Doubles from Christian Day and Ben Foden helped Northampton Saints pick up their first win of the Aviva Premiership Rugby season as they produced a solid display to see of Newcastle Falcons at Stadium MK.
After their opening-round defeat to Worcester Warriors, Day got the Saints going in the first period before the Falcons edged their way back into the match with a series of penalties.
But a second-half yellow card for Todd Clever saw the floodgates open and Day added his second before Luther Burrell and Foden got in on the act.
The Saints were on the board after four minutes thanks to Day, who crashed over after a powerful maul with Stephen Myler on hand to make it 7-0.
Newcastle then enjoyed a brief foray into Saints territory but it was short-lived as the Falcons were penalised for not rolling away after ten minutes and Myler extended the lead.
And the fly-half gave his side a 13-0 lead after just 12 minutes before the visitors finally got going with Mike Delany dispatching a simple kick from right in front.
Simon Hammersley started well for Newcastle and his work brought about another penalty for Delany as the Falcons moved within seven after 27 minutes.
The Saints had started in fine form but the Falcons stemmed the flow with time ticking down in the first half and looked to go in level with some sustained pressure in the Saints half.
With five minutes left before the interval Newcastle won another penalty in a strong position and Delany once again made no mistake as his side continued to claw back the deficit.
But the Saints recovered well and restored their seven-point advantage with a minute remaining as Myler turned over.
It was a sloppy start after the break for Newcastle as the Saints applied the pressure and a series of penalties saw Northampton with just one thing on their mind as they looked for their second try of the day.
Falcons were pushing their luck with referee Dean Richards and the Saints looked poised to strike with a line-out five metres from the line.
A yellow card finally came for Newcastle as American international Clever was sent to the bin.
That looked like it had opened the door for the Saints as they worked the ball to the right but a knock-on from Foden scuppered the opportunity.
But they didn't have to wait long for the score and, after 57 minutes, another maul got Day across for his second and 15 minutes of sustained pressure paid dividends as Myler easily converted.
And within minutes they had another after a flowing move saw the Saints come within inches of the line down the left and Burrell applied the finishing touches – Myler off target for the first time.
Clever's yellow looked like it would be the pivotal moment in the match and Falcons showed no signs of bouncing back as the Saints continued to press.
The bonus-point arrived on 67 minutes for the hosts with Foden making amends for his earlier knock-on to go across on the left and all-but secure victory for his side with Myler making no mistake from the tee.
There was still some fight in the Newcastle ranks and, with ten minutes remaining, they produced a brilliant try as Chris Harris broke away and fed Tom Penny who darted across to dot down.
But the visitors looked vulnerable and Foden had his second shortly after to add the icing on the cake.
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