Premiership: Northampton 8-3 Exeter

Northampton v Exeter
It was Exeter's first defeat in the Premiership since their loss to Bath on 17 October
Northampton (8) 8
Try: Haywood Pen: Hanrahan
Exeter (0) 3
Pen: Steenson

Exeter missed out on the chance to go top of the Premiership after an error-filled encounter against Northampton.

The only try of the game came when Saints' hooker Mike Haywood went over from a driving maul after 17 minutes.

JJ Hanrahan kicked a penalty to give Northampton an 8-0 lead going into the break at Franklin's Gardens.

Exeter failed to take a number of chances in the Saints 22 after half-time and only got on the scoresheet with Gareth Steenson's late penalty.

Exeter remain in second place behind Saracens after getting a losing bonus point, while Saints stay fifth.

Low-scoring Saints and Chiefs
Exeter equalled their record low for points in a Premiership match - the last time they scored just one penalty was in a 33-3 loss at Northampton in October 2011
Chiefs had scored 215 points in their previous seven Premiership games - an average of just under 31 a game
Northampton's try was just their 11th of the season in the Premiership - five of which came in their 42-16 win over Newcastle in October

In an ugly encounter in front of a modern-day record crowd of 15,430, Saints defence did well to stifle Exeter, stopping the previously free-flowing Chiefs from getting much ball, especially in the first half.

Haywood crossed for the only try after Jamie Gibson gathered a line-out close to the Exeter try-line and the front-rower was forced over with the help of his team-mates.

Hanrahan hit the post with the conversion but found his mark nine minutes from half-time as Northampton's dominance in the scrum led to a penalty.

Hanrahan missed a chance to extend the lead just after the break and while Exeter had more ball, Saints doggedly forced turnovers every time Chiefs went close.

Steenson kicked a 74th-minute penalty for their only score of the game after winning a penalty at the breakdown, but it proved to be the final action of a dour game.

Kahn Fotuali'i
Saints scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i was forced off early on with a hamstring injury
Mitch Lees
He was followed soon after by Exeter second-row Mitch Lees, who had been touted for an England call-up, after injuring his hand

Northampton: Foden (capt); Collins, Pisi, Burrell, North; Hanrahan, Fotuali'I; A Waller, Haywood, Hill, Lawes, Matfield, Gibson, Harrison, Dickinson.

Replacements: Hartley, E Waller, Denman, Day, Paterson, Dickson, Myler, Mallinder.

Exeter: Dollman; Nowell, Campagnaro, Whitten, Woodburn; Steenson, Chudley; Moon, Yeandle (capt), Francis, Lees, Parling, Armand, Johnson, Waldrom.

Replacements: Taione, Rimmer, Low, Atkins, White, Lewis, Hooley, Short.

Attendance: 15,430

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