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London Welsh 14 Northampton Saints 43

30 Nov 2014
London Welsh 14 Northampton Saints 43

Northampton Saints returned to the top of the Aviva Premiership Rugby table with a crushing win over struggling London Welsh at the Kassam Stadium.

There were seven different try scorers for the champions with Calum Clark, Stephen Myler, Samu Manoa, Jamie Elliott, Ben Foden, James Wilson and Ben Nutley dotting down.

Taione Vea and Nic Reynolds did grab second-half scores for Welsh but it was little consolation for a side who have now lost all 13 of their games this season.

Northampton were expected to add to their misery and after England flanker Clark muscled his way over early on, it looked like there could be an avalanche of scores.

But Welsh battled bravely and the Saints had to wait until eight minutes before the break to grab their second try through Myler, who had missed an earlier penalty.

Luther Burrell had done well in the build-up to Myler's score as his charge pushed Welsh back and Lee Dickson released the fly-half, who scored.

The conversion took Northampton into a 12-0 lead and they pushed on in pursuit of a third score before half-time.

And they soon had it as, after home prop Ricky Reeves had been sent to the sin bin, Manoa dived over on the back of another huge drive.

Myler's sweetly-struck conversion added a gloss to the scoreline and Northampton knew they would need just one try in the second half to grab a bonus point.

And they didn't take long to get it as Wilson's tidy offload teed up Elliott, who had crossed the whitewash.

Myler added the gloss before doing so again after Foden found his way over for a fifth try thanks to some neat footwork.

Welsh were 33-0 down by the time the sin-bin period was over, but they soon responded as Vea found his way over.

Ross converted, but Northampton were soon back on the attack, with Wilson showing strength to scrap his way over in the corner.

The away side used their sizeable advantage to ring the changes ahead of the following week's crucial European Rugby Champions Cup trip to Benetton Treviso.

Sam Dickinson's return was a boost as the No.8 emerged for his first appearance of the season, but he was soon sent to the sin bin for being off his feet.

It mattered little to Northampton, though, as they continued to press, and Nutley seized Elliott's inside pass to score.

Wilson missed the conversion and Welsh were to finish with a flourish as centre Reynolds rounded off a slick team move.

But it was Northampton who were celebrating the win and a resumption of their place at the Premiership summit.

This Christmas, Premiership Rugby is offering fans a special gift with selected tickets for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final 2015. Click here to find out about this limited offer.

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