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Wasps 31-35 Northampton Saints: Late Naiyaravoro try opens Saints' 2020 with five points

A last gasp Taqele Naiyaravoro try sealed Northampton Saints' first-ever league win at the Ricoh Arena as they fought to secure an all-important five Gallagher Premiership points against Wasps.

Two tries from Cobus Reinach, as well as one each for Teimana Harrison and Tom Wood saw Saints 18 points clear on the 50-minute mark, with Wasps only able to send Watson over in response. 

And though 21 unanswered points from the hosts – coupled with both a red and yellow card for Tom Collins and Reinach respectively – saw Wasps pull ahead, Saints' resilience held firm and they were rewarded as Naiyaravoro battled over to claim the win in the game's final minutes. 

Saints scored the opening try of the game after a quarter of an hour when Rory Hutchinson slipped a pass to Dan Biggar – who sliced Wasps’ defence open – before finding a grateful Reinach on the inside for an easy run-in. 

Biggar converted before Wasps missed a good opportunity to draw level when Saints threw long at a line-out in their own 22. Tomas Young gathered the loose throw and rumbled forward, but the flanker lost possession as he drove for the line. However, the hosts maintained the pressure and were rewarded with a Jacob Umaga penalty to put them on the scoreboard.  

Against the run of play, Wasps took the lead when All Black centre Malakai Fekitoa stripped Piers Francis in the tackle and then offloaded to Watson to sprint 40 metres to touch down into the corner. 

Wasps converted but Saints soon struck back when Tom Collins manage to slap an Umaga touch finder back into play to launch a counter-attack which saw Saints charge the length of the field before Biggar found Teimana Harrison out wide to touch down for Saints second try of the match. 

Saints led 14-10 at the break and within a minute of the restart they extended their lead when Wood charged down Dan Robson’s clearance to gather and score in the corner.  

And 11 minutes later Saints has increased their lead to 18, capturing a bonus point in the process. After a sustained period of pressure in the Wasps 22, where David Ribbans was held up over the line, it was Reinach who eventually touched down the visitor’s fourth try and his second of the game.  

But the hosts weren’t finished yet, Wasps continued to press Saints' lines and it was replacement Jimmy Goperth who unpicked Saints’ defence with a jinking run to keep the hosts in touch. Wasps then hit back again with Matteo Minozzi finishing off a great counter attack to move within 4 points.  

Saints went down to 14 men after a nasty collision in the air between Tom Collins and Umaga was deemed dangerous by referee Matthew Carley and Collins was shown a red card. 

And Wasps would earn their bonus point through a penalty try as Reinach was sent to the sin bin just after for a deliberate knock on - Carley getting under the posts for the penalty try.

But Saints' character shone through and the side dug deep for a grandstand finish; with only 13 men on the pitch, the away side fought back into Wasps' 22, where penalties against the hosts began to rack up and eventually Naiyaravoro charged over the whitewash off the back of a scrum to seal both the win and the five points for Saints. 

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Northampton Saints
12
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21
Hours
47
Mins
Bordeaux Begles
Friday 11 December - 5:30pm