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Northampton Saints 35-16 Worcester Warriors: Five try Saints go top of the league

Five tries in the second half secured a 35-16 victory as Saints made it two from two to got top of the Gallagher Premiership table after two rounds; and it was just the result the Franklin’s Garden faithful were looking for as a stunning effort in the second 40 saw the hosts overcome a sluggish start. 

At a rain-soaked Franklin’s Gardens, things did not exactly go to plan for Northampton from the off as a combination of handling-errors and ill-discipline allowed Duncan Weir to kick the visiting Warriors into a 9-6 lead at the break. 

Once the players came back out of the sheds, it really did turn into a tale of two halves. Two tries in the space of ten minutes sent the Saints well and truly on their way, before a late flurry including a double for man of the match George Furbank saw Chris Boyd’s charges ease to a comfortable bonus-point win. 

In a bad-tempered first half that was strewn with handling errors, it was Worcester who dominated the opening quarter, taking the lead with two Duncan Weir penalties before Saints struck back to make it 3-6. 

As the swirling rain continued to soak the Gardens turf it was the visitors who wrestled the early initiative away from Saints despite an Ethan Waller yellow card for a deliberate knock on. 

Saints lost James Fish to a head injury early on, which brought on Mikey Haywood for his first appearance in Black, Green and Gold following an 11-month lay off.   

The visitors extended their lead with another three points from the boot of Weir before Grayson notched another to make it 6-9 at the break.  

The niggle continued into the second half with the teams having to be separated on several occasions and the momentum seemed to swing in Saints favour when Warriors lost their talismanic scrum half Francois Hougaard to a shoulder injury picked up in yet another scuffle.  

Wing Tom Collins started off the flood of second half scores, chasing down a Grayson grubber from the edge of the twenty-two to dot down for the game’s opening try following a period of sustained pressure.  

Saints, who had dominated the set piece all afternoon, then struck again through Taqele Naiyaravoro as the big Fijian collected a Henry Taylor feed to barge his way over from short range off an attacking scrum.  

And the killer blow came with just over ten minutes left; after Furbank pinned Worcester deep inside their own 22 with a textbook touch-finder, a poor clearance from Lance gifted Saints the ball back in an ideal position and it was fitting that Furbank was the one on hand to take advantage of an overlap a number of phases later to dive over in the corner.  

Then came the cherry on top for Saints in the form of the bonus point score with Sleightholme, only just off the bench, cashing in on a break from Lewis Bean to sprint off down the right touchline.

There was still time for one last nail in the Warriors' coffin as Furbank again took advantage of an overlap out wide and despite a late consolation for Francois Venter, Worcester could not take any of the shine off Saints' impressive second half showing that sent the Franklin’s faithful home happy despite the rain. 

Next Home Match

Northampton Saints
Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 4 June - 3:00pm
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