Saints start Premiership with Worcester win

Northampton Saints kicked off their Guinness Premiership season with a 20-17 victory over Worcester Warriors at Franklins Gardens on Sunday.


Worcester raced away in the first half to lead 17-7 at the break but failed to add to their points tally in the second half as Northampon came back at them and snatch the lead.


Saints blew a chance to take an early lead when in the seventh minute Bruce Reihana’s penalty attempt drifted wide.


The Warriors opened their account in the 17th minute as Miles Benjamin broke away to dive across the line. Willie Walker eased the conversion over.


Four minutes later Walker took Northampton’s lead to ten points with a penalty.


On the half hour mark clinical scrumming by the Warriors saw Powell make a break before he was held up short, the ball was recycled before Kai Horstman eased over the line with space around him to give the Warriors lead 15-0 and Walker converted with ease yet again.


In the 35th minute the Saints forwards controlled the ball and Phil Dowson dove across the line despite desperate tackles from Sanderson and Lutui.

 

A well worked try to cut Warriors lead to 17-7 following Stephen Myler’s conversion.

The Saints continued to claw their way back into the back, as a 59th minure penalty from Geraghty saw them cut Worcester’s lead to a converted try.


Just five minutes later their comeback continued as Sanderson was penalised for lying offside, Geraghty was on target again to make it 17-13.


Willie Walker was sin-binned in the 73rd minute to give the Saints a chance to come back into the match.


With just two minutes remaining in the match Roger Wilson broke before sending the ball out wide to Foden and Reihana, the ball was handed off to Paul Diggin, who put it down in the corner. Geraghty converted with ease and the Saints did well to come back from 17 points down. 

 

Final score Northampton 20 (7) Worcester 17 (17)


Scorers


Northampton
Tries – Dowson, Diggin
Penalties – Geraghty 2
Conversions – Myler, Geraghty
Drop G –


Worcester
Tries – Benjamin, Horstmann
Penalties – Walker
Conversions – Walker 2
Drop G –

 

Teams

 

Northampton Saints : 15 Ben Foden, 14 Paul Diggin, 13 Jon Clarke, 12 Shane Geraghty, 11 Bruce Reihana, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Neil Best, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Santiago Bonorino, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Soane Tonga’uiha.

 

Replacements: 16 Regardt Dreyer, 17 Brett Sharman, 18 Alex Waller, 19 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, 20 Scott Gray, 21 Alan Dickens, 22 James Downey, 23 Chris Ashton.

 

Worcester : 15 Chris Latham, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Greg King, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Willie Walker, 9 Ryan Powell, 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Pat Sanderson (capt), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Greg Rawlinson, 3 Olivier Sourgens, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Matt Mullan.

 

Replacements: 16 Adam Black, 17 Chris Fortey, 18 Tevita Taumoepeau, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 James Collins, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 George Crook, 23 Rico Gear.

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