Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: Gloucester Rugby 20 Northampton Saints 28

JimMallinderGloSaints1005SB1516

Jim Mallinder blamed Northampton Saints’ poor away form for not making Aviva Premiership Rugby’s top four after Saturday’s win over Gloucester Rugby saw them cement their European Champions Cup place for next season.

The lead changed hands several times in a topsy-turvy first half, but Saints eventually ran out 28-20 winners after keeping Gloucester scoreless after the interval.

An early Greig Laidlaw penalty was cancelled out by George Pisi's try, but Gloucester hit back with tries from Lloyd Evans and Ross Moriarty before North's first effort narrowed the deficit just before half-time.

North had his second early in the second half and a Stephen Myler penalty was enough to secure an eight-point win.

Saints finished outside the top four and while Mallinder was not satisfied with a spot in Europe’s elite competition next season, he was pleased to see England captain Dylan Hartley take to the field for the first time since the Six Nations.

"The season, with the Premiership starting late due to the Rugby World Cup, was a disruption,” said the director of rugby.

"It did not help us but if you want to get into the top four, you have got to go away to Worcester, London Irish and Newcastle and you can't be losing by a point or two which is what we did.

“It is a satisfying win but we are not getting carried away because we want to finish in the top four.

"It is the first time in a few years that we have not done that, but we have to regroup. You reset your targets and that was to beat Bath and to beat Gloucester and to qualify in fifth position, so we are pleased that we have managed that.

"Dylan has been frustrated that he has not been able to play. He has been injured and taken his time.

“He has not rushed it and he probably needs a bit more game time to get back up to speed but we are delighted to see him back."

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys was left ruing a missed opportunity after building a first-half lead, only to see North’s tries win it for the visitors.

The loss means the Cherry & Whites finish the Aviva Premiership Rugby season in eighth place, out of the Champions Cup qualifying spots.

“It summed up our whole season,” said Humphreys. “We started so well but then at a real key moment we turned the ball over in their 22 and conceded a try.

“Those are the small margins in every game that a good team will win.

“For the first 35 minutes, we were playing really well with ambition and accuracy. To build up a 20-point lead, that is time for us to kick on and win the game.

"Credit to Northampton, they came back but two of their tries came off our line-outs which is disappointing.

“It is not the reason we lost the game but it is very disappointing to finish the season like that."
 
Gloucester Rugby: Gloucester, Marshall (L Evans 18), Thorley, Twelvetrees, Atkinson, Creed, Laidlaw, Heinz (Braley 77), Thomas (Wood 57), Hibbard (Dawidiuk 57), Afoa (Doran-Jones 57), Savage, Thrush, Moriarty (G Evans 61), Kvesic (Ludlow 67), Morgan (Rowan 77)
 
Northampton Saints: Mallinder, K. Pisi, G. Pisi (Wilson 73), Burrell, North, Myler (Olver 79), Dickson (Fotuali'i 63), Waller (Ma'afu 63), Haywood (Hartley 63), Brookes (Hill 50), Lawes, Day (Matfield 58), Gibson (Nutley 73), Wood, Harrison
 
Gloucester Rugby
Tries: Evans, Moriarty
Conversions: Laidlaw 2
Penalties: Laidlaw 2
 
Northampton Saints
Tries: Pisi, North 2
Conversions: Myler 2
Penalties: Myler 3
 
Referee: 
John Paul Doyle
Attendance: 16,115

If you want to be at the world's biggest club rugby final, this year's Aviva Premiership Rugby Final is on 28 May at Twickenham, tickets are available from premiershiprugby.com/final.

Latest News

Worcester Warriors capture Samoa lock Chris Vui

Warriors have completed the signing of versatile Samoa forward Chris Vui till the end of the season. For everything you…

Chris Vui

Wallabies lock Will Skelton joins Saracens

Australian international forward Will Skelton has joined Saracens on a short-term deal. For everything you need to know about Saracens…

Will Skelton

Rowe hails ‘fantastic’ year for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, heralded a “fantastic” past year – on and off the…

Exeter Chiefs celebrate

Dan Tuohy joins Bristol Rugby with immediate effect

Dan Tuohy has penned a deal with Bristol Rugby to make the switch to Aviva Premiership Rugby with immediate effect.…

Dan Tuohy

Ally Hogg, Cooper Vuna, Aaron Morris, Lachlan Turner, Bryce Heem and Dan Robson head the Opta Rugby Rankings

Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred…

allyhogg16sb1111

Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Pat Lam confirmed as Bristol Rugby head coach

Bristol Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Lam as the Club’s new Head Coach. The 48 year-old…

Pat Lam

Newcastle Falcons v Saracens kick-off time change

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17 Newcastle Falcons v Saracens fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball

Match Reaction: Worcester Warriors 12 Wasps 26

Wasps maintained the pressure on Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders Saracens with success over Worcester Warriors – a victory Dai Young…

Rob Miller deputised in sterling fashion (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 38 Harlequins 32

Dean Richards’ Newcastle Falcons side are evolving according to the director of rugby, after he saw his side run in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library