Saints edge closer to play offs with Wasps win

Northampton Saints scored seven tries on their way to a 52-30 victory over Wasps in the Aviva Premiership on Friday evening.

A turning point in the match came shortly before half time when George North scored his second try but was knocked out in the process of scoring the try.

Wasps No.8 Nathan Hughes’ knee connected with North’s head as he scored the try and North was immediately concussed and Hughes was red carded for the act.

Wasps shocked tournament leaders Northampton with an explosive start as Christian Wade gave the now Coventry-based side the lead as he sprinted down the field before racing through the posts to silence the Franklin’s Gardens crowd. Wade finished off a lovely passing move before darting down the field, and Alex Lozowski was able to convert.

But the Saints fired back five minutes later when Welsh international George North was on the receiving end of a lovely kick across the field, and evaded Wade to dive over, before Stephen Myler failed to level when his converted effort bounced off the posts.

Lozowski made Myler pay for that slip, sending through a well executed penalty to stretch the lead back up to five points.

A third try came inside the opening 15 minutes, and once again it was that man Wade who went over. The decision had to be approved by the TMO, who checked whether the Wasps man grounded the ball.

It came via a delightful pass from Lozowski, as Wasps broke again and that lead was soon up to 12 as a surprise 5-17 ead came for the visitors.

Though Myler kicked through three points to reduce the arrears, Lozowski, already with a perfect record for the night, sent through a further kick and with five minutes until the break Wasps had a 12 point advantage.

North went over for his second try and accidentally or not Hughes connected with the Welsh internationals head which left little choice for the referee who issued the red card.

Myler couldn’t send through the kick, though Wasps had an almighty task with over 40 minutes still to play.

They had a penalty try awarded against them too prior to the break as the scores were levelled.

On the brink of half-time, that red card told, and a third try in a matter of minutes came for the hosts. Corbisiero went over for the bonus point try, Myler converting as the game turned on its head thanks to a single decision.

Into the second half, and the impressive Lozowski continued his good form in front of the posts with another penalty, as Wasps refused to lie down after a storming first half performance.

Myler put that lead back up to seven with a successful kick, and stretched it to ten minutes later. But once again Wade went over, grabbing his hat-trick in a man of the match performance.

Lozowski made no mistake, and just three points were in the game as Wasps continued to battle on despite losing Hughes earlier.

But it wasn’t to be for Wasps, who were put straight onto the back foot after that try. Ken Pisi eventually forced Northampton over following a sustained spell of pressure, probably just deserved for their strong showing since the red card. Myler’s conversion put the lead up to 10, in an incredible game that barely gave either set of fans the chance to breathe.

The scoring wasn’t finished, Ahsee Tuala’s effort allowed despite the intervention of the TMO, who had to check for a push, and Myler kicking through the posts. Those two points saw Myler etch his name at the top of the Saints Premiership points scorers, on a memorable night for all those in attendance.

Tuala grabbed his second in a matter of minutes, again almost being pulled up by the TMO, but that brought up the half-century for Saints. Myler failed to score, but the game had been won by the hosts, who notched seven tries compared to Wasps’ three.

Final Score Northampton Saints 52 (27) Wasps 30 (20)

Scorers

Northampton Saints
Tries – G North (2), Penalty, A Corbisiero, K Pisi, A Tuala (2)
Pen – S Myler (3)
Con – S Myler (4)
Drop –
Cards –

Wasps
Tries – C Wade (3)
Pen – A Lozowski (3)
Con – A Lozowski (3)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee :Craig Maxwell-Keys (3 rd Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Simon McConnell and Nigel Carrick
TMO: Keith Lewis

Teams

Northampton

15 James Wilson, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Tom Stephenson, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Calum Clark, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Salesi Ma’afu, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Alex Corbisiero

Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Sam Dickinson, 20 Jon Fisher, 21 Kahn Fotuali’i, 22 Dom Waldouck, 23 Ah See Tuala

Wasps

15 Rob Miller, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 James Downey, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Alex Lozowski, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 James Cannon, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Edd Shervington, 1 Matt Mullan (c)

Replacements: 16 Simon McIntyre, 17 Phil Swainston, 18 James Gaskell, 19 Ed Jackson, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Glyn Hughes, 23 Will Helu

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