Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: Northampton Saints 29 Harlequins 23

CourtneyLawesNorHar1516SB1005

Northampton Saints are back where they need to be according to Jim Mallinder after they moved into the Aviva Premiership Rugby play-off places with a 29-23 win over Harlequins.

In a thrilling encounter at Franklin’s Gardens, Saints ran in four tries to secure a try-bonus victory, with Harlequins having to settle for just the one point despite leading by eight early in the second half.

And ahead of a clash with Wasps next week, Mallinder feels his team are starting to find their form building into the end of the season with just four rounds to go.

He said: "We were pleased to defend the lead and come away with five points.

"It was generally a very good performance.

"Defensively, we had a couple of lapses where we let them score relatively easy tries without having to do too much.

"We scored some cracking team tries, which I was pleased about.

"Certainly, bits of our defence we need to work on, but overall it was pretty good.

"We're back in the top four and that's where we wanted to get back to.

"We had a disappointing start to the season but we've been working hard.

"Particularly over the Six Nations period, we've done well, won the majority of our games and it's just nice to get these international players back.

"I was really impressed with George North, who was outstanding for us."

Alex Waller and Courtney Lawes went over in the first half for Saints, but it was Harlequins who led thanks to Tim Visser’s stunning try.

They extended that lead when Jack Clifford raced over early in the second half, but tries from Ben Foden and Harry Mallinder proved the difference.

Conor O’Shea was understandably frustrated at letting a lead slip but backed his team to finish the season strongly.

He said: “It was a very high quality game between two good sides. It's never going to be easy coming to Franklin's Gardens.

"I thought we had a real opportunity as we got into the second half and we got that lead from Jack's (Clifford) score.

"But there were some big penalties that went Northampton's way and the whole momentum shifts into your half. Those are the margins at the very highest level.

"We can't control anything ourselves now. We've just got to do a job against Newcastle next week and keep on playing to the best of our ability.

"We've got so much that we need to do for the remainder of this season.”
 
Northampton Saints: Foden; K Pisi, G Pisi, Burrell (Mallinder 67), North; Myler, Dickson (Fotuali’i  59); Waller (Ma’afu 59), Haywood (Marshall 79), Brookes (Hill 47); Craig (Matfield 75), Lawes; Gibson (Dickinson 40), Wood, Harrison.
Not used: Hanrahan

Harlequins: Brown; Walker, Marchant, Roberts, Visser; Botica, Care (c); Marler, Gray (Ward 60), Collier (Sinckler 60); Merrick, Horwill; Clifford, Wallace, Easter (Robshaw 52).
Not used: Lambert, Luamanu, Dickson, Hopper, Chisholm
 
Scorers

Northampton Saints
Tries: Waller, Lawes, Foden, Mallinder.
Conversions: Myler 3.
Penalties: Myler.

Harlequins
Tries: Visser, Clifford.
Conversions: Botica 2.
Penalties: Botica 3.
 
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Attendance: 15,500

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

Latest News

Sam Egerton ready for fierce Lyon challenge

Scrum-half Sam Egerton believes Newcastle Falcons can push on and meet ‘fire with fire’ against Lyon in the European Rugby…

Sam Egerton making a break against Ospreys in the Challenge Cup

Geoff Parling: Chiefs can draw European inspiration from last season’s heroics

Following two defeats from two, qualification for the European knock-out stages may look like mission improbable – but if there’s…

666709985_ht_1936_5ffe036790f2651d04cf02d772136916.jpg

Aaron Morris desperate for Quins to sort out away form

Aaron Morris is proud of Harlequins’ record at the Stoop but the full-back has warned his teammates the season will…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Fenton-Wells confident Lam will make impact at Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby flanker Nick Fenton-Wells is confident the club have acquired a top coach in Pat Lam but won’t let…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Dowson and Barry educate Warriors Under 18s

Phil Dowson and Darren Barry gave some time on Monday evening to provide valuable advice to Warriors Under 18s, who…

Worcester Warriors Academy

Freddie Burns ecstatic to have stepped up after Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month award

Freddie Burns’ impressive displays have seen him named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for November and the Leicester…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Gloucester Rugby confirm new deal for scrum-half Callum Braley

Ahead of this evening's fixture with La Rochelle, Gloucester Rugby are pleased to confirm the next re-signing for the 2017/18…

Callum Braley

Freddie Burns named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for November 2016

Leicester Tigers’ outside-half Freddie Burns has “got his strut back” and this has led to him being named Aviva Premiership…

fburns-potm-0812

Worcester Warriors ‘unlucky’ in defeat to Wasps, says Ryan Bower

Worcester Warriors prop Ryan Bower admits it was important for his side to put in a performance against Wasps after their humbling Aviva Premiership Rugby defeat…

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

In-form Henry Purdy desperate to keep improving at Gloucester Rugby

Henry Purdy is refusing to rest on his laurels and has vowed to push on hard, despite praise from all…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Max Clark the centre of attention at Bath Rugby

Back in September – just when Bath Rugby were beginning to count on him in the centres – an ill-timed…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Seven tries success for Exeter Braves over Bath United

Exeter Braves’ Shaun Malton and Levi Davis of Bath United became the first opponents since 2005 to both score hat-tricks…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

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