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Saracens

  • Smit,
    Penalty goals: Hodgson (2), Farrell (2),
17 - 16

Northampton

  • Dowson,
    Penalty goals: Myler (3),
    Conversions: Myler,
  • Aviva Premiership
  • 30th Dec 2012
  • KO 14:15
  • Ground: Stadium MK
  • Att: 18,856

Aviva Premiership: Saracens grind out victory against Northampton

Last updated: 30th December 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Phil Dowson scoring a try Northampton Saints v Saracens Aviva Premiership stadium:mk

Phil Dowson: Northampton flanker scored a try in the 24th minute

Chris Ashton tackled by Stephen Myler Saracens v Northampton Saints Aviva Premiership stadiummk

Chris Ashton: Saracens winger is tackled by Northampton's Stephen Myler

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Saracens cut the gap on Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins to one point with a 17-16 victory over Northampton Saints at stadium:mk.

An early John Smit try and two penalties apiece from Charlie Hodgson and Owen Farrell were just enough for Saracens to complete the league double over their opponents.

Northampton battled back from an early 11-point deficit with a Phil Dowson try and three Stephen Myler penalties. The Saints led for almost 20 minutes of the second half and the match ended with Myler's potential winning penalty attempt from inside his own half bouncing back off the crossbar.

Saracens dominated the opening quarter-of-an-hour, former South Africa captain Smit going over for his first Premiership try after a catch-and-drive lineout, swiftly followed by two Hodgson penalties.

But Northampton stopped the rot and then went onto the front foot, earning their reward when flanker Dowson stepped out of a tackle to get the ball down in the 24th minute.

Stand-off Myler converted and then added a penalty two minutes before the break to reduce the visitors' deficit to 11-10 at half-time.

Another Myler penalty in the 47th minute - sandwiched by misses from his opposite number Hodgson - gave Northampton the lead for the first time.

Saracens changed their entire front-row in the 52nd minute in an effort to find a spark but it made no difference to Myler, who landed his third penalty - this one from 51 metres - to extend Northampton's advantage to 16-11.

Farrell, who came on for Joel Tomkins, took kicking duties off Hodgson and landed penalties in the 61st and 67th minutes to edge Saracens back in front by a point, a lead they held through to the end - but only just.

Northampton were awarded a penalty in the last minute, which was moved 10 yards closer by referee JP Doyle when Saracens prop Rhys Gill kicked the ball away in dissent, but Myler's effort fell short by the narrowest of margins. The Saints picked up a losing bonus point for their efforts and remain in sixth place in the table, two points outside the play-off places.

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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 19th December
Aviva Premiership
19:45Sale Sharks vs Exeter
Saturday 20th December
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle Falcons
15:15Northampton vs Leicester Tigers
17:30Gloucester vs Bath
Sunday 21st December
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Bath vs Exeter
14:00Sale vs Leicester
15:00Newcastle vs Saracens
16:30Harlequins vs Northampton
Sunday 28th December
14:30Gloucester vs Wasps
Friday 2nd January
19:45Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Saracens vs London Irish
16:30Exeter vs Gloucester
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale
14:00Leicester Tigers vs Bath
14:30London Welsh vs Harlequins
Friday 9th January
19:45Gloucester vs Saracens
Saturday 10th January
14:00Sale vs Northampton
15:00Bath vs Wasps
15:15Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers
Sunday 11th January
14:00Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Exeter
Saturday 14th February
15:00Leicester vs Gloucester

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