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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.
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.
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com