Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: Northampton Saints 29 Harlequins 23

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

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Saracens and London Irish to kick off the season at Twickenham

SARACENS and London Irish will help launch the 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season after being chosen as the home sides for…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Sale Sharks have announced the latest in a wave of world class signings, as they confirm Australian International James O’Connor…

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Lions prepared for final warm-up before All Blacks Test

After a crucial victory against the Maori All Blacks, the British & Irish Lions are just a single match away…

Wasps sign Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley

Wasps today confirm the signing of props Paul Doran-Jones and David Langley, while loosehead Tom Bristow is confirmed as leaving…

Paul Doran-Jones

Venter integral to Du Plessis opting to join London Irish

Petrus Du Plessis says Brendan Venter was a key factor in his decision to move to London Irish this summer.…

Fight and spirit shone through despite defeat, says England U20 coach Vass

Head coach Ian Vass hailed his England U20 side’s fight and spirit after they were beaten in the World Rugby…

Match Report: England U20s 17 New Zealand U20s 64

New Zealand ran in ten tries as they overpowered England in the final of the World Rugby Under 20s championship…