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Jackson boot takes Saracens to victory

05 Nov 2005
Jackson boot takes Saracens to victory

The domination of the Saracens forwards proved decisive as the Saints pack came under increasing pressure and were punished with a string of penalties.

Glen Jackson, the Saracens fly-half, produced a faultless goal-kicking display to make Northampton pay for their indiscretions, landing seven penalties and converting a try from full-back Dan Scarbrough for a personal haul of 23 points.

Northampton full-back Bruce Reihana also took all his kicking chances, with two conversions and a penalty. Saracens looked to be heading for defeat after winning their last four matches in the Guinness Premiership and Heineken Cup, their defence ripped apart twice in a four-minute early spell.

Reihana and centre Jon Clarke began a 70-metre move which ended with Scottish international winger Sean Lamont sending Robinson over after only six minutes. Four minutes later Clarke went through two tackles on a run from the halfway line before handing Robinson a simple second try and Northampton were 14-0 ahead, with Reihana converting both.

While the visitors were more dangerous in the backs, Saracens had a definite edge in the forwards and this ultimately proved crucial. Their extra power up front resulted in a 20th minute yellow card for Northampton second row man David Gerard.

Northampton defended desperately on their own line as their depleted forwards took a pounding but their defence was found wanting as Saracens scored their only try of the match.

Right-wing Richard Haughton cruised past five hapless would-be tacklers before being hauled down just short of the line but he left the ball for Scarbrough to follow up and score. A penalty from Reihana put Northampton 17-7 ahead but Jackson replied with four penalties for Saracens to put them in front for the first time at 19-17 in the 49th minute.

He struck three more to increase the Saracens lead to 28-17 before Northampton’s former All Blacks fly-half Carlos Spencer scored Northampton’s third try in the right-hand corner late into injury time.

But despite running in three tries to the home side’s one, Northampton finished a well-beaten side.

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