Planet Rugby

Northampton hold off Exiles

20th April 2014 15:56

Share:

Northampton Saints survived a second-half fightback from London Irish to win 36-21 at Franklin's Gardens, bagging a crucial bonus point.

Jamie Elliott's two tries, alongside a Kahn Fotuali'i effort, gave the Midlands' outfit an unassailable 24-0 lead at the break.

Salesi Ma'afu then touched down to extend their advantage after the interval, but the Exiles fought back through Andrew Fenby, Shane Geraghty and Bryn Evans' scores.

However, the Saints finally secured the win when Alex Waller crossed the whitewash to give them a seven-point buffer over Bath and Leicester Tigers in the play-offs.

Having suffered three consecutive defeats in the league, Jim Mallinder's men were looking to get back on track with a game against one of the division's strugglers.

Northampton immediately asserted their authority on proceedings when Stephen Myler kicked a penalty after eight minutes.

Soon after, the Saints went over for the first time in the match when Elliott crossed the whitewash following a Fotuali'i kick which was partially charged down.

Irish had their moments in attack, too, particularly through fly-half Geraghty who made a number of breaks, but Brian Smith's side failed to take their chances in the opening period.

Instead, they were undone by a cruel piece of luck as an unfortunate bounce landed in the grateful arms of the home team's scrum-half who scampered over.

Already the game appeared to be beyond the Exiles' reach and Northampton refused to relent. Ben Foden made a searing break and, although the full-back was brought to ground, the Saints kept their composure to give Elliott a simple score in the corner.

It was 24-0 at the break and matters got worse for the visitors immediately after the interval as Burrell's run resulted in Ma'afu touching down.

To their credit, Irish continued to battle and a length of the field move ended in Fenby going over before Geraghty's intercept try reduced the arrears to 15 points with a quarter of the match to go.

All of a sudden, the hosts were on the back foot and a yellow card to Waller further increased the pressure on the Midlands' outfit.

London Irish duly took advantage as Evans crossed to give them hope of producing a remarkable comeback, but Waller's try rubberstamped the win for Northampton.

The scorers:

For Saints:
Tries: Elliott 2, Fotuali'i, Ma'afu, A Waller
Cons: Myler 3, Wilson
Pens: Myler 2
Yellow Card: A Waller

For Irish:
Tries: Fenby, Geraghty, Evans
Cons: Geraghty 3

For Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Tom Wood (c), 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Ross McMillan, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Matt Williams, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Calum Clark, 20 GJ Van Velze, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Will Hooley, 23 James Wilson

For London Irish:: 15 Alex Lewington, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 Eamonn Sheridan, 11 Andrew Fenby, 10 Shane Geraghty (c), 9 Tomás O'Leary, 8 Ofisa Treviranus, 7 Gerard Ellis, 6 Blair Cowan, 5 Nic Rouse, 4 Kieran Low, 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 Mike Mayhew, 1 Matt Parr
Replacements: 16 Jimmy Stevens, 17 Johnny Harris, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Bryn Evans, 20 Jebb Sinclair, 21 Tom Homer, 22 Ian Humphreys, 23 Darren Allinson

Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Andrew Pearce, Nigel Carrick
TMO: Geoffrey Warren

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs SaracensMunster vs Saracens Preview
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 IrishGrenoble vs London Irish Preview
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