Northampton end Saracens’ Premiership streak

Northampton Saints ended Saracens unbeaten run in the Aviva Premiership when they beat the current leaders 41-20 at Franklins Gardens.

Three Ben Botica penalties to Danny Cipriani’s one saw Quins take a 9-3 lead
into the interval before Luke Wallace’s early second-half try extended their
advantage.

Botica added a fourth three-pointer and Jack Clifford touched down to seal
an important win.

The hosts went into the game decimated by a number of injuries and international
call-ups while their opponents, who have started the season well, were close
to full strength.

However, it was the London-based outfit that dominated the opening stages of
the half, with their off-loading game to the fore.

But Sale resisted the barrage well and Botica’s penalty was their only reward
for the possession and territory they had enjoyed.

The Sharks gradually grew into the match, though, and Cipriani levelled proceedings
after 25 minutes with a three-pointer of his own.

Quins then went back on the front foot and successive penalties from their
centre gave them a 9-3 advantage at the interval.

Although the visitors started the second period well, after a Rob Miller break
threatened the hosts’ rearguard, an excellent piece of skill saw Conor O’Shea’s
men open up a comfortable gap when Nick Evans’ cross-kick found Wallace who
touched down.

Botica missed the conversion, but the New Zealander was soon on target again
with a fourth penalty of the afternoon.

And Clifford sealed a crucial win after charging down Joe Ford’s attempted
clearance to run over unopposed.

Final Score Northampton (17) 41 Saracens (6) 20

Scorers

Northampton
Tries: Elliott, Manoa, Foden (2), Burrell, K Pisi
Cons: Myler (4)
Pen: Myler

Saracens
Tries: Taylor, Brown
Conversions: Goode (2)
Penalties: Goode (2)

Match Officials
Referee
: Tim Wigglesworth (71st Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Gareth Copsey and Nigel Carrick
TMO: David Grashoff.

Teams

Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Phil Dowson (c), 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Salesi Ma’afu, 2 Mike Haywood, 1 Alex Waller.

Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 GJ van Velze, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Ryan Glynn, 22 Dom Waldouck, 23 James Wilson.

Saracens

15. Alex Goode; 14. Michael Tagicakibau, 13. Chris Wyles, 12. Duncan Taylor, 11. David Strettle; 10. Nils Mordt, 9. Richard Wigglesworth; 1. Richard Barrington, 2. Schalk Brits, 3. Matt Stevens, 4. Steve Borthwick (c), 5. Alastair Hargreaves, 6. Kelly Brown, 7. Jacques Burger, 8. Ernst Joubert.

Replacements: 16. Jamie George, 17. Nick Auterac, 18. James Johnston, 19. Mourtiz Botha, 20. Jackson Wray, 21. Neil de Kock, 22. Marcelo Bosch, 23. Ben Ransom

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