TOP BAR - Fixtures

Match Reaction: Northampton Saints 29 Wasps 6

Northampton Saints assistant coach Alan Dickens insists his side’s defensive efforts were their greatest asset as they prevented Wasps from scoring a try to secure themselves an LV= Cup semi-final place.

The visitors enjoyed the lion’s share of territory and possession in the first half at Franklin’s Gardens, but a determined Saints rearguard limited them to just two Alex Lozowski penalties.
 
Going forward, a try from debutant Ahsee Tuala was added to by scores from Phil Dowson, Jamie Elliott and Kahn Fotuali’i, as the hosts continued their efforts to reach a second consecutive LV= Cup final.
 
And Dickens believes it was the defensive willingness of his team in contact, coupled with a ruthless display of finishing, that saw them secure victory against their now Midlands rivals.
 
“We said at half-time that we defended a lot and after 80 minutes we said that too, but the pleasing thing is they didn’t score,” Dickens said.
 
“The energy and enthusiasm for the boys to make tackles and get back on their feet in the defensive line was evident.
 
“It’s been part of our defence for the past two seasons that we don’t want to give away easy tries and you saw that with our boys defending for their lives towards the end, even though the game was pretty comfortable.
 
“We were pretty clinical in attack as well and took our chances when they came. We needed to win after the defeat to Leicester last weekend and we’ll worry about the semi-final when we get to that week.”
 
Wasps’ profligacy in the opposition 22 was a stark contrast to last week’s thrilling contest against Cardiff Blues, where the Coventry-based side ran in six tries, including three in a breathless first 20 minutes.
 
And backs coach Stephen Jones acknowledged that Wasps' inaccuracy in attack contributed to the destruction of any faint hopes of qualifying for the final four.

“There were a lot of changes for us this week and we’ll be disappointed that we didn’t cross the try-line,” Jones said.
 
“It will definitely be a focus for us ahead of the Harlequins game this week and we need to be smarter in how we play.
 
“There are no excuses, we still fielded a very strong team and we had a lot of possession.” 

Northampton Saints: Tuala; Pisi, Waldouck, Stephenson (Pisi G 59), Elliott; Olver (Hooley 68), Fotuali’i (Day 59); Corbisiero (Waller 26), Williams (Haywood 53), Denman (Ma’afu 57); Ryder, Craig (Woolford 53); Dowson, Harrison (Nutley 57), Dickinson

Wasps: Miller (Hughes G 56); Bassett (McIntyre 11), Daly, Helu, Varndell; Lozowski, Gash (Walsh 62); Yapp (Eastwell 11), Lindsay (Festuccia 49), Taylor (Cooper-Woolley 49); Rowlands (Myall 49), Cannon; Jackson, Young (Hughes 68), Thompson

Scorers

Northampton Saints
Tries: Tuala, Dowson, Elliott, Fotuali’i
Conversions: Olver 3
Pens: Olver

Wasps
Pens: Lozowski 2

Referee: Steve Lee 
Attendance: 13,362

Tickets for this year's LV= Cup Final on 22 March at Franklin's Gardens are now on sale.Click here to snap one up from just £20 for adults, £10 for juniors to see who will win the first silverware of the season.

Latest News

Harlequins team to play Jersey Reds

Harlequins has announced the squad to play Jersey Reds in the final match of the 2017/18 pre-season campaign, at The…

Francis Saili

Stringer starts for Worcester Warriors at Birmingham Moseley

Summer signing Peter Stringer will get his first start for Warriors on Friday night as his side take on Birmingham…

London Irish name side for Ealing Trailfinders clash

London Irish have named a 30-man squad for this Friday’s pre-season clash with Ealing Trailfinders at Hazelwood (kick-off 7.30pm). The…

Gloucester Rugby announce line-ups for preseason friendly at Leinster

Gloucester Rugby will give game time to a number of their first team squad in Leinster on Friday evening as…

American rugby players and coaches to get once in a lifetime opportunity

Thirty American rugby players and coaches are being handed the chance of a lifetime to train in England with Premiership…

Stephen Myler: Northampton Saints ready to fight for the title

Stephen Myler is predicting the closest ever Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign and believes his Northampton Saints side will be right…

Sonatane Takulua expecting big things from Newcastle Falcons this season

Sonatane Takulua believes unity and a collective purpose, combined with an improved playing pool, can help propel Newcastle Falcons up…

Sonatane Takulua

Wasps name team for first pre-season fixture against Ulster

Dai Young has named a 26-man squad to take on Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in the first pre-season fixture…

Anglo-Welsh Cup 2017-18 launched

WORCESTER WARRIORS have the honour of hosting the opening match in this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday 3 November, when…

Leicester Tigers win the Anglo Welsh Cup

Ally Hogg pleased by Newcastle Falcons’ early progress

Ally Hogg believes Newcastle Falcons are well set to attack the new Aviva Premiership season after a double dose of…

Ally Hogg

Topsy Ojo relishing Exiles return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action at HQ

Topsy Ojo believes there could be no more fitting way for London Irish to announce their return as an Aviva…

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua sees Philadelphia trip as a ‘great opportunity’

Newcastle Falcons’ Sonatane Takulua insists his side’s September clash with Saracens in Philadelphia will be no holiday for the players,…

Sonatane Takulua

Harlequins statement: Luke Wallace and Jonas Mikalcius

Harlequins can confirm today (Tuesday 15th August) that flanker Luke Wallace dislocated his hip during the pre-season friendly against London…

Luke Wallace

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

London Irish will host Bath Rugby at the Madejski Stadium in the opening round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday…

London Irish kick-off Anglo-Welsh Cup at home to Bath

HITZ graduate secures first full time job after being inspired by Premiership Rugby final

A teenager from Leigh who overcame a troubled home life and tackled confidence and communication issues thanks to Premiership Rugby…

Lucy Neal

Nick Kennedy delighted with first pre-season hit-out for London Irish

London Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy is looking forward to seeing his side build on Saturday’s thrilling contest against…

Nick Kennedy

Philadelphia bound Nick Civetta can’t wait for American Series challenge with Newcastle Falcons

NICK CIVETTA HAS had an unlikely path to the top level but as he prepares to embark on his second season…

Nick Civetta

Demetri Catrakilis relishing chance to reunite with old friend Tim Swiel

Harlequins fly-half Demetri Catrakilis has revealed he is ready to join forces with  compatriot and old acquaintance Tim Swiel – insisting…

Worcester Warriors to use number of players in Hartpury test

Warriors will look to use up to 37 players during their fixture against Hartpury College this Saturday in their first…

GJ van Velze