Sensational Saints smash Saracens

Northampton Saints turned last week’s defeat to the Scarlets around by comprehensively outplaying Saracens 30-8 in the Aviva Premiership at Franklins Gardens.


Northampton scored three tries in the first half and led 27-3 at half time and almost managed to keep the visitors tryless but in extra time Ernst Joubert scored a consolation try for Saracens.

In the first half the Saints were a class above the Premiership champions who have endured a difficult week after two Heineken Cup losses and having a number of their players involved in the England world cup report leaks.

The opening five minutes were competitive as both sides wrestled to gain the
upper hand but it was the Saints who took the lead with eight minutes on the
clock and they never looked back.

After Ben Foden took a high ball in his own twenty-two and broke a few tackles,
Northampton attacked down the left wing before switching the ball to the right
and creating space for scrum-half Lee Dickson to score on his 100th appearance
for the club.

Owen Farrell and Ryan Lamb then registered three points apiece after their respective
forwards had won penalties in the opposition twenty-two.

Northampton were the dominant side though and were unlucky not to add a second
try through Chris Ashton after a great break from the base of the scrum from
Roger Wilson and Dickson.

They did go 17-3 ahead soon afterwards though through Samoan centre George Pisi,
who sidestepped a couple of Saracens defenders with ease.

Ten minutes before half-time the Saints really went in for the kill as they
spurned three points to kick to the corner and after a strong catch and drive
from Courtney Lawes and friends, Phil Dowson touched down to give them their
reward.

At 27-3 down, Saracens came out fighting in the second half but were unable
to turn possession into points and on 55 minutes it was Lamb who recorded the
first points of the half for Northampton from a simple penalty in front of the
posts.

The match was scrappy and stop-start thereafter as the Saints strived in vain
to secure a bonus point with a fourth try.

They probably should have done so, such was their dominance at times, but it
was Saracens who finished the scoring with a consolation try from Ernst Joubert
right on the stroke of full-time.

This was most certainly Northampton’s night though as they showed their intent
and ability to compete for an end of season playoff berth and inflicted only
a third Premiership defeat of 2011 on their opponents.

Final Score Northampton 30 (27) Saracens 8 (3)


Scorers


Northampton Saints
Tries: Dickson, Pisi, Dowson
Penalties: Lamb 2
Drop-goals: Lamb
Conversions: Lamb 3


Saracens
Tries : Joubert
Penalties: Farrell


Man of the match : Tom Wood


Referee: Dave Pearson (156th Premiership game)


Teams


Northampton Saints : 15 Ben Foden , 14 Chris Ashton , 13 George Pisi , 12 James Downey , 11 Jamie Elliot , 10 Ryan Lamb , 9 Lee Dickson , 8 Roger Wilson , 7 Tom Wood , 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Paul Doran Jones, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Soane Tonga’uiha


Replacements , 16 Mike Haywood , 17 Alex Waller , 18 Brian Mujati , 19 Samu Manoa , 20 Ben Nutley , 21 Martin Roberts , 22 Stephen Myler , 23 Jon Clarke


Saracens:15 Alex Goode , 14 David Strettle , 13 Chris Wyles , 12 Brad Barritt , 11 James Short , 10 Owen Farrell , 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Jacques Burger , 6 Kelly Brown , 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (c) , 3 Carlos Nieto , 2 John Smit , 1 Rhys Gill


Replacements : 16 Jamie George , 17 Deon Carste

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