Aviva Premiership: Northampton ruin riot against London Irish
Northampton leapfrogged into the Aviva Premiership play-off places thanks to a 40-14 victory over London Irish.
Last Updated: 02/03/13 5:41pm
Jamie Eilliott grabbed a hat-trick of tries to help the surging Saints, who have now won four of their last five league outings, leapfrog over play-off rivals Gloucester and Wasps in the table.
Samu Manoa, Soane Tonga'uiha and GJ van Velze also touched down for the hosts as they avenged the 39-17 defeat they suffered in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
Guy Armitage did grab a consolation score late-on for the Exiles, who had threatened in the first half before fading after the break.
Indeed, Jon Fisher and Pat Phibbs were both held up on the try-line as the visitors were only able to turn their periods of extended pressure into three penalties from Tom Homer.
Northampton, in contrast, had no problems putting points on the board. Elliott's first of the afternoon came from Stephen Myler's long pass before flanker Manoa was able to wriggle over from close range in the 40th minute.
Myler converted both tries to make it 14-9 at the break and the lead was extended almost immediately in the second half when Tonga'uiha crashed over.
The bonus point try arrived before the hour mark when another lineout drive - helped by Brian Mujati, who came off the bench to make his first appearance in 2013 - led to the pack peeling to the left for Van Velze to finish.
James Wilson put in Elliott for his second and the in-form winger completed his hat-trick, making it five tries in his last two games, when he picked up Ryan Lamb's cross-field kick and touched down out wide.
Armitage's effort was sandwiched in between Elliott's final two tries, and was no more than Irish deserved for their efforts in a losing cause.