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Match Report: London Irish 25 Northampton Saints 40

24 Sep 2017
Match Report: London Irish 25 Northampton Saints 40

Rob Horne stole the limelight with a pair of dazzling tries to put London Irish to the sword and continue Northampton Saints’ resurgence.

Jim Mallinder’s side streaked into the lead in style, with tries from Nic Groom, Horne’s classy double, and one for Mikey Haywood.

Alex Lewington lit up the second half with his scorching try but George North was able to saunter over to peg the hosts back once again.

Tommy Bell retaliated to threaten a fightback, but Jacobus Reinach’s late score was enough to secure Saints’ first Aviva Premiership away win in four attempts, despite Josh McNally’s consolation.

Northampton set out their stall early on in the match with a sweeping move that saw North break down the right before the ball found its way to Groom for an easy run-in.

Five minutes later it was Horne’s turn to go over, the Australian collected the ball in the Exiles half and scythed his way through the defence to score under the posts.

Tommy Bell got a penalty back but then Horne scored an even better try, handing off Franco van der Merwe and bulldozing his way over James Marshall to complete his double.

The bonus point was secured after just 32 minutes, with Haywood rumbling over with the Saints pack in tow.

After the interval Lewington responded with a fine individual effort, beating Horne with an outside break and somehow scrambling through the defence to cross the whitewash.

Minutes later North strolled in for Saints’ fifth try, but at the other end Blair Cowan through a wonderful looping pass to give Bell this easiest try of the afternoon.

The Exiles battered away at the Northampton defence but the Saints stood stall, Reinach streaked away for the visitors’ sixth try, making McNally’s late effort a consolation.