Northampton ease to 35-7 win against London Irish on Saturday
Scores from James Craig and Alex Waller bookended a penalty try to deliver Saints a 21-0 half-time lead
Further scores from Lee Dickson setting and Jamie Elliott secured the win for the hosts
David Paice scored a late consolation try for the Exiles
Northampton Saints continued their push for the Premiership play-offs with a five-try win over bottom-of-the-table London Irish at Franklin’s Gardens.
Saints, playing with such pace and tempo, were able to open up a comfortable 21-0 lead at half-time with three tries, all converted by Stephen Myler.
The visitors opened the scoring through James Craig after 17 minutes before they were awarded a penalty try five minutes later. Alex Waller then touched down Saints last try of the opening 40 three minutes before the break.
Irish had the opportunity to take three points during the first half, but Shane Geraghty’s radar was off, meaning they were yet to get off the mark at half-time.
From the restart, it did not take long for Northampton to get the bonus point, and all but seal the win, with a fourth try. Jamie Elliott was the man who touched down this time, but it went to a TMO, which ruled downward pressure was applied. Myler kept up his superb kicking record.
And from the restart, Saints attacked down the left, resulting in scrum-half Lee Dickson crossing the whitewash. Unsurprisingly, yet again Myler added the extras.
Irish were able to take advantage of two Saints players in the sin-bin late on as David Paice got over, and Geraghty converted.
It was not enough to dampen the home fans’ spirit, a dominant display and a well-deserved victory
Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Harry Mallinder, 11 James Wilson, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson (c), 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Christian Day, 4 James Craig, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 Reece Marshall, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Victor Matfield, 20 Teimana Harrison, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 George Pisi
London Irish: 15 Andrew Fenby, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Ciaran Hearn, 10 Shane Geraghty, 9 Scott Steele, 8 Rob McCusker, 7 Luke Narraway, 6 Jebb Sinclair, 5 Will Lloyd, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Halani Aulica, 2 David Paice, 1 Tom Court
Replacements: 16 Gerard Ellis, 17 Tom Smallbone, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Ian Nagle, 20 Ofisa Treviranus, 21 Darren Allinson, 22 Theo Brophy-Clews, 23 Dom Waldouck
Date: Saturday, February 13
Venue: Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick, Wayne Falla
TMO: Sean Davey