Beaten Saints refuse to sound alarm bells

Northampton 13 Harlequins 16

Northampton are embroiled in local politics over the planned expansion of their stadium, but while their chairman Keith Barwell mocked the "Fib Dems" in his programme notes, the director of rugby, Jim Mallinder, faced the home truths of only a fourth defeat at Franklin's Gardens since March 2007. "It's not a case of alarm bells ringing," said Mallinder. "You've just got to be accurate and perform every time you go out on the field."

This time last year the then Premiership leaders, Saracens, had 38 points from 10 matches – the same as Northampton now – before they lost to London Irish and Leicester, and eventually missed out on a home semi-final. A defeat for Mallinder's men at Leicester next Saturday would raise fears of a similar fate. The likes of Courtney Lawes and Soane Tonga'uiha looked a half-beat off the pace; victims, perhaps – and ironically – of a heavy workload in the first half of the season interrupted by the postponement of the Boxing Day fixture at Gloucester.

Quins were justified in their belief they could force penalties out of the Saints at the breakdown. Jordan Turner-Hall at centre and Chris Robshaw in the back row relished the physical confrontation. Losing two men to the sin-bin in the minute before half-time was not part of the plan, but the visitors emerged from the 10 minutes they were short with the loss of only seven points to a penalty try converted by Steve Myler. During the "power-play" period of 15 men versus 13, Northampton wasted a couple of great positions. An overlap went unused by Lawes, while at a scrum near the Quins 22, Northampton's eight men were penalised for engaging early against their opponents' six.

Danny Care's charge-down try levelled the scores at 10-10 after 52 minutes, and Nick Evans' second and third penalties to one in reply by Shane Geraghty, helped complete the job. Ugo Monye, the Quins wing in his second match back after 16 weeks out with a toe injury, ranked this win with the famous Heineken Cup victories over Stade Français in 2008. "There's a lot of young boys in our team but we didn't look too flustered when we went down to 13 men," said Monye.

Scorers: Northampton - Try: penalty try. Conversion: Myler. Penalties: Myler, Geraghty. Harlequins- Try: Care. Conversion: Evans. Penalties: Evans 3.

Northampton: B Foden; C Ashton, J Clarke (J Ansbro, 70), J Downey, P Diggin; S Myler (S Geraghty, 70), L Dickson; S Tonga'uiha, D Hartley (capt), B Mujati, C Lawes, C Day (M Sorenson, 61), P Dowson, T Wood (C Clark, 61), R Wilson.

Harlequins: M Brown; T Williams, G Lowe, J Turner-Hall, U Monye; N Evans, D Care; J Marler, M Cairns (C Brooker, 60), J Andress (M Lambert, 63), O Kohn, G Robson (T Vallejos, 51), T Guest (Lambert, 39-49; W Skinner, 74), C Robshaw (capt), N Easter.

Referee: D Richards (Berkshire).



Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?