Northampton Saints put NINETY points past Gloucester in Premiership massacre

Planet Rugby
Northampton Saints wing Ollie Sleightholme on a run.

Northampton Saints wing Ollie Sleightholme on a run.

Northampton Saints ran in 14 tries that included a hat-trick for Ollie Sleightholme as they hammered Gloucester 90-0 in the Premiership on Saturday.

The returning Sleightholme took his treble well while George Furbank, Fraser Dingwall, Curtis Langdon (2), Alex Mitchell, Alex Waller, Sam Matavesi (2), Emmanuel Iyogun, Alex Moon and Tom James also crossed for the Saints in an incredible performance.

Fin Smith would convert eight of those scores while Furbank slotted four points as the Cherry and Whites were hammered at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens.

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Their lack of cohesion was ruthlessly exploited by the hosts, whose scoreline is only topped in Premiership history by the 106-12 victory Richmond racked up against Bedford in 1999.

An early indication this game was going to go to form came when George Hendy flew though a wide gap in Gloucester’s defences and he timed his ball outside to send Furbank clear with 48 seconds played.

It was not too long until the Saints were over again when Dingwall was able to weave his way through after being found in plenty of space by Mitchell.

The one-way traffic continued as the hosts scored their third try in the 21st minute when Smith’s superb floated pass out to the left, following a quickly taken penalty, gave Sleightholme a comfortable finish.

Northampton looked to have bagged the bonus point when Angus Scott-Young went over after a Mitchell pass went to ground, but the TMO found the Australian had knocked on before picking up the ball.

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But they were not to be denied for long as hooker Langdon barged his way over from a few metres out after a tapped penalty leaked by Gloucester’s creaking scrum.

Langdon then scored his second when he again proved unstoppable close to the line before Dingwall and Furbank combined to send Mitchell under the posts, with Smith’s fifth conversion taking the score to 40-0 at the break.

Northampton’s first score of the second half was a popular one among the home support as loosehead Waller, who is retiring at the end of the season, got in on the act.

Matavesi was brought on for Langdon and the Fiji international’s first act was to get the ball down off the back of a driving maul, which brought up the half-century for the Saints.

Another replacement got on the scoresheet as Iyogun went over from Tommy Freeman’s off-load, with Gloucester’s Jake Morris being sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on in the build-up.

Sleightholme then sprinted clear down the right to score his second before Moon barged over to ensure this would be a record-breaking day for the hosts.

And they were still not finished, with Sleightholme completing his hat-trick in the 65th minute before another breakaway and a driving maul, respectively, led to James and Matavesi completing the rout.

The teams

Northampton Saints: 15 George Furbank, 14 George Hendy, 13 Tommy Freeman, 12 Fraser Dingwall, 11 Ollie Sleightholme, 10 Fin Smith, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Angus Scott-Young, 6 Courtney Lawes (c), 5 Alex Coles, 4 Alex Moon, 3 Trevor Davison, 2 Curtis Langdon, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Sam Matavesi, 17 Emmanuel Iyogun, 18 Elliot Millar Mills, 19 Temo Mayanavanua, 20 Sam Graham, 21 Tom James, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Tom Seabrook

Gloucester: 15 Josh Hathaway, 14 Alex Hearle, 13 Louis Hillman-Cooper, 12 Jack Reeves, 11 Jake Morris, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Jack Clement, 7 Lewis Ludlow (c), 6 Albert Tuisue, 5 Freddie Thomas, 4 Arthur Clark, 3 Ciaran Knight, 2 Santi Socino, 1 Harry Elrington
Replacements: 16 Sam Scarfe, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Danny Eite, 20 Rob Nixon, 21 Charlie Chapman, 22 Morgan Adderly-Jones, 23 Ioan Jones

Referee: Ian Tempest
Assistant Referees: Adam Leal, Dan Jones
TMO: Rowan Kitt

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