Saints win without sinner Hartley

Date published: December 20 2014

Northampton picked up an impressive 23-19 win over Leicester on Saturday, despite losing hooker Dylan Hartley to a red card after 16 minutes.

A penalty try and successful conversion by Owen Williams managed to put Leicester just ahead in the first half.

Stephen Myler did put some points on the board for Northampton despite them being a man down from the 16th minute onwards, with two penalty kicks, still they trailed 6-7 at half time.

Two tries from Vereniki Goneva in the second half for Leicester was not enough to secure a win despite playing against only 14 men for the majority of the game.

The Saints scored three tries despite the obvious obstacle courtesy of Alex Waller, Ben Foden and Jamie Elliot to claim the 23-19 victory.

Neither team had a point when a fight broke out and Northampton captain Hartley was shown a red card for an elbow to the face, leaving his team with a massive disadvantage for the rest of the game.

Following the sending off, referee JP Doyle had enough of the home side’s ill-discipline and awarded the Tigers a penalty try on 20 minutes.

The Saints fought back with a penalty for Myler before Leicester then had Tom Croft shown a yellow card for a head high tackle just before half time.

On the 40 minute mark, Myler struck another penalty for Northampton bringing the score to within just a single point, 6-7, at the half time whistle.

The Saints came out and scored within the first five minutes of the second half despite only having 14 men on the pitch. A series of long passes beautifully worked by the team and some ill-judged defence by Leicester allowed Waller to crash over for the try.

However, Leicester were determined to take advantage of the extra man and two superb breaks by Freddie Burns and Michele Rizzo brought the Tigers right up to the Saints line and allowed a gap to open up for Goneva to score.

Another fantastic break, this time for Northampton’s Foden allowed him to skip through the visitors’ defence and put his side back in the lead.

Leicester soon replied with another try for Goneva, this time a break by Miles Benjamin giving the Tigers the overlap and bringing the game to a tense final ten minutes.

Northampton showed their class and refused to crack under the pressure. A series of quick passes freed up Elliot on the wing and he dived over the line to give the home side a 23-19 victory on the 77th minute.

The scorers:

For Northampton:
Tries: Waller, Foden, Elliott
Con: Myler
Pen: Myler 2
Red: Hartley (16 mins)

For Leicester:
Tries: Penalty, Goneva 2
Con: Williams, Burns
Yellow: Croft (38 mins)

Northampton: 15 James Wilson, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Tom Stephenson, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Salesi Ma’afu, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Alex Waller.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Sam Dickinson, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Jamie Elliott, 23 Ben Foden.

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs (c), 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Graham Kitchener, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Fraser Balmain, 18 Michele Rizzo, 19 Sebastian De Chaves, 20 Robert Barbieri, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Miles Benjamin.

Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Peter Huckle, Tim Wigglesworth
TMO: Sean Davey