Saints spoil Exile O’Connor’s welcoming party

Northampton Saints continued their strong form in the Premiership when they beat London Irish 14-19 at the Madejski Stadium.

Northampton Saints ensured that the Exiles new signing James O’Connor’s first Premiership match ended in a loss.

A try from James Wilson and four Stephen Myler penalties saw Saints claim their fourth win in five visits to the Madejski Stadium.

Saints took a 16-11 advantage into the interval thanks to Wilson’s try and the accurate boot of Myler who scored 14 points.

The Exiles’ response before the break came through Sailosi Tagicakibau’s converted touchdown and two Ian Humphreys’ penalties.

Humphreys added his third from the tee in the second half, but Myler’s fourth penalty secured the victory for Northampton.

Although the Saints came into the game with four domestic victories out of six, they had a number of players unavailable due to international commitments.

It was the visitors that started the brighter and Myler opened the scoring with a penalty but Humphreys levelled matters with one of his own.

Northampton went ahead once again through the boot of their fly-half before George Pisi’s step and off-load sent Wilson across the whitewash.

The respective kickers then traded penalties as Jim Mallinder’s men took a 16-6 lead after 35 minutes. However, Irish hit back just before the break when O’Connor timed his pass to perfection to give Tagicakibau an easy finish in the corner.

Both sides struggled to create chances in the second period with mistakes at key times proving costly, although Humphreys did eventually reduce the arrears to two points with just under a quarter of the game to go.

But Northampton, with a newly found confidence this season, merely went up the other end and secured the victory when Myler added another penalty.

Final Score London Irish (11) 14 Northampton (16) 19


London Irish
Try: Tagicakibau
Pens: Humphreys 3

Try: Wilson
Con: Myler
Pens: Myler 4

Match Officials
: Andrew Small (92nd Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff and Stuart Terheege
TMO: Ashley Rowden.


London Irish

15. James O’Connor, 14.Topsy Ojo, 13.Fergus Mulchrone, 12. Eamonn Sheridan, 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10. Ian Humphreys, 9. Tomas O’Leary (Captain), 1. John Yapp, 2. David Paice, 3. Leo Halavatau, 4. Ian Gough, 5. Bryn Evans, 6. Blair Cowan, 7. Ofisa Treviranus, 8. Chris Hala’ufia

Replacements: 16. Mike Mayhew, 17 Matt Parr, 18. Jamie Hagan, 19.Kieran Low, 20. Declan Danaher, 21. Alex Lewington, 22. Shane Geraghty, 23. Darren Allinson

Northampton Saints

15 James Wilson, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Tom Collins, 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 Tom Mercey, 19 GJ van Velze, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Ryan Glynn, 22 Glenn Dickson, 23 Dom Waldouck

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