Northampton player ratings: Springbok hopeful and England legend stand out but errors cost Saints unlikely Champions Cup win

Adam Kyriacou
Northampton Saints number eight Juarno Augustus against Leinster.

Northampton Saints number eight Juarno Augustus against Leinster.

Following their 20-17 defeat to Leinster in the Investec Champions Cup semi-final at Croke Park on Saturday, here’s our player ratings for Northampton Saints.

Northampton player ratings v Leinster

15 George Furbank: Solid under the high ball but struggled to impose his attacking game on proceedings as Leinster’s defence swallowed him quickly. Often isolated, which is no fault of his own. 5

14 James Ramm: Will kick himself for overrunning a pass with the line at his mercy in Northampton‘s only significant attack of the first half. An industrious shift but lost his individual battle with James Lowe by some distance. 3

13 Tommy Freeman: Continues his spell in the outside centre jersey and more than held his own against Robbie Henshaw. His angled carries and power in contact became a feature late in the game. 6

12 Fraser Dingwall: Started to slip tackles in the second half as he grew in confidence alongside Freeman. His 11 carries were the second most in the Saints team while he stifled Jamie Osborne well. 6

11 George Hendy: Looked nervous during the early stages and a knock-on in backfield was symptomatic of Saints’ woes. However, Hendy redeemed himself with a well-taken chip and chase try before it looked like injury ended his evening’s work. 6

Leinster player ratings: Jamison-Gibson Park and James Lowe star as another Champions Cup final secured

10 Fin Smith: Took a long time to bring his well-timed handling skills to the table as it was tough outing for the majority of the game behind a struggling pack. 20 tackles sums up how he spent most of this game but he dug in and also kicked well off the tee. 6

9 Alex Mitchell: His knock-on from the first lineout was a sign of things to come for Northampton. Croke Park began to see his broken-field quality as the game wore on before he was replaced in the closing stages. 5

Planet Rugby player ratings key 10 - Career defining performance 9 - Outright blockbuster effort 8 - Significantly influenced the result of the game 7 - Committed and effective outing 6 - Flashes of brilliance outside of executing fundamentals 5 - Fulfilling the role required by position (base level) 4 - Poor execution of fundamentals 3 - Costly errors and/or discipline in the game 2 - Poor performance that directly impacted the result 1 - Grossly ineffective throughout 0 - Should have carried water instead

Planet Rugby’s player ratings key.

8 Juarno Augustus: Grew into the match in the first half as his quick feet and power in the loose was a rare plus point. That trajectory continued in the second half as the Springbok hopeful really came to the fore in an all-action showing. 8

7 Sam Graham: Toiled away in a losing battle in the first half but had little joy with ball in hand and came off second best to those wearing blue. 4

6 Courtney Lawes: Had a quiet opening before his key breakdown steal on 30 minutes in his own 22 kept Leinster out and within touching distance. Lawes won a similar penalty in the second period and showed his class around the field in his European hurrah for Saints. 8

‘It is my dream to play for the Springboks’ – Juarno Augustus eyes Rassie’s call despite ‘no chats’

5 Alex Coles: Seven carries and 19 tackles but the former did not result in many metres against a fearsome Leinster defensive effort. 6

4 Alex Moon: A lovely over-the-top pass for Hendy’s try and added to his work around the field with 15 tackles. 6

3 Trevor Davison: Northampton were awarded the game’s first scrum penalty but thereafter Leinster began to turn the screw. The penalties began to follow against the Saints pack and Davison was replaced on 57 minutes. 4

2 Curtis Langdon: A real tenacious performance that was typified in the first half with a massive tackle on Josh van der Flier. Continued to throw his body into Leinster carriers but will be disappointed with his side’s lineout struggles at times. 7

1 Alex Waller: As mentioned, the early positivity at scrum time did not last and the veteran came off second best against Tadhg Furlong. Replaced on 54 minutes by Emmanuel Iyogun. 4

Replacements: Plenty of impact from the bench as Sam Matavesi, Iyogun, Elliot Millar-Mills and Tom Seabrook stood out. Millar-Mills almost hurdled his way over the whitewash before Seabrook had a simple run-in late on. 7

READ MORE: James Lowe hat-trick puts Leinster into third straight Champions Cup final as error-strewn Northampton bow out