Northampton climbed to fifth place on the Premiership table before the weekend’s other matches as they beat Leicester 29-15 at Welford Road.
Tries from Cobus Reinach and Tom Collins (2) saw them to the four points, with Dan Biggar kicking 14 points off the tee in Friday’s game.
Saints outclassed their poor hosts who crossed late in the second-half through George Ford and Tom Youngs as they remain in 10th spot.
Northampton Saints were much the better side in the opening stanza as they went in 20-3 ahead thanks to tries from Reinach and Collins (2). However, Reinach’s score on six minutes was a controversial effort as it seemed like Taqele Naiyaravoro had knocked on earlier in the passage.
Reinach was then in the thick of the action defensively when he halted wing Sam Aspland-Robinson short of the line which was the beginning of a decent spell of possession and territory for the Tigers. Alas they could only card a Ford penalty for their efforts in the Saints red zone.
Northampton were having no such issues taking their chances and their electric running game came to the fore in the remainder of the first-half, this after Leicester second-row Mike Williams was yellow carded for a deliberate offside. Biggar fired over the resulting points for 8-3.
Rory Hutchinson then broke before setting up Collins for his first try on 34 minutes and the centre’s excellent pass shortly after led to wing Naiyaravoro offloading to Collins for his brace. That made it a 17-point cushion going into half-time with Leicester needing to tighten up.
Wales Six Nations hero Biggar further extended that margin to 20 points four minutes into the second period and it became 29-3 by 54 minutes, with Tigers tighthead Dan Cole in the sin-bin. Northampton, at this point, were cruising but still one try short of a bonus-point score.
Fortunately for a disappointing Leicester it was they who would cross for two tries late in the game, first from Ford before Youngs burrowed over via a maul to paper over what was a dismal effort that keeps them nine points above Newcastle before the Falcons play this weekend.
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