Diggin scores four to ensure Northampton stroll to victory

Northampton 37 Edinburgh 0

Five wins out of five for Northampton, coupled with victory for Cardiff Blues over Castres, means a quarter-final berth in the Heineken Cup is secured for Saints.

After two straight defeats for the Saints in the Premiership, which included a harsh lesson last weekend at the hands of bitter rivals Leicester, all is well for Northampton in Europe. They will hope to put aside the disappointment of exiting the Heineken Cup last season in a bruising quarter-final encounter away at Munster.

The Edinburgh coach Jim Moffat had promised that his team would play fast and loose and not get caught up in a dogfight with their more muscular opponents. Yet his prop Geoff Cross must have been on a bathroom break when Moffat laid out his game plan. Just 30 seconds into the game, Cross lived up to his name to give Northampton outside-half Stephen Myler an angry late crunch. French referee Monsieur Berdos waved play on.

Saints came back with the perfect response on five minutes. Myler kicked a penalty to touch and the pack drove on from the lineout before Brian Mujati snuffled a try beneath a pile-up on Edinburgh's line. Myler converted then slotted over a penalty to give Saints a 10-point comfort blanket.

To their credit, the Scots impressed on the counter-attack keeping the ball alive through nifty hands. But the burly Saints defence held strong.

There was even a spot of fisticuffs before half time that ended with Edinburgh's prop Carl Trainer being sent to the sin bin for his efforts. Paul Diggin added to the visitor's pain picking up a fumble to score a try in the corner on the half-hour to extend Northampton's lead to 15-0.

If Edinburgh had designs on coming out for the second half and taking the game to Northampton, their plans went hopelessly awry from the kick-off. Penalty to Saints and a further three points for Myler.

Everything went right for Northampton. Diggin hogged the spotlight to score his second try on 70 minutes, steaming down the left wing unopposed from the half-way line as Edinburgh's defence crumbled in tatters, exhausted and battered.

Joe Ansbro even had the cheek to hand Diggin his hat-trick shortly after, off-loading to his pal from beneath the posts. And then a fourth for Diggin. "We don't fear any team coming here," Diggin said. "We can win this tournament as the competition for places is so fierce."

He has notched scored 10 tries in 10 Heineken Cup matches and that's 11 victories in a row at Franklin's Gardens in the tournament.

"He's not the fastest winger," said the Northampton coach Jim Mallinder laughing. Diggin was standing behind him at the time. "But Digger gets into great positions and he's been doing that all season," Mallinder said.

Not a single point for Edinburgh. They were routed. And their coach, Rob Moffat, admitted that his side had been outplayed.

"Northampton had too much control," he said. "They pressurised us into making too many mistakes. We panicked and made a whole lot of errors."

Northampton: Tries Mujati, Diggin 4; Conversions Myler 2, Ford; Penalties Myler 2.

Northampton: Foden; Ansbro, Clarke, Downey (Reihana, 64), Diggin; Myler (Ford, 79), Powell (Commins, 69); Tonga'uiha (Waller, 70), Hartley (capt, Sharman, 56), Mujati (Mercey, 58), Clark, Day (Sorenson, 32), Dowson, Wood (Easter, 69), Wilson.

Edinburgh: Paterson (Webster, 34); Thompson, Cairns (King, 64), De Luca, Visser (Little, 73); Blair, Blair (Laidlaw, 64); Traynor, Ross Ford, Cross (Young, 49; McInally, 58), MacLeod, Lozada (Niven, 56), MacDonald, Rennie, Grant (capt, Niven, 42; Grant, 49; Hamilton, 56).

Referee: C Berdos (France)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones