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Match Report: Northampton Saints 22 Newcastle Falcons 24

01 Dec 2017
Match Report: Northampton Saints 22 Newcastle Falcons 24

Nili Latu scored from the final play of the game to help Newcastle Falcons earn a fine 24-22 win against Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens.

It was a fifth successive Premiership defeat for Jim Mallinder’s men, who had looked set to win it after Dylan Hartley popped up with a second-half score.

Hartley’s effort, added to Harry Mallinder’s score, a penalty try and five points from the boot of Piers Francis, put Northampton 22-17 up with 10 minutes to go.

But Latu and Takulua combined to secure the win, adding to earlier tries from Sinoti Sinoti and Josh Matavesi and two conversions from Toby Flood, who was sin-binned during the first half.

Northampton thought they had scored after just 13 seconds, but Rob Horne’s effort was ruled out as a knock-on by Ben Foden was spotted by the TMO.

Mallinder eventually found enough space to dummy intelligently and race in for the score.

James Grayson missed the conversion and Newcastle soon responded as Sinoti wriggled over for a try.

Flood converted to put the Falcons 7-5 up with 25 minutes gone and the visitors were soon flying forward again, with Sinoti setting up Matavesi for a fine score.

The Falcons fly-half added the extras but he was to be sin-binned before the break, for collapsing a maul as the Saints were awarded a penalty try.

The home side thought they had scored again soon after, but the TMO deemed that Hartley hadn’t managed to score.

Newcastle led 14-12 at half-time and that was extended when Flood landed a penalty 10 minutes into the second period.

Captain Hartley grabbing a key try for his team and Francis landed the conversion to put the home side 19-17 up

Northampton were denied by the TMO again as a Nic Groom knock-on was spotted at the breakdown, meaning Ahsee Tuala’s effort was ruled out.

Francis slotted a penalty to ease the nerves further, but Newcastle had the final say as Latu powered over and Takulua converted to win it.