A first-half Tom Collins hattrick sealed an impressive away victory over Newcastle Falcons to keep Northampton Saints firmly in the hunt for a Gallagher Premiership play-off place.
Newcastle had won this fixture for the past six occasions – a record going back to 2016 – but it was the visiting side who came away with a vital bonus point win in a breathless game at Kingston Park, securing their third straight away win in the league.
Saints went into half time with a 21-point lead thanks to Collins’ imperious display, but the game was far from dead. Whatever Newcastle Director of Rugby Dean Richards said to his side at the break definitely galvanised them as they counterpunched their way back into the match with tries from Rodney Ah You and Sonatane Takulua to close the gap to seven points and set up a nerve-wracking final quarter.
But a resolute Saints defence dug deep before Alex Mitchell’s intercept pass killed the game with just three minutes remaining. The win sees Chris Boyd's men move up to fourth place in the Gallagher Premiership on 51 points.