Saints sneak past Quins

Ben Foden scored a last-gasp try as Northampton beat Harlequins 27-23 in the English Premiership, while there were also wins for Gloucester, Wasps, Sale, Saracens and London Irish.

The Saints started strongly and were soon 3-0 up thanks to the boot of flyhalf Stephen Myler, but the lead didn’t last long as Quins lock George Merrick had his try converted by flyhalf Nick Evans.

Northampton hit back five minutes later through lock Christian Day, before exchanging converted tries with Quins to lead 17-14 at the break.

Evans put the hosts in front with back-to-back penalties early in the second half. The visitors’ replacement flyhalf JJ Hanrahan drew the sides level with a penalty kick in the 71st minute, before replacement flyhalf Ben Botica put Quins ahead two minutes later. Botica then failed to clear into touch after the hooter and the Saints capitalised with Ben Foden dotting down for the winning score.

Elsewhere, Wasps edged the Newcastle Falcons 9-8 at the Ricoh Arena. A penalty each from Jimmy Gopperth and Andy Goode had the sides locked at 3-3 at half-time. Picking up pace in the second half, the Falcons took the lead after 47 minutes when flanker Nili Latu crossed for a try. Goode missed the conversion, keeping Wasps within striking distance. The hosts twice had tries denied by the TMO before two Gopperth penalties eventually got them over the line.

The Sale Sharks claimed their fifth win of the season by beating the Leicester Tigers 10-3 at Welford Road. Sale went ahead after flyhalf Danny Cipriani slotted a penalty in the 11th minute. Leicester fought their way back to level the scores through flyhalf Freddie Burns, while Cipriani missed four penalties. Sale then took the lead after 62 minutes via a converted try by eigthman Josh Beumont, with Cipriani adding the extras, and held on for the win.

On Sunday, a late penalty by flyhalf Charlie Hodgson saw Saracens beat the Exeter Chiefs 14-11, ending the hosts' 15-match winning streak at Sandy Park. Sarries and the Chiefs scored a try apiece in the first half, but two penalties from flyhalf Gareth Steenson gave the Chiefs an 11-5 lead at the break. Hodgson slotted two more penalties in the second half to level matters, before nailing a 74th-minute attempt to hand Sarries the win.

At the Madejski Stadium, London Irish defeated the Worcester Warriors 20-13 to record only their third win of the Premiership season. The Exiles took a 7-0 lead in the 17th minute when flyhalf Shane Geraghty converted Ciaran Hearn’s brilliant chip-and-chase try. Penalties were exchanged and Irish led 10-3 at the break. The Warriors hit back with two tries in the second half, but another converted try and a late penalty from Geraghty gave Irish the win.

On Friday, Gloucester ended a five-match losing streak against Bath when they won 15-11 at The Rec. Bath scored the only try of the first half early on against a 14-man Gloucester side to lead 8-3 at the break. Four second-half penalties secured the win and moved Gloucester into fifth place on the Premiership table.

Round 11 results:

Bath 11 Gloucester 15
Harlequins 23 Northampton Saints 27
Wasps 9 Newcastle Falcons 8
Leicester Tigers 3 Sale Sharks 10
Exeter Chiefs 11 Saracens 14
London Irish 20 Worcester Warriors 13

Photo: Tom Dulat/Getty Images