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Fixture Type: LV= Cup
Match Date: Sun 17 Nov 2013
Kick Off: 15:00
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Referee: Rhys Thomas
Assistant Referee: Peter Huckle
Assistant Referee: Roy Maybank
Discipline was again a big issue for the Exiles as they were punished by the faultless goal kicking of Dickson, whose haul included six penalties.
It was a very flat first quarter with neither side being able to create anything in attack to trouble the opposing defence.
Saints fly half Glenn Dickson got his side in front early on with a penalty from straight in front of the uprights.
Irish were their own worst enemy at times, giving up field position in the Northampton half through errors and lack of composure.
Dickson kept the scoreboard ticking over with two penalties in the space of three minutes to take the Saints nine points clear.
In between the penalty goals, the visitors had made a break from their own 22 with Ben Nutley sprinting up the left hand touchline only to be dragged down a metre short of the try line. From the resulting ruck Irish won the penalty to relieve pressure.
After 25 minutes the Irish pack started to exert itself in the contest as they rumbled into the hearts of the Saints defence. As the ball was spun wide there was a fumble in the midfield and the ball was scooped up opportunistically by Tom Stephenson who sprinted into the Exiles half. Alex Lewington chased across to tackle him, but before he could do anything, Stephenson offloaded to the supporting Howard Packman who dived in under the posts. Dickson added the extras to give his side a 16-0 advantage.
Dickson added a fourth penalty before Myles Dorrian, who was a late replacement for Shane Geraghty who pulled out with a groin injury, kicked his side's first points of the day.
Shortly after, Irish were again under pressure in their 22 and succumbed to a second try when Alex Waller found himself with a simple run in. Dickson again made no mistake with the boot to seemingly put his side seemingly out of sight at 26 points to 6.
Myles Dorrian slotted a second penalty on the stroke of half time to give his side hope. At half time it was Irish 6 Saints 26.
After what can only be described as a thorough dressing down by the Irish coaching staff during the interval, the team came flying out of the blocks at the start of the second half; and after only a minute, had their first try. London Irish won the penalty and opted to kick for the corner. They won the line-out and drove their way towards the line with Danny Kenny coming up with the ball. Dorrian's conversion kept Irish just about in the game at 13-26.
Brian Smith's side were enjoying the majority of possession, a stark contrast from the first half, but were still making errors and not capitalising on their territory. Dickson added three more points to take the sting out of the Irish comeback momentarily.
Just before the hour mark, London Irish were over for their second try and it was Kieran Low who came up with the score. It again came from a line-out, five metres out, and similarly to the first, the forwards won the ball off the line out and Low found the opening to dive over.
As was the theme for the this match, every time the Exiles registered points Glenn Dickson hit straight back with a penalty goal. He added a sixth on 62 minutes before Ben Nutley went over for a try to put the result beyond doubt.
Northampton brought on reinforcements and continued to pressurise the Irish try line but were unable to register anymore points. It ended London Irish 18 Northampton Saints 39.
We return to Aviva Premiership action next week as London Irish head to Welford Road to task on Leicester Tigers.
Score sequence (London Irish first): 0-3, 0-6, 0-9, 0-16, 0-19, 3-19, 3-26, 6-26, 13-26, 13-29, 18-29, 18-32, 18-39
Scorers: Northampton Saints: Penalties: Dickson (5, 19, 22, 34, 55, 62); Tries: Packman (27), Waller (38), Nutley (65); Conversions: Dickson (3); London Irish: Penalties: Dorrian (36, 40); Tries: Kenny (41), Low (58); conversion: Dorrian
15. Alex Lewington; 14. Tom Fowlie; 13. Guy Armitage; 12. Setaimata Sa; 11. Andrew Fenby; 10. Myles Dorrian; 9. Darren Allinson (rep: Tom Bliss, 75); 1. Matt Parr (rep: Johnny Harris, 65); 2. Mike Mayhew (rep: Jimmy Stevens, 75); 3. Jamie Hagan (rep: Leo Halavatau, 40) rep: Richard Palframan, 75); 4. Alex Toolis; 5. Ben Toolis; 6. Declan Danaher (Captain) (rep: Danny Kenny (39); 7. Bryn Evans; 8. Kieran Low (rep: Ben Lonergan, 75)
Replacements: 16. Jimmy Stevens; 17. Johnny Harris; 18. Leo Halavatau; 19. Ben Lonergan; 20. Danny Kenny; 21. Fergus Mulchrone; 22. Richard Palframan; 23. Tom Bliss
15. James Wilson (rep: Sam Olver, 65); 14. Howard Packman; 13. Tom Stephenson; 12. Dom Waldouck (Captain); 11. Tom Collins; 10. Glenn Dickson; 9. Alex Day (rep: Ryan Glynn, 59); 1. Ethan Waller (rep: Gareth Denman, 65); 2. Ross McMillan (rep: mATT williams, 65); 3. Salesi Ma'afu (rep: Tom Mercey, 57); 4. Rob Verbakel; 5. Christian Day (rep: Alex Woolford, 65); 6. Ben Nutley; 7. Teimana Harrison (rep: Calum Clark, 60); 8. GJ Van Velze
Replacements: 16. Matt Williams; 17. Gareth Denman; 18. Tom Mercey; 19. Alex Woolford; 20. Calum Clark; 21. Ryan Glynn; 22. Sam Olver; 23. Josh Skelcey
Referee: Rhys Thomas