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Match Report: Northampton Saints 41 Dragons 7

11 Nov 2017
Match Report: Northampton Saints 41 Dragons 7

Northampton Saints blew the Dragons away in the second half at Franklin’s Gardens, scoring three tries to win 41-7 in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

The hosts led 12-0 at the break, with first Juan Pablo Estelles scoring his second try in as many weeks in the competition before hooker Reece Marshall scored his first points in a Saints shirt.

But after the break Northampton clicked through the gears, with Ken Pisi, Cobus Reinach, Tom Wood, and Alex Mitchell all scoring to end a losing run of five games in all competitions – and ensuring Joe Thomas’ score for the Dragons was a mere consolation.

It took plenty of time for the Saints to breach the Dragons defences in a hard-fought first 40 minutes, but they finally made their pressure count in the 16th minute as Estelles profited from a cheeky Harry Mallinder offload out the back to score the opener.

Stephen Myler could not convert and it stayed 5-0 until the stroke of half-time, when Northampton threw phase after phase at the Dragons and finally Marshall burrowed over for his first Saints try.

But it was a totally different story after the break, with Myler first extending his side’s advantage with a penalty before Pisi intercepted and raced 60 metres to score on 50 minutes.

That opened the floodgates and although the Dragons responded three minutes later when a maul brought them close and Thomas flew onto a slid kick to score, it was one-way traffic as Reinach gathered Michael Paterson’s offload and held off the last man to complete a fine Saints score.

And no sooner had the hosts restarted than they crossed again; this time it was Wood who was set up by a brilliant run by Harry Mallinder down the left wing.

The bonus point was secure already but still the Saints surged forward in the closing stages, and they got one more after Ben Nutley’s powerful drive allowed Mitchell to finish the job in style – a first Northampton try for the scrum-half.

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