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Wasps 36 Saints 29: Saints edged out in Coventry

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Northampton Saints took two bonus points home from the Ricoh Arena after they were narrowly beaten by Wasps in an entertaining back-and-forth contest.

The hosts held a narrow 21-17 lead at the interval despite two tries from Teimana Harrison and Api Ratuniyarawa, with Stephen Myler contributing seven points from the tee.

While Wasps extended their lead to 16 points early in the second half, Saints stuck to their task and almost pulled off an unlikely comeback with tries from Alex Mitchell and Ahsee Tuala – and even though Northampton just fell short they took losing and try bonus points back to Franklin’s Gardens for their efforts.

The hosts made the most of the electric atmosphere inside the Ricoh Arena to score after just five minutes, with Christian Wade going over in the right corner after quick hands from the Wasps backs.

Jimmy Gopperth struck the touchline conversion beautifully to make it 7-0, but while Wasps broke again with pace shortly after, resilient defence from Northampton kept them at bay and Saints were able to clear.

And they got their reward as a brilliant break by Cobus Reinach opened up the space and the ball popped into Harrison’s hands for the Saints flanker to go over to the left of the posts – Myler levelling the scores with a routine conversion.

Saints were pinged for holding on and Gopperth put the hosts ahead again from the tee, before Wasps’ pace on the wings paid dividends once again as Elliot Daly was put into space around the outside to score in the left corner.

This time Gopperth’s conversion was slightly wide of the target, but the hosts led 15-7 with 20 minutes played.

A couple of quickfire penalties took Northampton up the field, and after several attempts from the back of the ruck, Ratuniyarawa finally picked the ball and drove over the whitewash to bring Saints within a point – Myler making no mistake with the extras.

And while two Gopperth kicks extended Wasps’ lead to seven points, Myler pegged them back on the stroke of half-time with a penalty of his own as Saints won an impressive scrum penalty.

It took Wasps just five minutes to cross the tryline again after half-time, as after Luther Burrell saw yellow after a collision with Wade, the Wasps winger was fed by Willie Le Roux to score again in the right corner.

Ten minutes later the hosts really turned the screw with a score from Juan de Jongh, meaning Saints needed a response – and they so nearly got it when Mitch Eadie’s offload found Reinach who burst into space, but with replacement Tom Collins outside him somehow Danny Capriani made a covering tackle to stop a certain try.

Northampton however did claw their way back into the game after Jamie Gibson broke down the right and found replacement Mitchell inside him to score. James Grayson added the extras to make it 33-24 and it was game on with 15 minutes remaining.

Mitchell was then in the thick of things once again moments later, breaking the line and after Collins also made ground, it was Tuala who touched down to bring Saints within a score.

Gopperth’s penalty gave Wasps some breathing room, but a frantic final few minutes were still to come as the TMO chalked off a score for the hosts after James Haskell was penalised, before Saints were just held up in front of the Wasps line with the clock ticking into the red.

5’ WASPS Try Wade, Conversion Gopperth 7-0
12’ SAINTS Try Harrison, Conversion Myler 7-7
16’ WASPS Penalty Gopperth 10-7
20’ WASPS Try Daly 15-7
28’ SAINTS Try Ratuniyarawa, Conversion Myler 15-14
30’ WASPS Penalty Gopperth 18-14
33’ WASPS Penalty Gopperth 21-14
40’ SAINTS Penalty Myler 21-17
HALF-TIME: Wasps 21 – 17 Saints
45’ WASPS Try Wade, Conversion Gopperth 28-17
55’ WASPS Try De Jongh, 33-17
64’ SAINTS Try Mitchell, Conversion Grayson 33-24
69’ SAINTS Try Tuala 33-29
72’ WASPS Penalty Gopperth 36-29
FULL-TIME: Wasps 36 – 29 Saints


Wasps vs Northampton Saints

Match Details

FT ScoreFull Time Score

Wasps 36-29 Saints




Matthew Carley



Full Time

Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints

Starting LineupNorthampton Saints


Ben Foden


Luther Burrell


George North


Stephen Myler


Cobus Reinach


James Craig


Jamie Gibson


Mitch Eadie

SubsNorthampton Saints

Opposition LineupWasps

Willie Le Roux
Christian Wade
Juan de Jongh
Jimmy Gopperth
Elliot Daly
Danny Cipriani
Dan Robson
Simon McIntyre
Tommy Taylor
Jake Cooper-Woolley
Joe Launchbury
Will Rowlands
Jack Willis
Thomas Young
Guy Thompson


Tom Cruse
Matt Mullan
Martin Moore
Kearnan Myall
James Haskell
Joe Simpson
Gabiriele Lovobalavu
Josh Bassett

Waller and Burrell in for Saints

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Northampton Saints make just two changes for their trip to Wasps this Sunday, with Alex Waller and Luther Burrell coming into the starting line-up.

The men in Black, Green and Gold travel to the Ricoh Arena off the back of a Derby Day success at Leicester Tigers a fortnight ago – their first triumph at Welford Road since 2007.

Saints will be hoping for their first-ever victory in Coventry this weekend, having last won on Wasps soil back in 2013.

Interim head coach Alan Dickens and technical coaching consultant Alan Gaffney welcome back Burrell and Waller into the starting XV for the first time since their respective injury layoffs – both lined up on the bench against Tigers.

But there’s also a return for Heinrich Brüssow; the South African flanker is fit enough for a spot on the bench after last playing against Bath Rugby back in March.

Burrell partners up with Piers Francis in the centres with Stephen Myler and Cobus Reinach continuing together in the half-backs.

Ben Foden will lead out the side as captain, and the Saints veteran is joined in the back three by George North and fullback Ahsee Tuala.

Waller is the only change in Saints pack from the win over Tigers, with Mikey Haywood and Paul Hill selected in the front row, and Api Ratuniyarawa and James Craig behind them.

The back row remains unchanged with Jamie Gibson, Teimana Harrison, and Mitch Eadie all impressing in Leicester – but Alex Mitchell, James Grayson and Tom Collins will all look to inject some pace off the bench.

Aviva Premiership Rugby, Round 21
The Ricoh Arena
Sunday 29th April, 2018
Kick-off: 3pm 


15 Willie Le Roux
14 Christian Wade
13 Juan De Jongh
12 Jimmy Gopperth 
11 Elliot Daly
10 Danny Cipriani
9 Dan Robson 

1 Simon McIntyre
2 Tommy Taylor
3 Jake Cooper-Woolley
4 Joe Launchbury (capt)
5 Will Rowlands 
6 Jack Willis 
7 Thomas Young
8 Guy Thompson

16 Tom Cruse
17 Matt Mullan
18 Marty Moore
19 Kearnan Myall
20 James Haskell 
21 Joe Simpson
22 Gaby Lovobalavu
23 Josh Bassett


15 Ahsee Tuala
14 Ben Foden (capt)
13 Luther Burrell
12 Piers Francis
11 George North
10 Stephen Myler
9 Cobus Reinach 

1 Alex Waller
2 Mikey Haywood
3 Paul Hill
4 Api Ratuniyarawa
5 James Craig
6 Jamie Gibson
7 Teimana Harrison
8 Mitch Eadie 

16 Charlie Clare
17 Campese Ma’afu
18 Ehren Painter
19 Alex Moon
20 Heinrich Brüssow
21 Alex Mitchell
22 James Grayson
23 Tom Collins

Injury update:
Tom Wood, Courtney Lawes, Dylan Hartley, Harry Mallinder, Christian Day, David Ribbans, Reece Marshall and Kieran Brookes are all unavailable for selection.

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Northampton Saints
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