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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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|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|
|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|
|Saturday 15th November|
|14:00||Sale vs London Irish|
|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