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Saints reach Singha Sevens final

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

The Saints will play in the Singha Sevens final at the Ricoh Arena a week on Sunday having won two of their three matches in tonight’s pool stage at Franklin’s Gardens.

In their first match against Harlequins, the Saints found themselves 7-0 down after two minutes with Oscar Hirskyj-Douglas crossing and Cameron Cowell converting. Howard Packman then spent two minutes in the sin bin before Harlequins extended their lead to 12 points thanks to a try from Jonas Mikalcius. Packman then closed the gap to seven points, crossing on the wing, before Tom Emery’s try, converted by Sam Olver, levelled the scores going into half time.

Harlequins then came out firing in the second half, scoring two tries in quick succession through Sam Aspland-Robinson and Gabriel Ibitoye to give them a 22-12 lead. Saints responded, however, with Lewis Ludlam diving over by the posts for a try of his own, converted by Olver, to close the gap to three points in the 11th minute. Harlequins then sealed the match in the final minute as James Lang raced through to touch down under the posts.

Saints’ second match of the evening evening saw them take on Saracens and Tom Collins got the match off to a perfect start for the Saints, jinking through to score under the posts. Olver converted the try once again to give the home side a 7-0 lead before Jarrod Haylor responded for Saracens to close the gap to two points. Collins was then on hand to break through the defence for his second try to give the Saints a 14-5 lead. Ben Earl’s converted try made the score 14-12 before James Grayson extended the home side’s lead to seven points on the stroke of half time.

The second half got under way with Calum Sirker closing the gap to make the score 19-17. As the match entered the closing stages, Olver’s match-winning try gave the Saints a 24-17 victory and put them one step closer to the finals in Coventry.

In the final match of the evening, Saints took on Gloucester for a place in the finals at Wasps’ Ricoh Arena. Gloucester opened the scoring thanks to a converted try from Elliott Creed and their lead was increased by five points after five minutes when England under 20s scrum half Harry Randall dived over in the corner. Saints responded almost immediately, however, when Packman just managed to ground the ball in the left hand corner.

Packman was on the score sheet just a minute later with Olver converting the try to level the scores. The eighth minute saw Packman score his third of the match to open the second half with a try that gave Saints the lead for the first time, and a 17-12 advantage. Gloucester levelled the score shortly after with a break from Elliott Creed. With Gloucester down to six players, Packman’s fourth restored the Saints lead to 22-17 before a final try came from Alex Rayment to secure the Saints’ place in the finals in Coventry.

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