalty, before following it up with another a few minutes later.

Northampton extended their lead in the 21st minute, Tom Wood crossing the line to score the first try of the game, Myler putting away the conversion.

They continued to dominate the proceedings in the first half, another try being scored courtesy of Lee Dickson, capitalising on a quickly taken penalty. Myler then stepped up to do the honours, scoring the conversion.

The last action of the first half came through Luther Burrell, who was given a try after confirmation from the video referee. This gave Northampton a 25-0 lead at half-time.

Northampton didn't stop the pressure in the second half, Jamie Elliott running through to score a try after good build up play. Elliott then repeated the feat again less than ten minutes later to make the score 35-0.

Ryan Wilson scored a well-earned try to make it 40-0, and Ryan Lamb extended the lead by putting away the conversion.

Wilson then completed the Northampton rout by getting his second try of the game, running through a series of tackles on his way to crossing the line.

James Gaskell gave Sale a consolation try, and Danny Cipriani used the last kick of the game to score the conversion. None of this mattered however, as the game had been lost long ago.

The scorers:

For Northampton:
Tries: Wood, Dickson, Burrell, Elliott 2, Wilson 2
Cons: Myler 2, Lamb
Pens: Myler 2
Yellow card: Lawes

For Sale:
Try: Gaskell
Con: Cipriani
Yellow card: Holmes

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Tom May, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 GJ van Velze, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 Samu Manoa, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 James Wilson.

Sale Sharks: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Mark Cueto, 12 Jonny Leota, 11 Charlie Amesbury, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 James Gaskell, 7 David Seymour (c), 6 Richie Vernon, 5 Tom Holmes, 4 Kearnan Myall, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 James Flynn, 18 Aston Croall, 19 Josh Beaumont, 20 James Doyle, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Sam James, 23 Charlie Ingall.

Venue: Franklin's Gardens
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Andrew Watson, Kevin Stewart
Television match official: Graham Hughes

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