Aviva Premiership: Northampton beat Worcester 27-18 to revive play-off hopes
Northampton beat Worcester 27-18 Sixways on Saturday to revive their push for the Aviva Premiership play-offs.
Last Updated: 18/02/13 5:22am
Despite seeing England forwards Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes both sin-binned, flanker Samu Manoa's 70th-minute try made the difference before referee Greg Garner awarded Saints a late penalty try.
It was only Saints' second win in their last five league games, but it took them into fifth spot, one point above Gloucester, who tackle Wasps on Sunday.
Hooker Hartley and lock Lawes were punished respectively for killing the ball and a late challenge, yet Northampton had enough in the tank to prevail.
Saints fly-half Stephen Myler kicked five penalties and a conversion for a 17-point haul, while his opposite Andy Goode landed six penalties out of seven, but it was not enough to stave off Warriors' fourth successive Premiership defeat.
Worcester have not won a league game since four days before Christmas, and they remain hovering above the relegation zone, although London Welsh, London Irish and Sale Sharks are all below them.
In the pivotal moment of the game, Manoa was driven over the line by his fellow forwards for the try just seconds after Worcester's former Northampton flanker Neil Best received a yellow card.
Despite Goode slotting another penalty, a last-gasp penalty try which owed everything to a dominant Saints pack rubbed salt into the Warriors' wounds.
Northampton now go forward to next weekend's home game against Bath with renewed confidence, while Worcester face local rivals Gloucester at Kingsholm on Friday night.