Premiership: Northampton Saints 35-16 Worcester Warriors

Northampton v Worcester
Taqele Naiyaravoro scored after signing a new Northampton deal this week
Gallagher Premiership
Northampton (6) 35
Tries: Collins, Naiyaravoro, Furbank 2, Sleightholme Cons: Grayson 2 Pens: Grayson 2
Worcester (9) 16
Try: Venter Cons: Lance Pens: Weir 3

Northampton rallied to score five second-half tries and beat Worcester in tough conditions at Franklin's Gardens.

The visitors held a 9-6 lead thanks to Duncan Weir's boot in a dour first half blighted by the driving wind and rain.

Tom Collins followed up a James Grayson grubber kick for the game's first try and Saints moved 20-9 ahead when Taqele Naiyaravoro powered over the line.

Two George Furbank scores and an Ollie Sleightholme try earned a bonus point before Francois Venter's consolation.

Victory means Northampton have won their opening two Premiership matches for the first time since 2013-14 - when they were crowned champions.

But having beating holders Saracens last weekend Chris Boyd's side were second best in the first 40 minutes, as Worcester forced errors despite having ex-Saints prop Ethan Waller sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on.

Collins' try was given after the TMO adjudged he grounded the ball ahead of Jono Kitto, and Australia winger Naiyaravoro - who signed a new Northampton deal this week - could not be stopped from the back of a five-metre scrum.

Three more home tries in seven minutes added gloss to the result, with Mike Haywood also returning off the bench for his first Saints appearance since last November.

Worcester director of rugby Alan Solomons:

"I felt like we were still in that game and it was the last 10 minutes of the game in about five or six minutes when they scored three tries.

"That skewed the scoreline completely. Yes we made the errors and gave them the penalties to get the two tries but in six minutes to allow them to score three tries that was not good.

"The big thing for me was getting a good start and we certainly did that. The opening half was good, but we just let ourselves down in the second half."

Northampton director of rugby Chris Boyd:

"The second half was considerably better and maybe the platform in the first half helped us.

"They weren't conditions that suit us because we like to play a bit and they were putting pressure on us so we couldn't get out of that end.

"George Furbank was good, having been really good last week as well. He's a quality player and he sees space really well."

Northampton: Furbank; Collins, Dingwall, Hutchinson, Naiyaravoro; Grayson, Taylor; Waller (co-capt), Fish, Painter, Coles, Moon, Wood, Tonks, Harrison (co-capt).

Replacements: Haywood, Franks, Garside, Bean, Gibson, Tupai, Symons, Sleightholme.

Sin-bin: Waller (29 mins).

Worcester: Pennell; Humphreys, Beck, Mills (capt), Nanai; Weir, Hougaard; Waller, Annett, Carey, Bresler, Fatialofa, Hill, Lewis, du Preez.

Replacements: Taufete'e, Black, Palframan, Kitchener, van Velze, Kitto, Lance, Venter.

Referee: Jack Makepeace.

Top Stories