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Northampton Saints 25 Saracens 20

25 Apr 2015
Northampton Saints 25 Saracens 20

Six Stephen Myler penalties and a wonderful Samu Manoa try got Northampton Saints back to winning ways as they picked up an Aviva Premiership Rugby victory over Saracens at Stadium mk.

Saints were by no means at their best and Saracens worked their way in front thanks to the efforts of Charlie Hodgson from the tee and two first-half tries from Chris Wyles.

But the home side were resilient and they produced an assured second-half performance to chase Sarries down and eventually take the win.

Northampton had lost their previous two matches at Stadium mk and it looked like it might be three on the bounce as they fell behind early.

Saracens threatened from the off and had the lead after five minutes when a rolling maul on the right saw them create space and swing the ball left.

A series of simple passes had the Saints defence chasing shadows and a fabulous offload from Hodgson created space for Wyles on the overlap to trott over unopposed.

It was strong work from Sarries but the Saints defence gave the visitors too much space and Hodgson added the conversion to make it seven early on.

The home side got themselves on the board after nine minutes when Saracens strayed offside and Myler slotted over his first and he had another shortly after to move his side within one.

But the Saints defence was proving far too susceptible and Wyles was once again left with all the space he needed to crash over for his second of the game – Hodgson with a wonderful conversion.

However, what Northampton lacked in defence they were making up for in attack as Luther Burrell slipped three tackles before offloading to Manoa who ran through to dot down, Myler adding the extras.

Hodgson could have moved Sarries further ahead after 27 minutes but his penalty couldn’t find its mark and Saints enjoyed a reprieve before Myler missed one of his own shortly after.

Billy Vunipola had a golden opportunity to add a try for his team after he charged down a kick, collected the ball ten yards out but knocked on under no pressure from Saints.

Hodgson got another crack of the whip on 36 minutes as he turned over a long-range penalty to make it 13-17 at the break.

With both sides wearing white Sarries opted to change shirts at the interval and it looked like the momentum might have changed as well as Saints got out of the blocks quickly and went in search of the lead.

But they were being punished for small errors and gifted Hodgson an opportunity with the boot on 47 minutes – he duly obliged to give his team a seven-point cushion.

Maro Itoje saw yellow a minute later and the home side looked to take advantage as they drove to the line but in the end had to settle for another three from the boot of Myler.

Saints got themselves within one on 56 minutes thanks to the accuracy of Myler and he scored his fifth penalty of the day six minutes later to give his side the lead for the first time in the match.

Northampton had taken their time to assert themselves but they moved five ahead on 73 minutes as Myler once again proved deadly with the boot.

After a brilliant performance Myler had the chance to make sure of the win but saw his penalty bounce back off the posts on 80 minutes but the home side stood firm for the win.

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