Northampton Saints 59-33 Newcastle Falcons, Franklin’s Gardens
Northampton Saints scored a nine-try riot as they trounced Newcastle Falcons 59-33 in the semi-final of the Premiership Rugby Cup at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday.
As a result, Northampton will now face Saracens in the final.
Contrary to the result, it was Newcastle Falcons, who started the game strong with Tane Takulua (2'), Josh Matavesi (10') and Vereniki Goneva (14') scoring tries and fly-half Brett Connon kicked all the conversions to make it 0-21.
Northampton got off the mark with a try from George Furbank in the 29th minute but the efforts were cancelled by a try from Zach Kibirige in the 32nd minute.
Nevertheless, the home side did not relent under pressure and managed to get two more touchdowns through Ahsee Tuala and Lewis Ludlam in the 36th and 39th minutes respectively as the first half ended with a 21-28 scoreline.
Chris Harris was one lone try scorer for Falcons in the second half but Northampton showed total domination in the second half with further tries from Jamie Gibson (42'), James Fish (47'), Taqele Naiyaravoro (56'), Heinrich Brussow (66 and 75) and Luther Burrell (69') ensured they completed a 26 point victory.
“The first half was great to watch if you were a Newcastle fan and the second half was if you’re a Saints fan, and it was a game which had a lot of ebbs and flows. Sadly we came out on the wrong side of it," said Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards.
“We were 28-7 up at one stage and were on fire, but we’ve got too many boys who are coming back from injury and hadn’t played for a long time. In that squad there were probably seven or eight who haven’t played for a while, and it showed on the day.
“In the first half-hour we got things right, our accuracy was good, but as soon as we tired we began to drop off. Northampton have been playing together a lot, and it showed as the game went on.
“The positives are that the things we worked on in training, we put into practice. To get 28 points so early on was testament to that, but out fitness levels and our conditioning levels I don’t think are quite right.
“The boys just aren’t fit enough, some of them mainly because they’ve not played for a while, and we’ve got to look at it very closely.”