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- Aviva Premiership
- 23rd Feb 2014
- KO 15:00
- Ground: Kingston Park
- Att: 4,846
Aviva Premiership: Leaders Northampton beat Newcastle 22-16 at Kingston Park
- Saturday's Aviva Prem preview
- Sunday's Aviva Prem preview
- Ford relieved with Bath win
- Ryan: Half-baked
- Davies points to character
- Smith refuses to blame referee
- McCall hails Tomkins impact
- Mallinder hails momentum
- Sale breeze to Worcester win
- Overdue win for Gloucester
- Tigers hold off London Irish
- Forward progress for Saracens
- Bath stay third with Wasps win
Two first-half tries from full-back James Wilson set league leaders Northampton on the road to victory in their Aviva Premiership clash at struggling Newcastle.
Despite being shorn of their international stars, Saints still looked a different class as they dealt with the blustery wind and heavy Kingston Park pitch and ran out 22-16 winners.
Second-from-bottom Newcastle snatched a late losing bonus point with a Noah Cato try two minutes from time.
Wilson's double strike saw the Saints lead 19-6 at half-time, by which time Newcastle had hardly threatened.
The home side rarely had the ball and it came as a surprise that Northampton could only add a Stephen Myler penalty after the break, while conceding Cato's late try.
Northampton's opening try in the seventh minute came from a quick free kick by scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i, and Wilson cruised in at the corner for 5-0 with the Newcastle defence nowhere to be seen.
Rory Clegg cut the deficit to 5-3 with a 10th-minute penalty but most of the threat was coming from Northampton and nothing illustrated that better than Tom Stephenson's weaving 16th-minute run-in under the posts with the Falcons defence again flat-footed. Myler had an easy conversion for 12-3.
Clegg chipped away with another penalty after good work by prop Gary Strain over the ball at the tackle in the 20th minute.
However, when Mike Blair sent Cato down the right to force another penalty, Clegg was way off target with his kick.
Wilson's second try came from terrific passing under pressure from Fotuali'i and Myler, and George Pisi could have scored himself but handed it in on to Wilson.
Myler's conversion was heading wide until the wind blew it inside the post for 19-6.
Newcastle made a much better effort of the second half and spurned two kickable penalties to go for the line-out drive, but Northampton's defence proved as good as their attack and both drives fizzled out.
Newcastle were handed a penalty for offside and Clegg made it 19-9 in the 57th minute.
Myler restored the 13-point gap with a 62nd-minute penalty, awarded for not releasing, and with both sides running their benches in the second half it was not until the 78th minute there was any real action.
It still came as a surprise when Cato snapped up a loose pass and raced in for a try which Joel Hodgson converted for Newcastle to snatch their point.
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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