Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
SaintsConference & EventsFoundationStore

Match Report: Northampton Saints 38 – 13 Newcastle Falcons

Northampton Saints secured a tenth successive victory in all competitions at Newcastle Falcons’ expense to enter the Six Nations break sitting top of the Gallagher Premiership.

Missing seven players away on England duty, Phil Dowson’s side were made to scrap for the points by the division’s bottom club at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, with Newcastle trailing by just six points at the break. 

Saints struck through Courtney Lawes, Sam Matavesi and a penalty try with Falcons staying firmly in the fight with Adam Radwan crossing and Louie Johnson kicking two penalties and a conversion.

The second half was one-way traffic however as Tom James, Ollie Sleightholme and Juarno Augustus all crossed the line as Saints claimed maximum points with a 38-13 win.


It was Falcons who landed the game’s first points as Callum Chick intercepted a pass and grubbered ahead, causing chaos as Saints scrambled to concede a penalty that Johnson converted from the tee.

The game’s first two tries came within four minutes of each other as Falcons ill-discipline and Rory Hutchinson’s accurate kicking to touch set the platform.

The returning Lewis Ludlam was unable to pull in Lawes’ close-quarters pass to knock on over the goal-line. Fortunately, penalty advantage was being played and at the second attempt, Lawes forced his way over in the left corner for his third try of the season – making this his most prolific campaign in 17 as a Saint. Fly-half Charlie Savala landed his first points for the Club with a looping conversion from wide out on the left.

From the resulting kick-off, Saints fumbled the first carry and Newcastle were given the immediate opportunity to respond as they worked the ball wide for Elliott Obatoyinbo to athletically offload for Radwan to finish. Johnson’s conversion nudged the pink-shorted visitors ahead.

The see-saw flow of the first half continued as Saints capitalised on a Falcons fumble to swarm with Matavesi rolling well out of tackle in the right corner. When Sleightholme sniffed a gap close to the line, Freddie Lockwood intervened but from an offside position, resulting in a penalty try and a yellow card for the flanker.

Johnson’s second penalty closed the gap to a point before Sleightholme broke through a gap and was set to put James under the posts when Cameron Hutchison managed to tap the winger’s ankles and force a spill.

There was no stopping the forwards shortly afterwards though as Saints got their third try of the afternoon. Trevor Davison, against his former employers, earned a penalty at the scrum. Hutchinson – on the occasion of his 150th appearance for the Club – kicked to the corner, Matavesi and Lawes combined at the lineout for the hooker to work his way over.


After a tense opening ten minutes to the second period, James provided some welcome relief to the Saints faithful with the bonus-point sealing score. It all started from a Tom Litchfield winning a penalty at the breakdown and then the young centre latched onto Savala’s deft offload to run through a gap and put his scrum-half under the posts after 52 minutes.

A fifth followed shortly after the hour mark as a neat lineout move was followed by Savala and Hutchinson combining to give Sleightholme a chance to finish, which he did emphatically for his seventh try of the season.

The icing was applied to the cake as Hutchinson showed the class that has earned him a Scotland recall, chipping ahead for Sam Graham to pull in and go agonisingly close, before Augustus squeezed his frame through a tiny gap near the corner flag to skillfully ground. Savala wowed the Carlsberg Stand with a touchline conversion for the final points of the match.


SAINTS: Hutchinson, Hamer-Webb, Odendaal, Litchfield, Sleightholme, Savala, James; Waller, S Matavesi, Davison, Mayanavanua, Munga, Lawes, Ludlam (c), Graham.
Replacements: Smith, Haffar, Millar Mills, Moon, Augustus, Scott-Young, Braley, J Matavesi.

FALCONS: Obatoyinbo, Radwan, Moroni, Hutchison, Stevenson,  Johnson,  O’Sullivan; Brantingham, Byrne, McCallum, Hawkins, de Chaves, Cross, Pepper, Chick (c).
Replacements: van Vuuren, Brocklebank, Bello, Cardall, Lockwood, Stuart, Jennings, Carreras.

Visit the Saints Store
Visit the Saints Store
Match tickets on sale now!
Match tickets on sale now!
23/24 Rugby Camps
23/24 Rugby Camps