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Match Reaction: Northampton Saints 14-16 Newcastle Falcons

Match Reaction: Northampton Saints 14-16 Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle Falcons made it six wins on the spin over Northampton Saints after Mark Wilson’s dramatic last-gasp touchdown at Franklin’s Gardens.

This was their third victory in a row in the East Midlands but they left it so late to do it – Wilson grounding in the 86th minute.

Cobus Reinach’s double looked like it was enough to lift the Saints to a third win on the spin at their home stadium.

But after the boot of Toby Flood and Brett Connon had kept them in touch, Wilson grounded at the base of the post and the TMO confirmed a dramatic victory as Flood chipped over the simple extras.

MAN OF THE MATCH 

It feels cruel to Reinach that he finished on the losing side on Saturday.

The Springbok No.9 scored a superb solo score in the first half, dummying his way through down the left to give the Saints the try that their dominance deserved.

And in the second half he appeared on Teimana Harrison’s shoulder to race clear after the No.8’s big break.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH 

Undoubtedly, the dramatic finish was the highlight of this vital clash at the foot of the table.

The Falcons summoned up the same spirit as their famous European win over Montpellier earlier this year, as they batted the Saints line at the death.

Saints defended manfully but continued to give away penalties that eventually saw Dan Biggar sent to the sin bin.

And the pressure told in the end as Wilson grounded at the base of the post and the Falcons could celebrate.

TRY OF THE MATCH 

At the start of the second half, Saints stretched their lead with a fine second try.

Courtney Lawes produced a fine tip-on pass to release Harrison who was cutting a fine line between two defenders.

He brushed off both of them and then had the presence of mind to release Reinach inside him to slide under the posts.

WHAT THEY SAID

Northampton Saints director of rugby Chris Boyd:

“It’s a bit of heartbreaker, isn’t it? We need to look back on Monday and see what happened.

“We were in control of the game. Maybe we got a bit conservative and stopped playing. We made a few too many errors in critical areas.

“That compounded on us and at the end of the day we couldn’t hold them out. It’s a bitter pill to swallow.”

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards:

“It was probably a robbery, if we’re honest. We didn’t play that well for the first 60 minutes. But we took our chance at the end.

“We said during the week, providing we’re in with a shout with ten minutes to go, we’ll stand every chance of winning.

“Northampton are a good team. They missed a couple of opportunities and, if they had taken those, it could have been a different thing altogether.”

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