Guinness Premiership round-up: Leeds fall short of vital win

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The Independent Online

Leeds lost 14-7 at home to Northampton yesterday, earning a bonus point that put them three clear of the Guinness Premiership's bottom side, Worcester. The England full-back Ben Foden scored a late try for Saints, for whom Stephen Myler kicked three penalties. The prop Juan Gomez scored a try for Leeds and Ceiron Thomas kicked the conversion. Saints stay second, three points behind Leicester.

Leeds' director of rugby, Andy Key, said: "We are still confident we will remain in the Premiership." And Saints' Jim Mallinder, who started his senior career at Roundhay, one of the clubs who merged to form Leeds, agreed. "They have a strong scrum and line-out and a competitive back row and I think they will survive," he said.

Gloucester beat Saracens 29-28 at Kingsholm. Charlie Sharples scored the home side's tries and Freddie Burns kicked 19 points. Brad Barritt, Chris Wyles and Alex Goode scored tries for Saracens; Glen Jackson and Derick Hougaard kicked the rest of their points.

At the Stoop, Conor O'Shea's first match as Harlequins' director of rugby saw a 23-14 win against Newcastle. The All Black fly-half Nick Evans scored two tries, two conversions and three penalties for Quins. Alex Walker scored Newcastle's try; Jimmy Gopperth kicked three penalties.

In the Magners League, the Cardiff Blues beat Ulster 33-24 in Belfast. The lowest-placed Welsh side, the Scarlets, are now eight points adrift of the Blues and unlikely to qualify for the Heineken Cup.

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