Premiership: Northampton 46-0 London Welsh

Daniel Browne
Bottom side London Welsh now have a points difference of -747
Aviva Premiership
Northampton (17) 46
Tries: Dickson 2, Burrell 2, Tuala, Elliott Cons: Myler 3, Wilson 2 Pens: Myler 2
London Welsh (0) 0

Northampton Saints secured top spot and a home semi-final with a comfortable win over relegated London Welsh.

Tries by Lee Dickson and Ahsee Tuala were the highlights of a scrappy first period to put Saints 17 points ahead.

Saints opened up after the break and ran in four more tries to add the point required to secure the Premiership top spot with one game left.

Dickson crossed again, Luther Burrell added two more and Jamie Elliott scored to add some gloss to the victory.

The league leaders knew they needed four tries to gain the bonus point to secure top spot for the first time in the club's history after second-placed Bath beat Harlequins to keep up the pressure.

Dickson profited from a catch and drive to open the scoring before Saints' Samoans combined, with George Pisi sending Tuala over the line for a second try.

Tuala's finishing touch
Ahsee Tuala has now scored five tries in eight appearances since signing for Saints in February.

After the break Northampton stepped up their intensity in search of more tries.

Stephen Myler added a penalty before Dickson profited from more excellent play from Pisi and Tuala to make the score 25-0.

Burrell then ran through the tiring Exiles defence to score the try that secured first place and strode free minutes later to score again.

Substitute Elliott rounded off an improved second-half showing with a sixth try to complete the scoring and inflict on the visitors their 33rd straight defeat of a difficult season.

Chris Elder
London Welsh's Chris Elder broke through the Northampton line

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder: "It is pleasing to finish top for the first time in the club's history, but we know it is all about winning the Premiership. You have got to win a home semi-final and then take that to Twickenham.

"We are where we want to be; we have a home semi-final with a game to go which is awesome, but we need to make sure we get ourselves right for that semi-final."

London Welsh head coach Rowland Phillips: "This game was about learning for us and looking to take positives out of the game to build on for next season.

"We have signed some good players for next season. We want to retain as many players from the current squad as possible, and then look to compliment them.

"We don't have a formula, you know what you need for your team to be competitive and come out of the Championship with the opportunity of promotion.

"We need to keep the spine of what we have here."

Northampton: Tuala, K. Pisi, G. Pisi, Burrell, Elliott, Myler, L. Dickson, A. Waller, Hartley, Denman, Lawes, C. Day, Wood, Clark, Manoa.

Replacements: Stephenson for Burrell (68), Wilson for Myler (62), Fotuali'i for L. Dickson (57), Corbisiero for A. Waller (56), Haywood for Hartley (56), Ma'afu for Denman (56), S. Dickinson for C. Day (61), Fisher for Manoa (61).

London Welsh: Jewell, Awcock, Reynolds, May, Elder, Barkley, Rowley, Trevett, Britton, Cooper, West, Corker, D. Browne, Waters, Fonua.

Replacements: Aholelei for Awcock (65), Robinson for Barkley (68), R. Lewis for Rowley (68), Morris for Britton (49), Gilding for Cooper (49), Down for Corker (49), Liston for Waters (60), McNally for Fonua (56).

Sin Bin: Gilding (62).