Planet Rugby

Saints beat Falcons to stay top

23rd February 2014 16:54

Share:

Northampton number eight Sam Dickinson offloading

Offload: Sam Dickinson

Northampton Saints will top the Aviva Premiership standings for at least another round after they edged out Newcastle 22-16 at Kingston Park.

It was not the most fluid performance from the Saints, but the visitors did well to take a 19-6 lead into the break after playing against a testing wind, with two James Wilson tries either side of Tom Stephenson's effort.

The Falcons scored two penalties from Rory Clegg to keep them within touching distance.

Clegg kicked another penalty to bring the hosts closer, but that was cancelled out by Myler's penalty five minutes later.

Newcastle did give themselves some hope by closing the gap to six points with a converted Noah Cato try three minutes from time, but ultimately they had to settle for a losing bonus point.

Saints took an early lead shortly after Newcastle lost the ball at the lineout, with Wilson going over in the corner to score his third try in four games, with Myler unable to kick a tricky conversion.

The Falcons were off the mark soon after though as sloppy play with the ball give the home side a penalty inside the 22, which Clegg kicked successfully.

Both sides were struggling to gather any real momentum, but Northampton made the best of the situation and a good run to evade the Falcons' defenders saw Stephenson go over, with Myler converting.

Once again, sloppy play from the Saints at the restart saw Newcastle win a penalty, this time for not releasing the ball at the ruck, and Clegg again closed the gap.

Just past the half hour mark the Saints scored their third try of the game. With good overlapping play, George Pisi offloaded to Wilson, who scored his second try of the game, before Myler expertly judged the wind to score his second conversion and give the visitors a 19-6 lead at half time.

After dealing well with the more testing conditions in the second half as the home side were playing into the wind, the Falcons were awarded a penalty after the Saints were penalised for offside, with Clegg making no mistake with the three-pointer to leave them 10 adrift.

The home side were penalised soon after for not releasing in the tackle though, and Myler made no mistake kicking the penalty in front of the posts.

The visitors were failing to find their rhythm in order to put the game to bed, and after increased pressure from Newcastle, Cato picked a Saints pass out of the air to run to the line unopposed, with Joel Hodgson's conversion bringing them within six with just over two minutes to play.

As the Saints chased a winning bonus point with the last play of the game, the hosts settled for a losing one, with Warren Fury putting the ball out to bring an end to the game.

The scorers:

For Newcastle:
Try: Cato
Con: Hodgson
Pen: Clegg 3

For Northampton:
Tries: Wilson 2, Stephenson
Con: Myler 2
Pen: Myler

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Jamie Helleur, 11 Ryan Shortland, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch (c), 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 Scott MacLeod, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 2 Matt Thompson, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Gary Strain, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Sean Tomes, 20 Chris York, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 Adam Powell.

Northampton Saints: 15 James Wilson, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Tom Stephenson, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Phil Dowson (c), 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Mike Haywood, 1 Alex Waller.
Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 GJ van Velze, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Alex Day, 22 Glenn Dickson, 23 Ben Foden.

Referee: Andrew Small (Eng)
Assistant referees: Robin Goodliffe, Ashley Rowden (both Eng)
TMO: Trevor Fisher (Eng)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 37 - 23 Cardiff BluesLeinster vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411