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Northampton Saints 33 Gloucester Rugby 6

09 Nov 2013
Northampton Saints 33 Gloucester Rugby 6

Ken Pisi and Alex Day both doubled up as Northampton Saints got their LV= Cup campaign off to a flying start with a 33-6 bonus-point win against Gloucester Rugby at Franklin’s Gardens.

Pisi grabbed two tries in the space of five first-half minutes and debutant Alex Day came off the bench to do the same in the second half to ensure Saints claimed a maximum haul.

Kiwi kicker Glenn Dickson landed 11 points and Academy fly-half Sam Olver two to put the seal on a seventh win in 10 games in all competitions this season for their side.

Gloucester, who were made to pay for Matt Cox's sin-binning, replied through two penalties from fly-half Freddie Burns, released by England ahead of the game.

But Nigel Davies' side were unable to turn pressure into points as Northampton's hungry young squad secured an early success in the competition.

Both teams had made wholesale changes for the game, with the Saints changing 11 men from last weekend's win at London Irish and Gloucester 12 from the defeat at Bath.

And it was Northampton's fresh faces who showed first as No.10 Dickson, a summer recruit from Otago, put Northampton in front with a successful first kick on debut.

It came after good work from No.8 GJ van Velze, who charged down a Burns clearance attempt, and pounced to secure the penalty.

Burns soon made amends, though, levelling things up from in front of the posts as Gloucester got into their stride, using the driving maul to storm into Saints territory.

While the away forwards were doing their job, England ace Burns was also doing his, pulling the strings in midfield and kicking another penalty to give his side a 6-3 lead.

Dickson responded with his second good effort from wide right after Northampton had won the scrum battle to secure a shot at goal.

And after Gloucester No.6 Cox was sent to the bin for foul play, James Wilson hacked on to put a try on a plate for Pisi.

The Samoan got his second of the evening soon after, storming down the blindside after good work from tighthead prop Tom Mercey.

Dickson made the conversion to take Northampton 18-6 in front with 10 minutes to go until half-time, leaving Gloucester to reflect on the costly carding of Cox.

Nigel Davies' men weren't dwelling on it too much, though, and they pushed on before the break with only some strong, aggressive defending stopping them from getting any reward.

The pattern continued after the interval as Northampton held firm, their linespeed impressive as Gloucester got more and more frustrated.

The away side's angst increased further when Saints squeezed another penalty out of referee Steve Lee and Dickson slotted it to make the gap a sizeable 15 points.

Replacement Day extended that further, picking up the ball from a Matt Williams break to score, with another Academy player, fly-half Sam Olver, adding the extras.

But Northampton and Day weren't done there, with the England Under 20 scrum-half rounding off a memorable debut with a second try to secure the bonus point.

Be part of the rugby family at the LV=Cup Final at Sandy Park, Exeter on 16 March. Tickets now available at www.ticketmaster.co.uk

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