Saints get back to winning ways against Exeter

Northampton Saints battled their way to a 19-30 victory over Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park in the Aviva Premiership. .


Northampton had slipped to successive losses – to Harlequins and Saracens – recent Aviva Premiership rounds but the result puts them back on track.


The loss is the Chiefs second loss at Sandy Park this season in all competitions as their only previous loss this season was to Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup on the 20th of October.

Northampton climbed to fourth place as they became the first side to beat Exeter
Chiefs at Sandy Park in the league this season.

Both sides committed unforced errors in the opening minutes but 10 minutes into
the game full-back Luke Arscott found a gap on his 30-metre break and then passed
outside to wing Matt Jess who was taken to ground just outside the Saints 22.

Exeter were rewarded for their possession advantage and when flanker Phil Dowson
was penalised at the breakdown and fly-half Gareth Steenson drilled the penalty
kick through the uprights to put the home side in front.

But Northampton hit back as Arscott’s poor kick from deep was collected by fly-half
Myler who put full-back Ben Foden away on the counter-attack and he slipped
past his opposite number before offloading to wing Pisi.

The Samoan international jinked to avoid centre Phil Dollman’s try-saving tackle
attempt to touch down behind the posts. Myler added the simple extras and then
added a long-range penalty on the half hour.

The fly-half, who saw his next attempt hit the upright, then added a second
penalty from out wide on the left. Exeter reduced the arrears as Steenson added
a penalty after England hooker Dylan Hartley was sent to the sin bin as his
side led 13-6 at the break.

Exeter started the second half looking to take advantage of the extra man against
a seven-man scrum which they wheeled, allowing Steenson to reduce the deficit
further with his third penalty.

Myler cancelled that out with a 38-metre kick before Arscott was stopped short,
but the home side cut the arrears to four points with Steenson’s fourth penalty
just before the Saints were restored to full strength with Hartley back on the
field.

Exeter were then forced to defend their line and when the Saints were awarded
a penalty close to the line they opted to kick to touch. From the line-out and
resultant drive Tonga’uiha got the touchdown and Myler converted.

The Saints line was put under pressure, and with the referee playing advantage
replacement centre Sireli Naqelevuki powered over for a Chiefs try which replacement
fly-half Ignacio Mieres converted.

Northampton, from another catch and drive, crossed for their third try after
referee Greg Garner referred the matter to TMO Geoff Warren, with number eight
Van Velze getting the touchdown and Myler adding the touchline conversion.

Final Score Exeter 19 (6) Northampton Saints 30 (13)


Scorers


Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Naqelevuki
Penalties: Steenson 4
Conversions: Mieres


Northampton
Tries: Pisi, Tonga’uiha, Van Velze
Penalties: Myler 3
Conversions: Myler 3


Match Officials
Referee
: Greg Garner (42nd Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Stuart Terheege, Ashley Rowden
TMO: Geoff Warren.


Teams


Exeter Chiefs


15 Luke Arscott , 14 Gonzalo Camacho , 13 Ian Whitten , 12 Phil Dollman , 11 Matt Jess , 10 Gareth Steenson , 9 Haydn Thomas , 8 Richard Baxter (capt), 7 Ben White , 6 Tom Johnson , 5 James Hanks, 4 Dean Mumm , 3 Hoani Tui , 2 Neil Clark ,1 Ben Moon


Replacements :16 Jack Yeandle , 17 Carl Rimmer

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