Luther Burrell was among the scorers as Northampton Saints bagged an LV= Cup win against Gloucester Rugby to give their qualification hopes a big boost.
Saints had a win and a loss to their name from their opening two fixtures but tries from Burrell, Alex Waller and 16 points from the boots of Stephen Myler and Ryan Lamb saw them home.
Fly-half Lamb contributed eight before the break while his replacement Myler was equally accurate with his eight in the second as Saints took the victory.
The Cherry and Whites’ points came from rookie fly-half Ryan Mills who converted his own first-half try.
Having been allowed to play for his club by England coach Stuart Lancaster, Ben Foden was to the fore early on despite Gloucester dominating the territory.
Saints might have had a try to their name with some quicker hands by George Pisi out wide but they did get ahead after nine minutes with a Lamb penalty.
It was 6-0 when former Gloucester half-back Lamb added a penalty from in front of the posts but the Cherry and Whites scored the first try on 24 minutes.
Gloucester – a feature of the first half – put a lot of pressure on in the ruck and, after Pisi missed a vital tackle the visitors were able to get away and Mills touched down.
The versatile 20-year-old, playing at fly-half, kicked an impressive conversion and it was the Cherry and Whites who had the lead.
Saints got themselves back in front when Burrell crossed. With the Gloucester defence conspicuous by their absence centre Burrell gratefully ghosted through the gap and went in to the right of the posts.
Lamb added the conversion to make it 13-7 as the home side led at the interval of what was a scrappy first half.
Saints wasted a great chance to add a second score after the break when Foden contrived to waste an overlap, delaying his pass to Tom May when he might have just gone on himself.
Pisi was guilty of a similar crime minutes later as the home side dominated proceedings but they made it 16-7 when Myler – having replaced Lamb minutes earlier – kicked a penalty.
Mills then missed a chance to hit back in kind as Saints kept Gloucester at arm’s length. A further Myler penalty afforded Saints the opportunity to be a little bit more adventurous and they duly took advantage when loosehead prop Waller dotted down.
Replacement Myler added the conversion as Saints looked to put the icing on the cake of the win but they had to settle for a two-try victory.