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
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00