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Match Report: Northampton Saints 82-12 Doncaster Knights

Northampton Saints concluded their Premiership Rugby Cup campaign with a 12-try cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens victory over Doncaster Knights.

Saints secured themselves a tryscoring bonus point by half-time with Tom Pearson helping himself to a brace with George Furbank and Archie McParland also crossing. Doncaster got on the scoreboard with a converted Harry Davey try.

After the break, Saints turned the screw as McParland added two more to complete his hat-trick, and was followed over the line by Fin Smith – who ended the match with a 19-point haul –  Sam Graham, Chunya Munga, James Ramm, Tom Seabrook and George Hendy with George Simpson grabbing a second for the Championship visitors.


Former Knight Graham broke through on the kick-off and Saints were off in attack instantly. It was only two minutes later when the home side got over the whitewash, with Furbank sending a perfectly weighted miss-pass over to Pearson on the wing for the score. 

A penalty at the scrum gave Olver a chance to get Doncaster off the mark but the former Saints fly-half sent his kick just wide of the posts.

And Saints were straight back on the attack, with Pearson barrelling forwards in the midfield before McParland put Furbank in space with a deft pass. The Northampton skipper still had plenty to do but rounded the corner to score just left of the sticks. 

Doncaster got themselves up and running on the 15-minute mark though, with Olver sending a chip over to Holden who in turn found Davey out wide to score.

And Saints found themselves a man down too, with Curtis Langdon sent to the sin bin for his cynical action in the build up to the try. But despite Knights’ best efforts, the men in Black, Green and Gold survived the ten-minute period with 14 men and wasted no time getting back over the whitewash as Pearson collected his second from close range. 

Northampton thought they’d scored the bonus point half an hour in as McParland gathered his own clever kick ahead to race in. A trip to the TMO chalked the score off but the scrum-half did get over the whitewash in the next play as Pearson broke through a gap and popped the ball to McParland on his shoulder. 

And though a spirited attack from Doncaster put them close, Saints’ defence held out until the half-time whistle head into the changing rooms 28-7 up.


It took Saints just 90 seconds to get back on the scoresheet after the turnaround, working close to the goalline before Joel Matavesi’s offload found Graham for the score. 

A piece of individual brilliance gave McParland his second, as the 18-year-old shot off the back of the scrum and sniped over for Saints’ sixth. 

And Smith was quickly over for the seventh, intercepting a stray Doncaster pass on half way and winning the foot race for the line. 

McParland made it a hat-trick on 50 minutes and it was Pearson who turned provider again, breaking through Knights’ line before popping the ball back inside for the scrum-half’s third.

Saints stayed relentless in attack and that pressure put them back up to the goalline quickly. And it was quick thinking from Munga that secured the ninth try, with the lock diving on loose ball to ground.

Doncaster did get a second try after an hour, sending Simpson over out wide but Saints made it ten just after as Ramm broke free and raced in the last yards to score. 

With Saints yet to miss from the tee, Hutchinson took on the kicking duties to add Saints’ tenth conversion of the afternoon. Seabrook crossed the whitewash with ten minutes remaining for his fourth try in as many matches, with Hutchinson’s conversion taking the scoreline to 77-12. 

There was time for one more as livewire Hendy got the try his performance had threatened, charging down a kick 45 metres out and arching down the right wing touchline to finish. Sadly the perfect 11 from 11 conversion record was lost at the last as Hutchinson struck a post from the tee.

SAINTS: 15 Furbank (c), 14 Ramm, 13 Hutchinson, 12 J Matavesi, 11 Seabrook, 10 F Smith, 9 McParland; 1 A Waller, 2 Langdon, 3 Davison, 4 Moon, 5 Munga, 6 Lockett, 7 Pearson, 8 Graham. 
Replacements: 16 R Smith, 17 E Waller, 18 Millar Mills, 19 Atuanya, 20 Scott-Young, 21 James, 22 Glister, 23 Hendy.

DONCASTER: 15 Davey, 14 Simpson, 13 Bedlow, 12 Edwards, 11 Holden, 10 Olver (c), 9 Dolly; 1 Davidson, 2 Doughty, 3 Foster, 4 Ehizode, 5 Muprhy, 6 Wilson, 7 Tait, 8 Nagle-Taylor. 
Replacements: 16 Terry, 17 Courtney, 18 Barrett, 19 Mintern, 20 Hopkinson, 21 Smeaton, 22 Fox, 23 McBryde.

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