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London Irish 18 Northampton Saints 39

17 Nov 2013
London Irish 18 Northampton Saints 39

Glenn Dickson was eagle-eyed from the tee as the fly-half struck 24 points in Northampton Saints’ crushing 39-18 LV= Cup win at London Irish.

Dickson drilled over six penalties in addition to three conversions, as Howard Packman, Ethan Waller and Ben Nutley all ran over for the visitors.

There was an Irish backlash in the second-half but, despite Kieran Low and replacement Danny Kenny tries, the hosts never looked like catching up.

Irish were forced to make a late change to their line-up as Shane Geraghty made way for Myles Dorrian at fly-half, while Richie Palframan took his space on the bench.

For the Saints, two academy products in Alex Day and Waller were handed their full debuts and Tom Collins took the place of Ken Pisi on the wing.

The visitors were looking for their second win in as many weeks at the Madejski Stadium and got off to a fine start as Dickson booted over for a penalty in the third minute.

However, Irish counterpart Dorrian missed his first opportunity from the kicking tee before his side began to give away costly penalties.

Dickson took full advantage once more in the 18th minute – after going close with a difficult attempt moments before – in a game both sides were struggling to impose themselves in.

However, it was Saints who got their passing game going in the form of Nutley, whose lung-busting run was finally held up with the try-line looming.

His efforts eventually handed Dickson the chance to make it three out of three before the 21-year-old was in the thick of the action once more.

Latching on to a loose Irish pass, Nutley steamed up the pitch and a supporting run from deep by Packman resulted in the game’s first try.

And not even a yellow card for scrum-half Day stopped Saints’ assault when Waller dove under the tackles to cross over for the first time on his second start.

Dorrian had got off the mark with a penalty either side of Waller’s try, but at 26-6 down the scoreline was beginning to look insurmountable.

But in a driving maul straight after the restart Irish issued the perfect response, trialist flanker Kenny touching down for the hosts.

In typical fashion Saints almost roared back immediately – with Christian Day pulling the strings – but Collins was brought down at the last.

The biggest cause of concern for the home side was Northampton’s metronome, Dickson, who padded the scoreboard again with a 54th minute penalty.

However the tries were flowing for Irish as Low sneaked over following a well-worked lineout drive, though crucially Dorrian miscued the conversion.

In contrast, Dickson was in supreme confidence and his 35-metre penalty carried over the bar by the finest of margins to bring up a 14-point advantage for the visitors.

And Nutley aimed the killer blow at Irish, piercing through statuesque defending after the Saints spread the ball wide from a lineout.  

Now the search was on for the bonus point try and Dom Waldouck ignited a sweeping move – only for Dickson to fling a wayward pass at Collins with the try-line in sight.

In the dying minutes Waldouck also went close to collecting his grubber kick but Saints failed to top off their dominant victory.

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