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LV= Cup: Northampton beat Saracens to secure a home semi-final
- Saturday's LV= Cup preview
- O'Shea baffled by Cup loss
- Ford: Bath right at home
- Diamond disappointed by loss
- Cardiff give Quins the Blues
- Exeter book last four spot
- Scarlets outgunned by Exiles
- Final Cup defeat for Wasps
- Falcons shutout the Dragons
- Bath tame toothless Tigers
- Ospreys shock Sharks
American forward Samu Manoa scored two tries as Northampton beat Saracens 20-16 to secure a home LV= Cup semi-final.
Manoa bagged two and played his part in another for James Wilson as Northampton ensured they will have home advantage against Sarries when the two teams meet again in the final four.
Saracens had gone ahead with 15 minutes to go with Ben Spencer, who scored a first-half try, using his boot to take his personal tally to 16 points, but it was not enough as Manoa had the final say.
Young Northampton fly-half Will Hooley kicked five crucial points on his debut to help ensure the victory.
Hooley had started the game by missing an early chance to as he fired a penalty wide from in front of the posts.
But Northampton, as they had at Newport a week earlier, were enjoying total dominance in the scrum, laying a platform for the backs.
And, after some nice interplay between Kahn Fotuali'i, Jamie Elliott and Manoa, the ball was worked wide to Wilson, who capped an impressive start by jinking inside to score.
Hooley settled the nerves with a well-struck conversion to take his team's tally to 7-0 before Spencer got Saracens on the board with a penalty won at the scrum.
Northampton were leaking penalties, and they were a man down seven minutes before the break as Samoan scrum-half Fotuali'i was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on.
Saracens quickly made their hosts pay as Saints were pushed off the ball and Spencer found his way over the try line.
The number nine also added the extras to put his side three points up at the break and the second half started in sluggish fashion.
But Northampton were the first to find the inspiration the game needed, with Manoa smashing his way over the line to finish off a slick move down the left.
Hooley missed the conversion, but kept his nerve to bisect the posts with a penalty soon after as Northampton edged five points in front.
Spencer immediately cancelled out that effort, though, and he soon took his team into the lead with a penalty won by the experience of replacement Jacques Burger.
But Manoa showed desire and determination as he dragged his team back in front with an unstoppable surge over the line.
Replacement fly-half Stephen Myler misfired with the conversion and Fotuali'i did the same with a drop-goal attempt soon after.
But it was not to matter as Northampton closed the game out to set up a tie against Saracens at Franklin's Gardens on the second weekend of March with both sides progressing as winners of their respective pools.
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|Sunday 8th February|
|Saracens 35 - 18 Exeter|
|Newport Gwent D'gons 17 - 13 London Welsh|
|Saturday 7th February|
|Northampton 29 - 6 Wasps|
|Gloucester 25 - 7 Harlequins|
|Bath 10 - 13 Ospreys|
|London Irish 13 - 31 Newcastle|
|Cardiff Blues 9 - 43 Leicester|
|Sale Sharks 38 - 3 Scarlets|
|Sunday 1st February|
|Newcastle 39 - 19 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 15 - 20 Saracens|
|Newport Gwent D'gons 32 - 37 Exeter|
|Wasps 42 - 45 Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 31st January|
|Scarlets 27 - 18 London Irish|
|Leicester 17 - 8 Northampton|
|Gloucester 32 - 25 Ospreys|
|Harlequins 21 - 23 Bath|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com