Northampton 17 - Newcastle 21
The Saints stormed to a 12-0 lead in the first 20 minutes all points
courtesy of Paul Grayson and a large part gifted by Dean Ryan being his
usual restrained self!
Rob Andrew broke a great gap in midfield (it actually was a good little
run) and gifted Twiggy a try. Andrew duly converted.
20-40 minutes was about desperate defense by the Saints, and when they did
get their hands on the ball it was about Gregor throwing 4 passes to a
patch of grass, why he wasn't subbed I don't know! One penalty given to
Newcastle to bring the scores to 12-10 at half time.
The second half got underway eventually after much barracking by the crowd
to get the officials back out! The Saints forwards were not the same men as
they were in the first half for the 3rd 20. A bit of a defensive nightmare
let Naylor run through Allen Clarke for the Falcons second try. (not sure
if it had anything to with it but Clarke was subbed soon after) Andrew's
conversion attempt missed. 12-15. Andrew must have got another penalty at
this point (my minds a blank on that one) 12-18. Then the Saints kicked
themselves back into life. They got up to the try line a move saw a mass of
bodies go over and Matt Stewart claiming a try, John Pearson who both sides
agreed had a pretty naff afternoon, awarded NH a 5m scrum, Newcastle were
penalised for dropping it. So Grace kicked into the corner and in the
resulting lineout Jason Chandlers legs were taken out from under him but he
made the line (I have seen the replay this afternoon and he did). However
Newcastle were just penalised for taking out the legs. Somehow in that
lineout Matt Dawson popped his shoulder again (not good!) Eventually the
pressure on Newcastle told and Chris Johnson (replacement ***) went over
in the corner. 17-18. Grace missed the conversion by a whisker. From the
re-start play went down Newcastles way and Andrew landed a penalty. 17-21.
The Saints gave it one final push Grace who was everywhere all afternoon
broke free but an all enveloping tackle by Lam prevented release, Andrew
booted the ball into touch and the final whistle left alot of depressed
Saints fans to troop off to the bar.
Just a few points - Dean Ryan is a dirty player, and IMO a liability to
Newcastle! He received a yellow card - what's the ruling with yellow cards?
How many does a player have to receive before he's off or does it not work
that way? As for Newcastles pack - the Saints seemed to have the upperhand
in most of the scrums. Matt Allen must be feeling sore today Twiggy ran
quiet literally a few times and Allen is no slouch in the tackling dept.
Watching the highlights today not only did Pearson miss the Chandler try,
but knock-ons right infront of him by both sides. Why can't Gregor LOOK
before he passes!!!!
"Oh when the Saints......."