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- Aviva Premiership
- 2nd Oct 2010
- KO 15:00
- Ground: Franklin's Gardens
- Att: 13,296
Reihana puts boot into Chiefs
Saints made to work hard for win by Premiership new boys
Bruce Reihana passed 1,000 points in the Aviva Premiership during Northampton's 27-21 victory over Exeter at Franklin's Gardens.
The long-serving New Zealander, handed the kicking duties in preference to fly-half Shane Geraghty, reached the landmark after Exeter were caught offside in front of their own posts in the 16th minute.
Saints had led 16-9 at the break thanks to Paul Diggin's try and three Reihana penalties, Gareth Steenson knocking over three penalties of his own for the visitors.
Two more Reihana penalties and a try from prop Soane Tonga'uhia sealed the home side's win, while Chris Budgen and Luke Arscott crossed to earn Exeter a losing bonus point.
Reihana had already kicked two penalties by the time local boy Diggin squeezed over in the right-hand corner to finish a move started by scrum-half Lee Dickson.
He found Tonga'uhia and the giant Samoan powered into the Exeter defence before finding Diggin on his shoulder to put Saints 13-0 ahead after 19 minutes.
Steenson, whose fifth minute penalty from the halfway line fell just short, opened Exeter's account in the 24th minute after Northampton were penalised for collapsing their scrum.
Three minutes later, Reihana pulled his kick wide when the Exeter pack transgressed again but made amends in the 34th minute to extend the Northampton lead to 16-3 after Exeter where again caught offside in front of their posts.
However, kicking prodigy Steenson gave the Chiefs a lifeline with two penalties in the final three minutes of the first half.
Northampton should have had more to show for their first half dominance, as their scrum repeatedly forced the Exeter pack into reverse.
The under-pressure Chiefs conceded a stream of penalties as they struggled to contend with a Northampton front row whose scrummaging power was increased by the recall of Scotland international Euan Murray for his first start of the season.
And two penalties from Reihana in the first 10 minutes of the second half punished Exeter as their pack again got into trouble with referee J P Doyle.
Sheer hard work kept Exeter in contention and their one-dimensional attacks took them to within yards of the Northampton line before lock James Hanks and Sireli Naqelevuki, the newly-signed Fijian winger making his Premiership debut, were hauled down.
But the Saints hit back with their second try, spurning the chance of a penalty kick to put the ball in the corner before their pack forced Tonga'uiha over in the left-hand corner in the 62nd minute.
Exeter's never-say-die spirit was rewarded with a try when their pack drove Budgen over in the 70th minute and Steenson converted to reduce the deficit to 11 points.
Northampton lost centre Jon Clarke to the sin bin in the 69th minute and Exeter punished the 14 men as Arscott earned them a point, stretching over the line by the left-corner flag with three minutes remaining.
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|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
|Saturday 4th October|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Northampton|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Leicester|
|Sunday 5th October|
|14:00||Sale vs Wasps|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Exeter|
|Friday 10th October|
|19:45||Leicester vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 11th October|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Saracens vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Irish|
|15:15||Northampton vs Sale|
|Sunday 12th October|
|14:00||Wasps vs Bath|
|Friday 14th November|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Harlequins|
|19:45||Northampton vs Exeter|
|Saturday 15th November|
|14:00||Sale vs London Irish|
|17:00||Bath vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 16th November|
|13:00||Leicester vs Saracens|
|15:15||Wasps vs London Welsh|
|Friday 21st November|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Sale|
|20:00||Newcastle vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|15:00||London Irish vs Bath|
|15:00||Exeter vs Wasps|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|13:00||Saracens vs Northampton|
|15:15||London Welsh vs Leicester|
|Friday 28th November|
|19:45||Bath vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 28th September|
|Wasps 35 - 18 Newcastle|
|Exeter 36 - 13 Harlequins|
|Saturday 27th September|
|Northampton 31 - 24 Bath|
|Leicester 19 - 22 London Irish|
|Saracens 40 - 19 Sale Sharks|
|Friday 26th September|
|London Welsh 10 - 46 Gloucester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|Newcastle 10 - 35 Northampton|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Bath 45 - 0 Leicester|
|Harlequins 26 - 23 Wasps|
|London Irish 32 - 36 Saracens|
|Sale 46 - 8 London Welsh|
|Friday 19th September|
|Gloucester 22 - 25 Exeter|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Newcastle 18 - 20 London Irish|
|Wasps 20 - 16 Northampton|
|Saturday 13th September|
|Exeter 20 - 24 Leicester|
|Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale Sharks|
|Bath 53 - 26 London Welsh|
|Friday 12th September|
|Harlequins 0 - 39 Saracens|
|Sunday 7th September|
|London Welsh 0 - 52 Exeter|
|Saturday 6th September|
|London Irish 15 - 20 Harlequins|
|Leicester 36 - 17 Newcastle|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 29 Bath|
|Saracens 34 - 28 Wasps|
|Friday 5th September|
|Northampton 53 - 6 Gloucester|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com