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Saints finish pre-season in eight try style

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Signs remained promising in what was another virtuoso display from his men, however, the entire squad having an input as Edinburgh were swept aside in a one-sided second half. A brace of tries came for Ken Pisi - whose last minute score would call time on a difficult evening for the hosts.

The opening four tries came from the pack, Tom Wood and Soane Tonga'uiha crossing before the break, Phil Dowson and Dylan Hartley after, before the backs got in on the act in the final quarter, Martin Roberts and Ben Foden the two joining Pisi on the scoresheet.

Unsurprisingly, Saints were first to make a real impact and their attacking intent was duly rewarded with points. While it was the backs who moved the ball with pace to the left, in the end the beneficiary was Wood on the right, popping up for his second try in as many pre-season games.

Ryan Lamb's conversion went astray and Edinburgh produced a powerful burst in response that yielded three points for Gregor Hunter, but action moved quickly back to the other end of the field.

A solid lineout move went to ground and Tonga'uiha somehow snuck down the side of a ruck and beside the posts for the Saints' second on 17 minutes. This time Lamb's extras were a given and the Saints had built a handy lead.

The hosts started to come more and more into the tie, but the next chance would fall to the Saints, Samu Manoa intercepting and pulling clear on halfway only to be pulled back for an offside offence.

It was a similar story when Hartley coasted through after Vasily Artemyev's jinking run. This time referee Neil Paterson adjudged Lamb's offload to have been forward and the Saints skipper's stroll under the sticks came to nothing and the half ended with no further score.

After early threats from GJ van Velze and Ken Pisi, however, the Saints would have their third, Dowson showing good presence of mind to turn over and stretch out an arm having been tackled some three metres shy of the line.

Scrum-time was proving a valuable asset to the Saints and after a qucikly taken penalty from one such set-piece, Foden scorched over halfway and up to Edinburgh's 22 with help from Ken Pisi. The ball moved left and Hartley was the beneficiary, on the end of Lamb's pass which was threaded between black shirts as the home defence sprang up early.

While both sides rang in the changes, pace remained on the game and a brilliant piece of quick thinking from Stephen Myler teed up a fifth for the visitors. The replacement's cross kick penalty found Artemyev out wide and although the Russian was clattered, the ball stayed alive long enough for Roberts to squeeze over amongst a pile of bodies.

To make matters worse for Edinburgh, James King also saw yellow after the sequence of play and a stunning counter from the Saints made the extra man count. Luther Burrell showed a blend of power and pace to really make hay and out the back door James Wilson fed the flying Ken Pisi, who made his accomplished finish look far easier than it was.

Myler, who had earlier converted Roberts' score, added the extras and was back at the tee again just moments later for Foden's try four minutes from time, Wilson, Pisi and Artemyev all involved impressively once more.

There was still time for Ken Pisi to put the icing on the cake, the winger doubling up with the final play and Myler converting to give the Saints all the momentum they could have wished for heading into Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 1.


7mins SAINTS Try Wood 0-5

10mins EDIN Pen Hunter 3-5

17mins SAINTS Try Tonga'uiha Con Lamb 3-12


46mins SAINTS Try Dowson Con Lamb 3-19

52mins SAINTS Try Hartley Con Lamb 3-26

65mins SAINTS Try Roberts Con Myler 3-33

65mins EDIN Yellow King

70mins SAINTS Try K Pisi Con Myler 3-40

76mins SAINTS Try Foden Con Myler 3-47

79mins SAINTS Try K Pisi Con Myler 3-54


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