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SARACENS 62 SAINTS 14: Saints end European campaign with defeat

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Northampton Saints could not end their European Champions Cup campaign with a victory as they were beaten 62-14 at Allianz Park by defending champions Saracens.

Saints were 14-10 ahead after a frenetic opening 20 minutes, with Cobus Reinach and Nafi Tuitavake both dotting down under the posts and the hosts responding through Mako Vunipola and an Owen Farrell penalty.

But Sarries clicked through the gears before half-time and wrapped up a bonus point, while the Saints were unable to trouble the scoreboard further.

And with Saracens needing more points on the board to boost their own qualification hopes for the knockout stages, Farrell continued to tick the board over with penalties as Sean Maitland and Sione Vailanu added two more tries.

The visitors enjoyed plenty of early possession, building the phases well while impressing at the breakdown, and won a third-minute penalty after making big progress from a driving maul.

Mallinder kicked into the corner, and while Sarries this time halted the Saints’ drive, Northampton recovered well with Ken Pisi darting through a gap from Wigglesworth’s box kick.

Mallinder then expertly chipped over the top with the outside of his boot, and with Goode unable to gather cleanly, Reinach punished the full-back and ran in under the posts.

From the restart, Saracens recovered the ball and Saints infringed at the breakdown, allowing Farrell to knock a routine penalty straight through the posts, before stealing a Saints lineout on the 22 in the 13th minute.

From there they built the phases and eventually Vunipola burrowed over under the posts, with Farrell making no mistake with the straightforward conversion.

A frantic passage of play soon followed, with Reinach and Ben Foden making key breaks with Saints offloading brilliantly in the tackle, before Michael Paterson found Tuitavake to score.

But in the 21st minute Foden was pulled back for a forward pass, and despite a strong scrum from Saints, replacement Nathan Earle darted through and with Northampton short of numbers the ball was sent wide for Goode to finish.

Farrell’s show-and-go seven minutes later opened up the space and he sent Bosch over to make it 22-14.

And the hosts had their fourth in the 35th minute as despite a superb break from Mitch Eadie up to halfway, Saints knocked on and with the field scattered Earle again did the damage – cutting inside before offloading for Wigglesworth to score.

Saracens kept up their pressure and Koch’s try made it 36-14 at the break, with Jamie Gibson also sent to the sin-bin for ten minutes.

Two early Farrell penalties extended the hosts’ lead after the interval, and Alex Mitchell came on for his Champions Cup debut after Saracens crossed through Maitland and Vailanu.

Saints were pinged again with 12 minutes remaining with the tackler not rolling away, and Farrell then took his personal tally to 27 with another penalty as Saints’ scrum tired in the closing stages.

SAINTS: Foden; Pisi, Horne, Stephenson, Tuitavake; Mallinder, Reinach; Ma’afu, Hartley, Brookes; Paterson, Day; Ribbans, Gibson, Eadie

Replacements: Marshall, van Wyk, Hill, Craig, Ludlam, Mitchell, Myler, North 

SARACENS: Goode; Maitland, Bosch, Barritt, Wyles; Farrell, Wigglesworth; Vunipola, George, Koch; Isiekwe, Kruis; Itoje, Clark, Burger

Replacements: Tolofua, Thompson-Stringer, Figallo, Skelton, Vailanu, Spencer, Lozowski, Earle

6’ SAINTS Reinach try, Mallinder conversion 0-7
10’ SARACENS Farrell penalty 3-7
14’ SARACENS Vunipola try, Farrell conversion 10-7
17’ SAINTS Tuitavake try, Mallinder conversion 10-14
21’ SARACENS Goode try, Farrell conversion 17-14
29’ SARACENS Bosch try 22-14
35’ SARACENS Wigglesworth try, Farrell conversion 29-14
40+1’ SARACENS Koch try, Farrell conversion 36-14
HALF-TIME Saracens 36 Saints 14
46’ SARACENS Farrell penalty 39-14
49’ SARACENS Farrell penalty 42-14
55’ SARACENS Maitland try, Farrell conversion 49-14
63’ SARACENS Vailanu try, Farrell conversion 56-14
68’ SARACENS Farrell penalty 59-14
73’ SARACENS Farrell penalty 62-14
FULL-TIME Saracens 62 Saints 14


Saracens vs Northampton Saints

Match Details

FT ScoreFull Time Score

Saracens 62-14 Saints




Mathieu Raynal



Full Time

Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints

Starting LineupNorthampton Saints


Ben Foden


Ken Pisi


Rob Horne


Tom Stephenson


Nafi Tuitavake


Cobus Reinach


Campese Ma'afu


Dylan Hartley


Kieran Brookes


Michael Paterson


Christian Day


Jamie Gibson


Mitch Eadie

SubsNorthampton Saints

Opposition LineupSaracens

Alex Goode
Sean Maitland
Marcelo Bosch
Bradley Barritt
Chris Wyles
Owen Farrell
Richard Wigglesworth
Mako Vunipola
Jamie George
Vincent Koch
Nick Isiekwe
George Kruis
Maro Itoje
Calum Clark
Schalk Brits


Christopher Tolofua
Hayden Thompson-Stringer
Kieran Longbottom
Will Skelton
Sione Vailanu
Ben Spencer
Alex Lozowski
Nathan Earle

Five Saints changes for Champions Cup trip to Saracens

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Northampton Saints have made five changes to their starting line-up for this weekend’s final Pool 2 clash in the European Champions Cup.

Two-time defending champions Saracens lie in wait at Allianz Park, but Saints come into the fixture off the back of two straight victories – beating Gloucester Rugby in the Aviva Premiership before downing ASM Clermont Auvergne for the first time in the Club’s history.

And they have a point to prove again this weekend despite being unable to progress to the knockout stages, having been beaten twice already this season by their London rivals.

Technical coaching consultant Alan Gaffney and interim head coach Alan Dickens have rung the changes following last weekend’s triumph, with several players rested.

All three Saints called up for England duty on Thursday retain their place in the side, with the uncapped Harry Mallinder keeping the No.10 jersey again after impressing at fly-half in recent weeks.

Nafi Tuitavake – who scored with his first touch against Clermont – replaces Ahsee Tuala in the starting XV, with last weekend’s man-of-the-match Ben Foden switching to full-back as a result.

The only other change to the back-line sees scrum-half Cobus Reinach given the opportunity to impress on his first start since early December, but the front row is unchanged.

Christian Day is given a new second-row partner in Michael Paterson, while Jamie Gibson and Mitch Eadie also come in to join Courtney Lawes at the base of the scrum.

And Francois van Wyk is the only player retained among the replacements from last weekend with seven fresh players set to make an impact from the bench – including Stephen Myler and George North who have recovered from rib and knee injuries respectively.

“We built on that Gloucester performance against Clermont, and we’re looking to continue that momentum,” said Dickens.

“We want to go down there, put a performance in and finish our European campaign strongly. There was a great buzz around the whole stadium last week and we’ve been pretty clinical inside the 22 for the last two games.

“We can’t progress but we said last week that there are no dead rubbers for us, and we’re fortunate that we’ve got a group of competitive players who want to win every week.”

Tickets are now available for Saints' Anglo-Welsh Cup clash with Harlequins from the ticket office at Franklin’s Gardens, online by visiting bit.ly/SAI-QUI-AWC or by calling the Saints Ticket Office on 01604 581000.

European Champions Cup, Round 6
Allianz Park
Saturday 20 January, 2018
Kick-off: 3.15pm 


15 Alex Goode
14 Liam Williams
13 Marcelo Bosch
12 Brad Barritt (capt)
11 Chris Wyles
10 Owen Farrell
9 Richard Wigglesworth 

1 Mako Vunipola
2 Jamie George
3 Vincent Koch
4 Nick Isiekwe
5 George Kruis
6 Maro Itoje
7 Calum Clark
8 Schalk Burger 

16 Christopher Tolofua
17 Hayden Thompson-Stringer
18 Juan Figallo
19 Will Skelton
20 Sione Vailanu
21 Ben Spencer
22 Alex Lozowski
23 Sean Maitland


15 Ben Foden
14 Ken Pisi
13 Rob Horne
12 Tom Stephenson
11 Nafi Tuitavake
10 Harry Mallinder
9 Cobus Reinach

1 Campese Ma’afu
2 Dylan Hartley (capt)
3 Kieran Brookes
4 Michael Paterson
5 Christian Day
6 Courtney Lawes
7 Jamie Gibson
8 Mitch Eadie

16 Reece Marshall
17 Francois van Wyk
18 Paul Hill
19 David Ribbans
20 Lewis Ludlam
21 Alex Mitchell
22 Stephen Myler
23 George North


Injury update
Alex Waller (arm), Jamie Elliott (hamstring), Piers Francis (head), and Luther Burrell (calf) are unavailable for selection.

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Northampton Saints
Northampton SaintsNOR6105115239-1241631206
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