Aviva Premiership: Northampton leave it late to see off Wasps
Fly-half Stephen Myler kicked a last-gasp penalty to give Northampton a 17-15 victory over Wasps at Adams Park.
Last Updated: 21/12/13 6:17pm
With under a minute remaining the home side were penalised at a scrum, allowing fly-half Myler to step up and fire over a 40 metre attempt to settle a rather scrappy encounter.
Defeat was tough on Wasps, who had dominated in the second half but paid the price for three penalty misses by replacement goal-kicker Elliot Daly, who took over duties from the injured Andy Goode.
Northampton scored the only try of the game through Christian Day with Myler kicking four penalties for the Saints, who slip further back of leaders Saracens despite their victory on the road.
Boosted by Tom Varndell making his first Aviva Premiership start of the season, Wasps made a fast start. Luther Burrell was adjudged to have illegally tackled Goode after four minutes and with their number 10 receiving treatment, Daly duly made no mistake to open the scoring.
Burrell looked to have immediately made amends when he burst over for a try, only for the TMO to chalk off the score due to Varndell being held back.
However they were not to be denied for too long, taking the lead after 13 minutes when lock Day finished off a line-out drive for a try which Myler was unable to convert.
Wasps should have been back in front but Daly, still entrusted with the kicking duties, missed badly with a penalty attempt from only 22 metres out to leave Saints 5-3 ahead.
Goode was fit to take the next two attempts, successfully landing both, and with Myler also on target with a pair of penalties the score was 11-9 in Northampton's favour at the break.
Eventually the leg problem picked up earlier forced Goode off in the second half, with his replacement, Joe Carlisle, unable to slot over a drop goal attempt after an extended period of Wasps pressure.
Northampton club captain Dylan Hartley took the field after 57 minutes in time to see his side go further ahead with another penalty from Myler.
Carlisle became Wasps' third kicker of the afternoon and his successful penalty brought the home side to within two points, though Daly wasn't able to land a long-range effort.
He again fluffed his lines following the sin-binning of Northampton flanker Tom Wood for an illegal charge on Joe Launchbury, meaning it was Carlisle who took the 77th minute attempt that put Wasps ahead.
That, though, wasn't the end of the scoring. Wasps' forwards succumbed under pressure and Myler held his nerve.