Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Report: Saracens 29 Northampton Saints 20

Chris Ashton’s second-half score denied a brave Northampton Saints their second consecutive Allianz Park Victory and sent the Aviva Premiership Rugby league-leaders into the European Rugby Champions Cup semi-finals, where they will face Wasps.

Jim Mallinder’s men played all the rugby in a first-half characterised by unusually sloppy Saracens play and several spurned Northampton chances.

After Owen Farrell’s opening penalty, Stephen Myler first missed two shots at goal and then Jamie Elliott dropped the ball over the line before Ken Pisi eventually crossed.

Mark McCall must have delivered a rocket at half-time. His side looked dangerous from the outset as Farrell turned the screw and both Ashton and Chris Wyles crossed.

Though Courtney Lawes grabbed a late consolation, Saracens will take on Wasps after Dai Young’s side struck in the last minute to beat Exeter Chiefs in Coventry.

Farrell picked up where he left off against Bath Rugby in Saracens' last Aviva Premiership Rugby clash and his penalty on seven minutes put the hosts ahead after after Northampton were penalised for coming in from the side.   

An excellent Courtney Lawes carry earned Myler a shot at goal, but the occasion showed and his attempt was badly hooked.

Myler did not have to wait long for his next shot – as captain Ben Foden attempted to field a clearance kick, Will Fraser mis-timed his challenge and saw yellow – but the Northampton outside-half again miscued from the tee.

Saints were profligate in attack again moments later. Ben Nutley made the initial break before an excellent Mikey Haywood off-load freed Jamie Elliott and the winger looked to be clean through after busting past Richard Wigglesworth, but he spilt the ball as he touched down.

Mallinder’s side though, were playing with the shackles off and they finally broke their duck when Teimana Harrison outstripped opposite man and England Star Billy Vunipola.

The New Zealand born No.8 then fired a perfectly timed pass to Pisi, who went  over for the simplest of finishes. Myler shook off his two misses to convert well.

Farrell pegged back the Saints after 20 minutes with an impeccably struck 50 metre penalty.

Elliott continued to look lively and Saracens were pinged at the breakdown after another impressive burst from the winger – starting instead of George North – which Myler knocked over to extend Saints’ lead.    

Saracens wasted virtually no time asserting themselves after half-time and they looked to have crossed in the second minute of the second-half, but they were pulled back by the TMO for blocking, with Fraser the guilty party.

It was Saracens who scored first after the break though – Farrell nudging over from in front of the sticks, but Myler converted an equally simple chance five minutes later to restore the visitors’ four point lead.

With Farrell distributing well and Vunipola carrying like a bull, McCall’s wolf-pack turned up the intensity and they made their dominance pay in the scrum, putting the Northampton pack into reverse-gear and earning a penalty that Farrell easily converted.

As Nutley departed injured, things got much worse for Northampton as Saracens showed all of their class in attack to score their first try.
 
Brad Barritt made the initial bust before Farrell’s pull-back pass found Alex Goode, the full-back then fixed two men before Ashton did what he does best and tracked across field to sniff the gap and race over. Farrell converted.  

Another Farrell penalty stretched the lead before Sarries’ relentless defensive pressure eventually told and Wyles latched onto a sloppy Saints pass in the shadow of their own posts to score and Farrell added the extras.

Lawes struck back with a consolation score for the Saints and Myler knocked over his best kick of the afternoon. 

Saracens: Goode; Ashton, Taylor, Barritt, Wyles; Farrell, Wigglesworth; Vunipola M , Brits, Du Plessis, Itoje, Kruis, Wray, Fraser, Vunipola B
Replacements: Saunders, Barrington, Lamositele, Hargreaves, Rhodes, De Kock, Bosch, Ransom
Northampton Saints
Foden; K Pisi, G Pisi, Burrell, Elliott; Myler, Fotuali'i; Waller, Haywood, Hill, Craig, Day, Lawes, Nutley, Harrison
Replacements: Marshall, Ma’afu, Denman, Matfield, Paterson, Kessell, Hanrahan, Mallinder  

Saracens
Tries: Ashton, Wyles
Conversions: Farrell 2
Penalties: Farrell 5
Northampton Saints:
Tries: Pisi, Lawes
Conversions: Myler 2
Penalties: Myler

 

Latest News

Alex Rieder re-signs for Wasps

Wasps are pleased to announce that back row Alex Rieder has signed a new contract with the club ahead of…

Alex Rieder

Warriors swoop for Wasps’ Tom Howe

Warriors have swooped to sign Wasps Academy starlet Tom Howe ahead of the 2017/18 season. The exciting young winger, who…

Tom Howe

Round 17 Preview: Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs

Leicester Tigers have won their last three Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures, but have not won four in a row in…

James Short

Brooker joins Bath Rugby on loan

Hooker Chris Brooker has joined Bath Rugby on loan until the end of the season. Bristol-born Brooker, who had a…

Chris Brooker

Gloucester-Hartpury Women excited to appear at Kingsholm on Saturday

Following the conclusion of the Aviva Premiership game against Harlequins on Saturday, it'll be the turn of the Gloucester-Hartpury Women…

Yeandle hails defensive resolve

Jack Yeandle believes Exeter Chiefs will need to replicate their defensive showing from the weekend for the whole 80 minutes…

Jack Yeandle

Win a place on the Lions Tour with Land Rover

Land Rover, a long-standing partner of Premiership Rugby, is on the hunt for grassroots Lions fans and looking to give…

Josh Strauss Joins Sale Sharks

Sale Sharks are delighted to announce the signing of Scottish International Back Row Forward Josh Strauss on a three year…

Josh Strauss

Parling pleased after Chiefs ‘tough’ out win over Falcons

Geoff Parling praised his Exeter Chiefs team-mates for grinding out a “tough victory” against Newcastle Falcons at the weekend. The…

Geoff Parling

RFU Disciplinary: Aaron Morris

Aaron Morris of Harlequins RFC will appear before an RFU Disciplinary panel charged with tackling the jumper in the air,…

Vereniki Goneva, Brad Barritt and Sinoti Sinoti top the OPTA Rugby Rankings

Brad Barritt topped the OPTA tackling rankings in Round 16 after a rugged performance as Saracens ended their two-game losing…

Aviva Premiership Rugby Weekend Round-up

Gavin Henson showed how costly his injury absence might have been for Bristol Rugby this season as he starred in…

Newcastle Falcons sign Yorkshire Carnegie captain Ryan Burrows

Yorkshire Carnegie captain Ryan Burrows has become Newcastle Falcons’ latest signing as the club continues its recruitment for next season.…

Dean Richards

Saints sign Springbok scrum-half

Northampton Saints has today announced the signing of Cobus Reinach ahead of the 2017/18 season. The 27-year-old scrum-half joins the…

Cobus Reinach

Wasps sign Fijian international Gaby Lovobalavu

Wasps are delighted to announce that Fijian international centre Gabiriele (Gaby) Lovobalavu will join the club ahead of the 2017/18…

Gabiriele-Lovobalavu

Exeter Charity Celebrates hitting £1m milestone

A charity set up just six years ago to help promote the local community and the vision of people who…

Chiefs Foundation

Exeter backs agree new deals

Rob Baxter’s forward planning for next season and beyond is continuing with the news that three more of his Exeter…

Olly Woodburn