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Benetton 32 – 35 Saints: Boyd's men complete stunning comeback

A last-gasp Dan Biggar penalty saw Saints complete a remarkable second-half comeback and secure a bonus-point win in Treviso, to send the men in Black, Green and Gold top of Pool One in the Heineken Champions Cup.

With the clock in the red, the Welsh fly-half showed nerves of steel to slot the points needed to seal the game and send the travelling supporters into ecstasy.

Two tries from Tom Collins and further scores for man-of-the-match Cobus Reinach and Ollie Sleightholme pegged the Italian side back, who at one stage had opened up a 25-8 lead. But despite Northampton scoring 24 unanswered points after the interval, they still required the boot of Biggar in the 85th minute to secure a famous victory.

An early Biggar penalty got Saints off the mark in the first half, but it was the hosts who notched the game’s first try when hooker Hame Faiva charged over from close range.

The home side’s lead lasted only minutes as Saints struck back through Collins following a sumptuous offload from Biggar, who put Ahsee Tuala into plenty of space out wide to feed the winger in the left corner.

A Tommaso Allan penalty nudged Benetton's noses back in front, before wing Ratuva Tavuyara extended the lead further when he dotted down in the corner.

Benetton continued to threaten and when Biggar was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle, the Italian side took full advantage. Ignacio Brex scored from a well-worked line-out move, and another Allan penalty gave the hosts a healthy 25-8 lead. 

But with just seconds left in the first half, Saints unlocked the home side’s defence once again when Reinach’s quick penalty tap saw him scamper over from a few metres out. The scrum-half’s quick thinking meant Saints deficit was just 10 points at the break.  

With Treviso also losing a man to the sin bin, the game’s momentum stayed with the visitors. An early Biggar penalty, followed by Sleightholme's excellent try, drew the scores level at 25-25 to set up a grandstand finish.

With the game on a knife-edge, Saints produced a flowing move off the back of a scrum which saw Collins cross the whitewash for the second time to open up a seven-point lead.

But Treviso weren’t done and with 10 minutes to go hooker Faiva muscled his way over for his second try of the match to draw the scores level again.

Faiva’s score set-up a frenetic final last period with both sides desperate to strike the fatal blow. With the clock in the red, Treviso were penalised for a deliberate knock-on and up stepped Biggar. 

It was a fitting finale to a breathless game which had entertained from the very first moments. The Welshman showed ice runs through his veins to slot the kick straight between the uprights to send Saints top of their Champions Cup Pool ahead of a double header against Leinster in rounds three and four.

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