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SAINTS 32 OSPREYS 43: Late comeback not enough for Saints

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Northampton Saints almost mounted a remarkable second-half comeback against the Ospreys, but left themselves just too much to do as the Welsh region won 43-32 at Franklin’s Gardens.

Nic Groom, Ahsee Tuala, Rob Horne, and Harry Mallinder all went over for the hosts as they looked to overhaul a big deficit in the second half.

However a rocky period just after half-time ultimately cost them, with their late surge not quite enough to haul in the Swansea outfit.

Penalties came thick and fast in the opening 20 minutes, and Saints were unlucky to see both starting No.10 Piers Francis and then his replacement Stephen Myler forced off through early injuries.

That was after Myler had put the hosts 3-0 up with a penalty as Ospreys were caught offside, and winger Jeff Hassler was sent to the sin-bin soon after as the penalty count mounted and he put in an illegal tackle on Tuala.

Going down to 14 seemed to galvanise the Welsh region however, with Sam Davies first knocking over a penalty before Dan Evans opened the scoring – and with Saints having to reshuffle their midfield after Myler’s departure, Tom Habberfield then finished well to send his side 17-3 up at the interval.

A feisty second-half opened up with a charge from halfway from Welsh international Alun-Wyn Jones, but while his try was chalked off for an earlier knock on, Saints did not heed that warning and Hassler finished off a well-worked try down the left for Ospreys.

Owen Watkin’s score secured a bonus-point for the Welsh side, but Northampton showed some fighting spirit as skipper Dylan Hartley notched their first try of the evening from a fierce driving maul.

Man-of-the-match Evans and Hassler turned the screw however for the Ospreys, before a revival of sorts began for Northampton.

First Groom got his name on the scoresheet, dotting down in the corner after Haywood peeled from the maul, before Saints quickly had a third try when Horne and Teimana Harrison – who was excellent all evening at No.8 – combined and the former stretched for the post.

Ospreys looked shellshocked after conceding two quick tries, and it soon got even better for the Saints as Tuala secured at least a bonus point with Mallinder at the centre of a fantastic team effort that cut through the Ospreys back line.

Mallinder then made it three tries in five minutes with a phenomenal 60-metre dash to leave only an 11-point gap – but both sides were reduced to 14 men when Mallinder and Rob McCusker saw yellow for their part in a brawl following the score.

Ospreys were then reduced to 13 men as Hanno Dirksen’s high tackle on JP Estelles saw him red carded, but despite their numerical advantage, Saints’ momentum was not enough for them to claw back the deficit in the final five minutes.

Up next for Jim Mallinder’s men is a return trip to Swansea next weekend.

TEAMS

SAINTS Mallinder; Tuala, Horne, Burrell, Foden; Francis, Groom; van Wyk, Hartley (capt), Ford-Robinson, Ribbans, Day, Lawes, Ludlam, Harrison

SUBS Haywood, Ma’afu, Hill, Paterson, Gibson, Reinach, Myler, Estelles

OSPREYS Evans; Dirksen, Fonotia, Watkin, Hassler; Davies, Habberfield; Smith, Baldwin, Arhip, Davies, Jones (capt), Lydiate, Cracknell, King

SUBS Otten, Jenkins, Fia, Beard, McCusker, Morgan-Williams, Hook, John 

TIMELINE

17’ SAINTS Penalty, Myler 3-0
21’ OSPREYS Penalty, Davies 3-3
29’ OSPREYS Try Evans, Conversion Davies 3-10
39’ OSPREYS Try Habberfield, Conversion Davies 3-17
HALF TIME Saints 3-17 Ospreys
47’ OSPREYS Try Hassler, Conversion Davies 3-24
50’ OSPREYS Try Fonotia, Conversion Davies 3-31
53’ SAINTS Try Hartley 8-31
56’ OSPREYS Try Evans, Conversion Davies 8-38
61’ OSPREYS Try Hassler 8-43
64’ SAINTS Try Groom 13-43
67’ SAINTS Try Horne, Conversion Mallinder 20-43
69’ SAINTS Try Tuala, Conversion Mallinder 27-43
72’ SAINTS Try Mallinder 32-43
FULL TIME Saints 32-43 Ospreys

Match

Northampton Saints vs Ospreys

Match Details

FT ScoreFull Time Score

Saints 32-43 Ospreys

Attendance

8,105

Referee

Alexandre Ruiz

Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
32

Summary

Full Time

Ospreys Rugby
Ospreys
43

Starting LineupNorthampton Saints

13

Rob Horne

12

Luther Burrell

11

Ben Foden

9

Nic Groom

2

Dylan Hartley

3

Jamal Ford-Robinson

5

Christian Day

SubsNorthampton Saints

17

Campese Ma'afu

19

Michael Paterson

20

Jamie Gibson

21

Cobus Reinach

22

Stephen Myler

23

Juan Pablo Estelles

Opposition LineupOspreys Rugby

15
Dan Evans
14
Hanno Dirksen
13
Kieron Fonotia
12
Owen Watkin
11
Jeff Hassler
10
Sam Davies
9
Tom Habberfield
1
Nicky Smith
2
Scott Baldwin
3
Dmitri Arhip
4
Bradley Davies
5
Alun Wyn Jones
6
Dan Lydiate
7
Olly Cracknell
8
James King

SubsOspreys Rugby

16
Scott Otten
17
Rowan Jenkins
18
Ma'afu Fia
19
Adam Beard
20
Rob McCusker
21
Reuben Morgan-Williams
22
James Hook
23
Ben John
Rugby

Saints name team for Ospreys Champions Cup clash

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Jim Mallinder has made eight changes to Northampton Saints’ starting line-up for this weekend’s home clash against Ospreys.

Saints welcome the Welsh region to Franklin’s Gardens having won the last six meetings between the sides, the most recent being a 36-6 triumph back in 2014.

Ahsee Tuala – who signed a new two-year Saints contract this week – is the only change to the back three, with the Samoan international joining full-back Harry Mallinder and Ben Foden.

Luther Burrell returns to the midfield to partner Rob Horne, with Piers Francis and Nic Groom forming a new-look half-back partnership.

Meanwhile there are also two changes in the engine room as both David Ribbans and Christian Day return from injury, with Courtney Lawes shifting to blindside flanker.

Alex Waller misses out through injury in the front row, so Francois van Wyk comes in with Dylan Hartley continuing to skipper the side from hooker.

And in the back row Lewis Ludlam is the final change to last week’s side, with the 22-year-old now fully recovered from glandular fever and making his first ever start in the Champions Cup at openside flanker.

“We’ve made a few changes as we’re looking to find the winning formula,” said Mallinder. “The lads have worked hard this week and we’re looking forward to the game.

“We’ve shown improvements on the field the last two weeks and are determined to produce a performance our fans can be proud of.”

Tickets are still available for the match starting from £28 for adults or £12 for juniors. CLICK HERE to book online.

SAINTS V OSPREYS TEAM NEWS
European Champions Cup Round Three
Franklin's Gardens
Saturday 9 December, 2017
Kick-off: 5.30pm 

SAINTS OSPREYS

15 Harry Mallinder
14 Ahsee Tuala
13 Rob Horne
12 Luther Burrell
11 Ben Foden
10 Piers Francis
9 Nic Groom

1 Francois van Wyk
2 Dylan Hartley (capt)
3 Jamal Ford-Robinson
4 David Ribbans
5 Christian Day
6 Courtney Lawes
7 Lewis Ludlam
8 Teimana Harrison

Replacements:
16 Mikey Haywood
17 Campese Ma’afu
18 Paul Hill
19 Michael Paterson
20 Jamie Gibson
21 Cobus Reinach
22 Stephen Myler
23 JP Estelles

 

15 Dan Evans
14 Hanno Dirksen
13 Kieron Fonotia
12 Owen Watkin
11 Jeff Hassler
10 Sam Davies
9 Tom Habberfield

1 Nicky Smith
2 Scott Baldwin
3 Dmitri Arhip
4 Bradley Davies
5 Alun Wyn Jones (capt)
6 Dan Lydiate
7 Olly Cracknell
8 James King 

Replacements:
16 Scott Otten
17 Rowan Jenkins
18 Ma’afu Fia
19 Adam Beard
20 Rob McCusker
21 Reuben Morgan-Williams
22 James Hook
23 Ben John

Injury update:

Kieran Brookes (hand), Charlie Clare (knee), Tom Collins (foot), James Craig (concussion), George North (knee), Tom Stephenson (hamstring) and Alex Waller (arm) are unavailable for selection

posteamteam namepldwdlfadifftftatblbpts
3
Ospreys Rugby
OspreysOSP6213152148418163215
4
Northampton Saints
Northampton SaintsNOR6105115239-1241631206
Form Guide

Form

LLLLL

Last match

Lost to Sale 23-32

Past meeting

Won 26-13
Full Time
Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints
32
Ospreys Rugby
Ospreys
43