Northampton 20-19 Exeter: Harry Mallinder’s late penalty steals win for Saints

  • Northampton overcame Exeter 20-19 to bounce back at Franklin’s Gardens on Friday night
  • Tries from George North and Rory Hutchinson edged Saints 14-13 ahead at the break
  • Two penalties from Harry Mallinder secured a narrow win with the later two minutes from full-time
A late penalty from Harry Mallinder helped Northampton pick up a vital 20-19 victory over Exeter in a thrilling Premiership clash on Friday, meaning they avoid a third straight home defeat.

Exeter began the better with Gareth Steenson splitting the posts after six minutes to give the away side an initial three-point lead. The experienced fly-half then converted Olly Woodburn’s try soon after before adding another penalty as Exeter continued a rampant first ten minutes, 0-13.

Saint winger George North, recently lauded by his coach Jim Mallinder, then showed his international pedigree; finishing a multi-phase move off in the corner after a neat little side-step inside. Mallinder then added the extras, 7-13.

North soon after turned creator, running the ball from deep, deep inside his own half, first breaking the line and then jinking his way around a hopeless tackler on halfway. The Welshman, running out of room, then picked out a pass to debutant Rory Hutchinson, who was able to finish what was a stunning score.

Mallinder’s conversion was good and within the space of just 90 seconds Northampton had gone fro 13-0 down to 14-13 ahead, which is how things stayed at the break.



Exeter retook the lead after the break, Steenson passing 2,000 points for the club to put Exeter 19-14 up.

But Mallinder kicked two late penalties, the later two minutes from full time, to snatch victory for the hosts.

MANOFTHEMATCH

Northampton: Louis Picamoles

LINE UPS

Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden(c), 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Harry Mallinder, 11 George North, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Calum Clark, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Alex Waller,
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 Campese Ma’afu, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Sam Dickinson, 20 Teimana Harrison, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 Rory Hutchinson, 23 Ahsee Tuala
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Lachie Turner, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Ollie Devoto, 12 Henry Slade, 11 Ian Whitten, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Kai Horstmann, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Jack Yeandle(c), 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Damian Welch, 20 Ben White, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Sam Hill, 23 Jack Nowell

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